Toitoi Media publishes Toitoi, a quarterly journal of creative writing and artwork by New Zealand children ages 5-13. It celebrates the creative spirit of young New Zealanders, with the belief that their work has purpose and deserves a wide audience. The journal, as well its special editions and anthologies, publishes material that reflects the cultures and experiences of life in New Zealand. Each piece of artwork and writing carries an original and authentic voice that other young people can connect to and be inspired by.
Toitoi has received multiple awards for its excellent design, and won Best Primary Resource in 2016 at the NZ Content Counts Education Awards. Teacher support materials are provided for every issue of the journal.
- Toitoi Media has been commended by Copyright Licensing NZ for championing children’s creativity and respecting the rights of young writers and artists. The Toitoi team have also received a number of awards:
- Toitoi quarterly journal was named a winner at PANZ Book Design Awards 2020
- The Jillion was a finalist in the PANZ Book Design Awards 2019
- Toitoi was a recipient of the 2017 Copyright Licensing Contestable Fund Investments
- Toitoi was a finalist in the Best Design Awards 2017
- Toitoi was named Best Primary Resource in the NZ Content Counts Education Awards 2016
Toitoi began in 2015 and is published quarterly, with a new issue released in every New Zealand school term. The philosophy behind Toitoi is to treat young writers and artists with respect, handle their work with care and produce a beautifully designed journal of high quality that reflects how their work should be valued and admired. Teachers love using the journal in the classroom as it offers great exemplars of writing and art, and inspires their students. It provides students with a purpose and a real audience, creating an empowering space where they see that their work is valued as much as books by their literary and artistic heroes. Toitoi is available in bookshops and libraries throughout New Zealand, and it has now published over 2,000 young kiwi artists and writers.
The Jillion is a collection of incredible work from Toitoi issues 1-12. Written and illustrated by New Zealand’s young writers and artists ages 5-13, The Jillion is a celebration of their curiosity, courage and creativity. The second anthology, Jillion 2, marks the very special milestone of 2000 young published writers and artists, bringing together a selection of some of the amazing writing and art from Toitoi issues 13-24. Like the first anthology, it is a beautifully-produced hardcover book of 300+ pages, complete with ribbons. The two anthologies serve as keepsakes or reference books for teachers, parents, and students, or an excellent introduction to Toitoi material for those unfamiliar with the quarterly journal.
Toitoi has two special issues, commissioned by the Latin America Centre for Asia-Pacific Excellence (LATAMCAPE) and the Southeast Asia Centre for Asia-Pacific Excellence (SEACAPE) respectively. Each poem or story in the journals is published in two languages – English and a language of the Asia-Pacific or Latin America – due to the involvement of expert translators from the School of Languages and Cultures at Victoria University of Wellington. The resulting multilingual publications feature English as well as 14 other languages: Brazilian Portuguese, Spanish, Bahasa Indonesian, Balinese, Burmese, Khmer, Lao, Malay, Tagalog, Tamil, Thai, te reo Māori, Tetum and Vietnamese. Copies were delivered free to every primary school, intermediate school, and public library in New Zealand.
At the time of publication, Toitoi Media partnered with the National Library of New Zealand to host workshops across the country in order to help educators find ways to engage their students in learning and creativity. The National Library curated resources about Latin America and Southeast Asia on their online Topic Explorer site, and teacher support materials provided ideas for the classroom – all with the aim of learning about other cultures (or sharing students’ own cultures with their peers). In turn, students created stories, poems and artwork for potential publication in Toitoi.