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Welcome    'They' as a singular pronoun 
  George RR Martin denies being dead after George Martin dies
Comic / Graphic News
   Transmetropolitan: the 90s comic that's bang up-to-date on Donald Trump
Digital Files
  Complete Prose of James K. Baxter digitised for free access
NWF - conference for writers
Events / Book Launches / Workshops
Bestsellers from Nielsen BookScan
Writers on Radio and TV

Welcome to the Literary Bulletin

By popular request, Death by Deadline is back in the Literary Bulletin. Use it to check out deadlines and to link through to opportunity info.

March is a busy month for Literary Festival's, we hope many of you get the chance to enjoy the treats in store.

If you are in Wellington you will be enjoying Writers Week, pop along to the Janet Frame Memorial Lecture at 12 noon Saturday at City Gallery. The address is delivered by our President of Honour Philip Temple.

Coming up this month also is the Ruapehu Writers Festival 2016 - what a great location!

All the best
Jackie Dennis and Claire Hill

New Chair for Copyright Licensing New Zealand (CLNZ)

Copyright Licensing New Zealand has announced the appointment of Dunedin crime writer Vanda Symon to the position of Chair of the Board. Ms Symon takes over from Adrian Keane, Owner and Chief Executive of Edify Ltd, who has held the position since 2012.
CEO of CLNZ, Paula Browning, says the appointment of an author of Ms Symon’s experience and international success is timely given the strategic challenge facing CLNZ in the short to mid-term.
“The government is currently undertaking a study of the creative industries use of copyright and design. It is critical that the report produced by the study recognizes the importance of creators – writers, musicians, artists and others - and their absolute right to earn a living from their work. CLNZ being led by someone with Vanda’s vast knowledge of the business of writing is vital for the organisation to succeed in influencing future government policy.” More

2016 Storylines Margaret Mahy Medal winner

Award-winning Wellington writer, literary agent and NZSA member Barbara Else has been named the 2016 winner of the Storylines Margaret Mahy Medal, New Zealand’s top award for children’s writers and illustrators. Barbara is currently in Dunedin as holder of the University of Otago’s residency for children’s writers. She has written four children’s novels, and edited nine top-selling anthologies of short stories for young and teenage readers, providing the readers with a huge variety of new stories and new writers with publishing opportunities.

Barbara will be presented with her Medal and give the annual Margaret Mahy lecture on Sunday 3 April. Read more. The full news release can be read here. Read Barbara's profile here.

Vivienne Plumb to be 2016 University of Auckland Writer in Residence at the MKWC

Congratulations to Vivienne Plumb who has been awarded the six-month University of Auckland Residency at the Michael King Writers Centre for a work of creative non-fiction. The residency will commence in July 2016. 

NZSA member and mentor Vivienne Plumb writes fiction, poetry and drama, and has published over fifteen books including her novella The Diary as a Positive in Female Adult Behaviour (to be republished during 2016). A joint collection of Vivienne’s fiction, poetry and drama, and of the Auckland artist Glenn Otto’s images, is to be published during 2016 by the Auckland-based split/fountain publishing. More

2016 Grimshaw Sargeson Fellowship announced

Dunedin based writer and NZSA member Breton Dukes will share the 2016 Grimshaw Sargeson Fellowship with writer and journalist Diana Wichtel. Breton will be using the fellowship to work on his first novel. Diana will be using the fellowship to work on a memoir exploring the impact of the Holocaust on her own family history.

Now in its 30th year, the Fellowship is a national literary award offering published New Zealand writers, both here and overseas, the opportunity to focus on their craft full-time, providing an annual stipend of $20,000 and tenure at the Sargeson Centre in Auckland.

Previous winners include Alan Duff, Michael King, Marilyn Duckworth, and Janet Frame. In 2015 the fellowship was awarded to Robert Glancy and Duncan Sarkies. More

New Writers Profile Feature on

Visitors to our website can now search for a writer by name, skill and / or genre. This new search feature is in response to some of the feedback we received from members when the website was first launched.

