2016 Young Authors Challenge winners

What do blind beggars, flying libraries, swimming gorillas, and special worms all have in common? These characters are the stars of just a few of the terrific tales set to be a part of this year’s Barfoot & Thompson Young Authors Challenge storybook.

Congratulations to the nine budding writers who are about to take us on these exciting adventures, teaching us important life lessons along the way.

Our 2016 Young Authors Challenge saw over a record 1615 students from Auckland and Northland enter the competition. From these we picked nine winning stories.

The talented young writers are set to become published authors, having won the opportunity to see their imaginative stories come to life in a very special storybook.

Announcing our 2016 winners

Supreme winner, home schooled student Selau Ifopo, had her story The Blind Beggar's Gift chosen as the cover story. This will be accompanied by eight other tales including:

  • The Rainbow - by Amy Wang - Murrays Bay Intermediate
  • Pass the Message - by Kelly Zheng - Meadowbank Primary
  • The Problem with Geronimo - by Alayna Finlay - Elim Christian College
  • Mr Biblio's Flying Library - by Olive Whatmough - St John’s School Mairangi Bay
  • Gorillas Can't Swim - by Loughlin Mosen - St Mary’s Catholic School Papakura
  • Back on My Feet - by Maia Holland - Red Beach School
  • The Very Special Worm - by Caleb Palmer - Elim Christian College
  • The Girl Who Wouldn't - by Kikka Okuno - Massey Primary School

The winning stories were selected by a panel of eight judges, based on the development of characters and settings, originality and positive messages.

Kids fundraising for kids

The Young Authors Challenge is now in its ninth year. Over the past eight years, it has raised over $200,000 for the Barfoot & Thompson Magic of Reading Programme.

Funds raised through the sale of the book are used to purchase a range of children’s story books, by published authors, and are provided free to Starship Children’s Hospital and Whangarei Hospital’s Children’s ward for young patients who stay overnight to read and take home when discharged. Over 90,000 books have been distributed to-date through this initiative.