This week I had a wonderful surprise when the longlist for the inaugural DANZ children’s book awards were announced and I found The Rebels of Mount Buffalo on the middle-grade longlist!
The DANZ Children’s Book Award, launched for 2024, stands for The Diversity in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand Children’s Book Award. It has been created to “recognise, award, and celebrate diverse children’s fiction. This means a children’s book published in Australia or New Zealand which pushes boundaries, challenges stereotypes, and celebrates diverse and marginalised people and communities.”
For the Awards, diversity can include disability, culture, class, LGBTQI, race, and religion. The diversity portrayed in the book and under which the book is entered must be relevant, obvious, and important to the story. Authors are not required to identify as “diverse” themselves; however, the submitted work must be sensitively and authentically written without using offensive, inaccurate, harmful, and insensitive tropes and representation. The judging process will be thorough and critical in this regard. The award looks for something new, for inclusivity, and mostly for the celebration of minority people and voices.
The DANZ Award brings Australia and New Zealand in-line with the UK and US who have been successfully running awards such as The Diverse Book Awards, Jhalak Prize, Little Rebels, and The Walter Awards for many years. The award does not exist to replace or compete with other established children’s book awards in Australia and New Zealand, but to complement them and shine a spotlight on the right kind of diverse representation.
I’m absolutely honoured that The Rebels of Mount Buffalo has been selected in the middle-grade longlist alongside an incredible group of books and authors! And to make it even more special, the awards are judged by children from all backgrounds and ages who live in Australia and New Zealand.
Thank you to all involved!
Diversity in children’s stories is something that I and my publisher Riveted Press are passionate about so it’s incredibly exciting to see a new award that “celebrates positive, ground-breaking, inclusive diversity in children’s literature and brings awareness and much-needed attention to the wonderful books which offer mirrors, windows, and sliding doors, and organically build empathy, understanding, and encouragement to children from all walks of life”.
You can find out more about DANZ on their website
Congratulations to all the long listed authors across all categories. It is a special moment as a debut author to have The Rebels of Mount Buffalo selected on this amazing list of books.
Thank you to everyone who has supported The Rebels of Mount Buffalo so far. I look forward to what’s ahead for Clara and Alice and their adventures in time in 2024.