Using your profile on the website is a great way to promote yourself and your skills, so we recommend you update your writer profile, especially if you haven't done it since we launched the new website. But have a look anyway as this week we have added more genres and skills. For tips on updating your profile go to How to guide for members.

David Hill and Anna Smaill to attend Bookworm Literary Festival - China

NZSA members David Hill and Anna Smaill will be attending the Bookworm Literary Festival in China, during March.

They will join other international and local writers for the festival which is in its tenth year and takes place in Beijing, Chengdu, Suzhou, Ningbo and Shanghai. More

Ockham New Zealand Book Awards Finalists Announced

Wellington writer David Coventry's first novel is a finalist in the country’s most prestigious book awards, rubbing shoulders with literary heavyweights, all contenders to win the new $50,000 Acorn Foundation Literary Award.
David Coventry, whose debut book The Invisible Mile, about a New Zealander who in 1928 rode with the first English-speaking Tour de France team, is one of four Fiction category finalists in the 2016 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards, as are the distinguished novelist Patricia Grace (Chappy), Emeritus Professor Patrick Evans (The Back of His Head) and Stephen Daisley (Coming Rain).
A total of 16 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards finalists have been announced, after a year-long hiatus that sees the awards return with new sponsorship, increased prize money, and a winners’ ceremony open to the public as part of the Auckland Writers Festival. To read the full list of finalists.

PEN Matters



For 27 years, past PEN President, Salman Rushdie has lived with a fatwa issued against him by Ayatollah Khomeini. Rushdie was accused of blasphemy for his work, Satanic Verses, and the fatwa ordered that Rushdie be killed. Now, 27 years later the fatwa has been awakened with a bounty ($600,000 USD) being raised by Iranian media outlets to reinforce the longstanding fatwa. This is in addition to the already $2.8 m offered. PEN America, PEN International, and English PEN call for Western governments currently expanding their relations with Tehran ‘to insist that the Iranian government nullify its threat and bounty’ and ‘disavow the fatwa’ once and for all.   

Rushie has been an outspoken and passionate defender of the right to free speech for writers worldwide. more

For further information on PEN or any issues or concerns raised above please contact Dana Wensley, PEN Representative for NZ at

Flash Fiction - February dance issue

The opening issue of 2016, the February dance issue, has been guest edited by Elizabeth Smither and James Norcliffe -- who are also this year's National Flash Fiction Day competition judges. Elizabeth and James shared their insights after reading and selecting stories for this issue. They've also had an extensive talk with Rebecca Styles

For more Flash Fiction news.

40 years of Titirangi Poets - reaching out

This is the 40th year since the founding of The Titirangi Poets, which now meets between 2 - 4 pm on the second Sunday of each month.

Titirangi Poets are most interested in hearing from poets who attended any of The Titirangi Poets meetings over the last forty years. Responses either to Piers Davies or Ron Riddell at: riddell.ron@gmail or

TPP - Submissions open regarding intellectual property changes

On 9 March 2016, the Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs announced the release of a consultation document that seeks feedback on how the Government proposes to implement the intellectual property changes required to ratify the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement.

The consultation document focuses on those areas where New Zealand has some flexibility in how it implements its TPP intellectual property obligations. These include:

  • a revised regime for the protections of technological protection measures
  • a more extensive regime for performers’ rights
  • patent term extensions to compensate for any unreasonable delays in patent grants
  • patent term extensions to compensate for any unreasonable delay as a result of Medsafe’s marketing approval process
  • new powers for Customs to detain goods that are suspected of infringing copyright or trade marks.
To make a submission go to the TPP Intellectual Property implementation page. Deadline is Wednesday 30 March.

