Margaret Mahy Illustration Prize shortlist announced for 2023

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Hachette Aotearoa New Zealand has announced the Margaret Mahy Illustration Prize for 2023

Now in its fifth year, the Margaret Mahy Illustration Prize has established itself as one of the most successful illustration prizes in the country; with the previous winners all publishing with Hachette Aotearoa NZ. For more information on these books, visit

In addition, eight contracts have been signed by runners-up for 2024 Hachette Aotearoa New Zealand publications.

A record breaking number of expressions of interest to illustrate this year’s title Seventeen Kings and Forty-Two Elephants were received — the highest ever number of submissions.

Bridget Mahy, from the Margaret Mahy Estate and one of the competition judges says of the 2023 submissions, “Overall, the art was stunning this year.  There was so much diversity in translating Margaret’s words on to the page, but every single piece of art submitted was joyous to look at”.  

The winner of the Margaret Mahy Illustration Prize 2023 will be announced at 12 noon Thursday 24th August. **The Margaret Mahy Illustration Prize Shortlist 2023:**

Alba Gil CeldranJudges comment: "The illustrator used the shape of the whole image on her page so there was a sense of curve and flow. The placement of text was so purposeful, and her use of humour lovely. It was mesmerising” 

Grant MacDonaldJudges comment: “What an atmospheric entry! I loved Grant's illustration style and distinctive choice of colour palate. The sense of movement and travel through the spreads and pages was incredible”. 

Matthew HockJudges comment: "'I loved the wonderful humour in the animals. It really brings life to the illustrations. I could look at it these illustrations all day and keep seeing more. It’s so vibrant and detailed”.

The Margaret Mahy Illustration Prize was launched in 2019. Christchurch based illustrator Sarah Greig was awarded the inaugural prize for her submission for The Boy With Two Shadows which was published in October 2020

Winner 2020 – Illustrator Lily Emo The Boy Who Made Things UpWinner 2021 – Illustrator Minrui Yang for There’s a King in the CupboardWinner - 2022 - Illustrator Jessica Twohill for The Witch in the Cherry Tree

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