Annual is a miscellany of New Zealand writing and illustration for readers between 9–12 years. We wanted to create a publication with high-quality, varied, challenging, and irreverent material across a range of forms, for an audience we believe is discerning, sophisticated, multi-literate, and hungry for good material. We wanted to produce a book that was markedly different to ‘series’ fiction and the other homogonous titles that currently dominate pre-teen publishing.
We also wanted to challenge some of the prevailing notions about what might be ‘suitable’ for this age group, and who might best provide it. Alongside established children's authors, we commissioned writers and artists who'd not previously produced work for young readers. We commissioned essays, satire and art commentary, too – forms new to most young readers.
Our secondary aim was to build a publication where new writers and illustrators could publish early work – an intermediary platform to bring promising writers to readers' attention. In short, we wanted to revitalise the reading experience for New Zealand readers in this age group and provide an ongoing publishing opportunity for writers and illustrators.
Annual's content is all commissioned – the best way to ensure a balance of genders, geography, ethnicity, rural/urban experience, and create a publication that reached as many kinds of NZ children and their famiies as possible.
About the editors:
Kate De Goldi has been reviewing and discussing children's literature on National Radio for the last eighteen years. She works with children and teachers in schools throughout New Zealand, promoting reading and teaching creative writing. She is a regular speaker on children's litearture at conferences and festivals. She writes fiction for all ages and has published ten books.
Susan Paris has 18 years experience in publishing, and has been editor of the School Journal for over a decade, producing more than forty Journals. Under her stewardship, the School Journal has won Best Publication in New Zealand educational publishing for the last three years. Susan has a long-term immersion in children's literature, as reviewer and writer. She has written more than forty chapter books for the international education market.