Awards and Honours
Margaret Mahy won many awards throughout her illustrious career as a children’s author.
The Canterbury Heroes are a set of 12 bronze busts sculpted by Mark Whyte. They were initially located in the Arts Centre Te Matatiki Toi Ora on Worcester Boulevard in Christchurch, but are now part of the Arts Trail at the University of Canterbury. Margaret Mahy is one of the local heroes. Her bust says:
Christchurch children’s librarian, world-famous writer of magical stories and verse for children and young adults, giver of the gift of imagination
Awards won by Margaret Mahy include:
- The Esther Glen Award
- The Carnegie Medal
- AIM Children’s Book Award
- New Zealand Post Children’s Book Award
- The Boston Globe — Horn Book Award
- Hans Christian Andersen Award
- Sir Julius Vogel Award for Services to Science Fiction and Fantasy
- Prime Minister’s Literary Award
- Icon Artist
- Member of the Order of New Zealand
IBBY’S 2012 Honour List
The moon and Farmer McPhee was one of three New Zealand books chosen for the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) Honour List. The list is composed biennially and the books form part of a travelling exhibition.
The New Zealand Post Children’s Book Award
The moon and Farmer McPhee was the overall winner of the New Zealand Post Children’s Book of the Year. It also won the Picture Book Award.
The Boston-Globe Horn Book Awards - Picture Book
Bubble trouble (illustrated by Polly Dunbar) won the The Boston Globe — Horn Book Award for best Picture Book in 2009.
The Phoenix Award
Memory won the Canadian Children’s Literature Association award which is presented annually to a book that has been published 20 years ago and was not recognised by a major award at the time of its publication.
Presentation of the Hans Christian Andersen Award to Margaret Mahy
Margaret Mahy won the Hans Christian Andersen Award that is is given biennially by the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) to honour an author who has made a lasting contribution to international children’s literature.
Hans Christian Andersen Award
New Zealand author Margaret Mahy has won the world’s premier prize for children’s writing, the Hans Christian Andersen Award. The announcement, made in Bologna this morning (NZ time), caps a remarkable year for Mahy, who recently celebrated her 70th birthday.
Often called the Little Nobel, the award is given biennially by the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) to honour an author who has made a lasting contribution to international children’s literature. Previous winners have included English novelist Aidan Chambers (2005), the Irish writer-illustrator Martin Waddell (2004) and a galaxy of writers stretching back to 1956.
Mahy, nominated by the Storylines Children’s Literature Foundation of New Zealand representing the New Zealand branch of IBBY, joins Australian writer Patricia Wrightson as only the second from Australasia to win the award. She will travel to Beijing in September to be honoured at the IBBY World Congress.
The Storylines organisation is jubilant that Margaret has now achieved her rightful place in world children’s literature, says chairperson Rosemary Tisdall. This is a huge achievement and the whole of New Zealand, children and adults like, congratulates its greatest and most beloved writer.
The award tops off a remarkable period of recognition for Mahy. Already holding New Zealand’s top civil award, the Order of New Zealand, she has in the last two years received the Prime Minister’s Award for Fiction, a second honorary doctorate (University of Waikato) and the Phoenix Award from Canada’s Children’s Literature Association. She became an official New Zealand Arts Icon in 2005 and is twice shortlisted for the 2006 New Zealand Post Children's Book Awards (to be announced in May).
Mahy’s career began in 1961 with the publication of her first story in the School Journal. International recognition arrived in 1969, when five of her Journal stories appeared as picture books, and was cemented by an astonishing outpouring of picture books and story collections during the 1970s.
In 1980, aged 44 and mother of two teenage daughters, Mahy left her Christchurch library position to write full-time. Her first two novels, The haunting and The changeover, won the prestigious British Carnegie Medal for 1982 and 1984.
Among her publications for children are picture books, novels for children and young adults, non-fiction, poetry and plays, while for adults, recent publications of essays and speeches have reinforced her reputation as an outstanding essayist, commentator and thinker. She has also written extensively for television (including Maddigan’s quest) and adapted The haunting as a feature film.
Many of her children’s books have been translated, into more than 15 languages, and she has regularly appeared at international forums on children’s literature since the early 1970s.
Source: Press Release, 28 March 2006
The Hans Christian Andersen Jury of the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) announces that Margaret Mahy (New Zealand) is the winner of the 2006 Hans Christian Andersen Author Award and Wolf Erlbruch (Germany) is the winner of the 2006 Hans Christian Andersen Award for Illustration.
The Awards will be presented to the winners at the opening ceremony of IBBY’s Congress in Beijing, China, on 20 September 2006.
