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Christchurch City Libraries
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Christchurch 8154,
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Margaret MahyCelebrating Margaret Mahy

Following the looping line: a one-day symposium exploring the literary legacy of Margaret Mahy.

“…the looping line the pen made was a world line, like the one left behind by the tide … lines left on beaches and pages everywhere must wind up by going all around the world if one could only follow them.”
The Tricksters

In 2006 Margaret Mahy celebrates her 70th birthday and is the recipient of the Hans Christian Andersen Medal for Writing, awarded by the Jury of the International Board on Books for Young People to “one of the world’s most original re-inventers of language”.

Margaret Mahy’s works are known to children and young adults all over the world. On Sunday 2nd July 2006 Christchurch City Libraries presents a one-day symposium celebrating her life and work in this very important year.

A lively programme of panel discussions, conversations and reader responses will deepen understanding and extend discussion of the work of one of our national treasures. Featuring some of New Zealand’s leading writers for children and some of our most notable commentators on children’s literature, this challenging, celebratory and entertaining programme provides considered information for teachers, librarians, students and readers.

Date: Sunday 2 July 2006.

Venue: Our City O-Tautahi, corner of Oxford Terrace and Worcester Boulevard, Christchurch.


9.00 9.30

Registration and coffee

9.30 9.35


9.35 10.35

Keynote address (Tessa Duder)

10.35 10.45

The author and the audienceReader response

10.45 11.15

Morning tea

11.15 11.25

The author and the audience Reader response

11.25 12.15

Lines and legaciesPanel discussion: The literary legacy of Margaret Mahy; Claudia Marquis (University of Auckland), Anna Smith (Canterbury University), John McKenzie (Christchurch College of Education), chair Bill Nagelkerke (Children and Young Adult Co-ordinator, Christchurch City Libraries)

12.25 1.30


1.30 2.30

Lines of inspirationConversation: Margaret Mahy’s influence on other writers; David Hill, Joanna Orwin, chair Gavin Bishop

2.30 2.40

The author and the audience Reader response

2.40 3.15

Life lines: Kate de Goldi in conversation with Margaret Mahy

3.15 3.30

Margaret Mahy: a tribute


Thank you and close


Drinks and refreshments


Registrations open on 1st May 2006.
Spaces are limited so early registration is essential.

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Christchurch City Libraries acknowledges the support of Creative New Zealand & Harper Collins New Zealand in holding the Margaret Mahy symposium.

Creative NZ logoHarper Collins NZ


Gavin Bishop

Gavin is an illustrator and author of children’s books who has won both national and international awards for his work. From the early days of Mrs McGinty and the bizzare plant to the recently published Kiwi Moon, his distinctive illustrative style has been equally successful in his retellings of traditional tales as well as his uniquely New Zealand books.

Kate De Goldi

Kate’s young adult novels include the award-winning Sanctuary and Closed, stranger, but her most recent books Clubs and Uncle Jack have been written for a younger audience. She has established a strong reputation as a reviewer of children’s books with her fortnightly sessions on National Radio with Kim Hill.

Tessa Duder

Tessa is one of New Zealand’s most enduring young adult writers, and is best-known for the critically-acclaimed Alex quartet of novels based on her own Commonwealth Games swimming experiences. Her most recent book is the literary biography Margaret Mahy: A Writer's Life, published by HarperCollins Publishers in 2005.

David Hill

David’s first young adult novel See ya, Simon, won critical acclaim both in New Zealand and overseas. He has continued to deliver novels for young adult readers which address their concerns and relationship issues, as well as wider themes of growing up in contemporary New Zealand.

John McKenzie

John McKenzie has had a passion for children's literature for over thirty years as a primary school teacher, teacher educator and most recently as Head of the Centre for Children's Literature at Christchurch College of Education. He co-edited Cinderella transformed: multiple voices and diverse dialogues in children’s literature, published by the Centre for Children’s Literature, Christchurch College of Education in 2003.

Claudia Marquis

Claudia is a senior tutor in the English Department at the University of Auckland, with a particular interest in children’s literature. She has written critically on Margaret’s work in Landfall and in the collection of essays Marvellous Codes: the fiction of Margaret Mahy, edited by Elizabeth Hale and Sarah Fiona Winters and published by Victoria University Press in 2005.

Bill Nagelkerke

Bill leads a dual life of children’s writer and librarian, as Co-ordinator of Children’s and Young Adults’ Services at Christchurch City Libraries. He also has established a reputation as an astute commentator on children’s literature, most recently in his role as judge for the IBBY Hans Christian Andersen award. His first novel for older children Old Bones, is to be published later in 2006.

Joanna Orwin

Joanna has written a number of novels for young readers which focus on the New Zealand environment and Maori mythology and folklore, most notably Owl and Guardian of the land, which won the 1986 Children’s Book of the Year award and has recently been re-issued as a HarperCollins Classic.

Anna Smith

Anna Smith teaches children’s literature and adolescent fiction at the University of Canterbury, and has written critically on the work of Margaret Mahy. She is currently working on a book on gothic and supernatural writing for teenagers, but her first adult novel Politics 101: a Novel, was published by the Canterbury University Press in May, 2006