In awarding the 2006 Hans Christian Andersen Medal for Writing to Margaret Mahy, the jury has recognized one of the world’s most original re-inventers of language. Mahy’s language is rich in poetic imagery, magic, and supernatural elements. Her oeuvre provides a vast, numinous, but intensely personal metaphorical arena for the expression and experience of childhood and adolescence. Equally important, however, are her rhymes and poems for children. Mahy’s works are known to children and young adults all over the world.
Source: IBBY Announces the Winners of the Hans Christian Andersen Awards 2006, 27 March 2006
The ten books submitted to the Hans Christian Andersen Jury were:
- The haunting
- The changeover - a supernatural romance
- The catalogue of the universe
- Maddigan’s Fantasia
- A lion in the meadow
- The man whose mother was a pirate
- The great white man-eating shark
- The girl who washed in moonlight
This list comprised five novels published over a span of 25 years, three picture books from 1969 to the present, and one school reader.
Sir Julius Vogel Award for Services to Science Fiction and Fantasy
The Sir Julius Vogel Awards are awarded each year at the New Zealand National Science Fiction Convention to recognise achievement in New Zealand science fiction, fantasy, horror, and fandom. Margaret won the Services to Science Fiction and Fantasy award for her body of work.
The Phoenix Award
The tricksters won the Canadian Children’s Literature Association award which is presented annually to a book that has been published 20 years ago and was not recognised by a major award at the time of its publication.
Margaret Mahy won The Prime Minister’s Award for Literary Achievement in fiction.
Prime Minister’s Literary Awards
The Prime Minister’s Award for Literary Achievement in FICTION for 2005 is going to a writer who has brought magic, humour, and joy into many a young (and older!) life. She, too, has been writing for nearly half a century. She acquired a well-deserved worldwide reputation as an accomplished writer of children’s fiction with the overseas publication of her first children’s picture book in 1969.
Margaret Mahy won the Icon Artist award that honours the living Icons of New Zealand arts.
MARGARET MAHY, a household name in New Zealand, is a prolific writer of children’s books, which have been translated into fifteen different languages. Margaret has won many New Zealand and international awards for her writing and some of her stories have been adapted for television both in New Zealand and Australia.
Source: AFNZ Update, 14 July 2005
Honorary Doctorate from Waikato University
Margaret Mahy received an honorary doctorate from Waikato University.
The university says the award is in recognition of her national and international reputation as a writer of fiction for children and young adults. In awarding her this honorary doctorate the university is proud to add to her accolades, recognising her enormous value to the literary, creative and educational world, the university said in its citation. Larger than life, often appearing in a green or multi-coloured wig, she is without doubt the most well-known, most widely-read and most enjoyed New Zealand writer.
Source: The Press, Christchurch, 20 April 2005
The Phoenix Award
The catalogue of the universe won the Canadian Children’s Literature Association award which is presented annually to a book that has been published 20 years ago and was not recognised by a major award at the time of its publication.
Margaret Mahy became Margaret Mahy, ONZ when she became a Member of The Order of New Zealand on Saturday 6 February 1993.
Margaret Mahy, born 1936, is one of New Zealand’s greatest authors of children’s literature and is regarded as one of the best authors of English books for children in the world. As well as writing many prolific, popular, and award winning books, she has written scripts for television and is a playwright and storyteller. In addition, she has made a significant contribution to children’s education. She has been involved extensively with the Writers-in-Schools Scheme and over the years, her wild and colourful imagination has produced timeless stories which have influenced and encouraged many New Zealand children and young adults to read. Many of her well-known titles continue to enhearten readers to this day and are still read some 20 years after they were first published.
Prize winning titles
A lion in the meadow
Esther Glen Award 1970
The First Margaret Mahy story book
Esther Glen Award 1973
Carnegie Medal 1982
Esther Glen Award 1982
Esther Glen Award 1985
Carnegie Medal 1984
AIM Children’s Book Awards 1993
Esther Glen Award 1993
A summery Saturday morning
New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards 1999, Picture Book
A villain’s night out
New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards 2000, Junior Fiction Honour Award
New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards 2001 Senior Fiction Honour Award
Esther Glen Award 2001: NZ Library and Information Association
Judge’s comment: "In this edgy, luminous narrative Mahy captures many layers and strands of experience and compresses them into a brief intersection of lives. She casts light onto the complexities, uncertainties and rich potential of human existence."
New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards 2003, Senior Fiction
Awards judge broadcaster Kim Hill praised Alchemy for "incorporating some fairly erudite philosophical concepts" without losing sight of the characters’ humanity. Stuff.co.nz, 9 April 2003.
The catalogue of the universe
Canadian Children’s Literature Association Phoenix Award, 2005