Death by Deadline

28 NorthWrite 2016 Competition for Northland Writers. More
31  Au Contraire 2016 – Short Story Competition. More
31  2016 Ashton Wylie Charitable Trust Literary Awards. More

1  NZSA Youth Mentor Programme. More
1  PLAYWRIGHTS b4 25. More
1  2016 Page & Blackmore Short Story Competition. More
11 2016 ABR Elizabeth Jolley Short Story Prize. More
29 MANIFESTO. A political anthology. Call for submissions. More
30 10-Minute Play Competition 2016. More
30 The 2016 National Flash Fiction Day. More

01 PEN International New Voices Award. More
19 Fast fibres poetry 3 Call for submissions. More
19 Prime Minister's Award for Literary Achievement. More
22 Te Papa Tupu Writing Incubator. More
27 NZSA CompleteMS assessment programme. More
31 The NZ Poetry Society’s Annual International Poetry Competition. More
31 THE PROVERSE PRIZE 2016. (sent to Hong Kong or UK) More
31 Atlas – new medical literary journal call for submissions. More

12 International Bath Flash Fiction Award. More
30 THE PROVERSE PRIZE 2016. (sent to Europe) More

27 Elyne Mitchell Writers Award. More 

31 The Aesthetica Creative Writing Award 2016. More

27 NZSA Janet Frame Memorial Award For Literature. More

2016 Ashton Wylie Charitable Trust Literary Awards

Writers working in the mind, body and spirit genre have until 31 March to enter the 2016 Ashton Wylie Charitable Trust Literary Awards.

There are two award’s categories: Books and Unpublished Manuscripts. The winner in each category receives a $10,000 prize.

Spokesperson for The Ashton Wylie Charitable Trust, Adonia Wylie says the judging panel is looking for fiction or non-fiction works that have the potential to uplift and enhance people, relationships and society.  “We enjoy reading works that extend our knowledge of the genre and we would like to encourage all writers interested in the growing mind, body, spirit to enter.  Authorship and editing, and in the case of published books, quality of production such as design and typography will be important considerations.”  

The awards are unique in the country for their encouragement of writing in the mind, body, spirit field.  

For the published category books must be published between 1 April 2015 -31 March 2016. 

Shortlisted writers will be announced mid-July and the award winners will be announced at a ceremony in Auckland on 19 August, 2015.

Submission forms and entry details are available here.

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Clippings from the Internet

'They' as a singular pronoun

Extract from post on the American Dialect Soicety website - In its 26th annual words of the year vote, the American Dialect Society voted for they used as a gender-neutral singular pronoun as the Word of the Year for 2015. 

They was recognized by the society for its emerging use as a pronoun to refer to a known person, often as a conscious choice by a person rejecting the traditional gender binary of he and she. More

George RR Martin denies being dead after George Martin dies

Extract from Alison Flood in the Guardian - Following panic from Game of Thrones fans in the wake of Beatles producer George Martin’s death, author insists his own passing has been exaggerated. Fantasy author George RR Martin was moved to reassure his fans on Wednesday that rumours buzzing around the web that he had died “have been greatly exaggerated”. His invocation of Mark Twain’s famous quote followed news that the Beatles producer George Martin had actually passed on that had panicked come hasty readers. More

Comic / Graphic News


Transmetropolitan: the 90s comic that's bang up-to-date on Donald Trump

Extract from article by Damien Walter in the Guardian - Warren Ellis’s series is 20 years old, set 200 years in the future – and tells you everything about the 2016 US presidential race.

Comics have been quietly doing politics for decades. Loudly and brightly satirising political elites can’t of course be considered quiet, but somehow the political voice of comics, long available to all, has been overlooked by mainstream culture. In the 80s and 90s, 2000AD and Judge Dredd took Thatcherism to task and Alan Moore’s Watchmen smuggled blatant anti-capitalism into superhero comics. More

Digital Files


Complete Prose of James K. Baxter digitised for free access

A lifetime of prose by celebrated New Zealand writer James K. Baxter covering over a million words and four hefty hardback books is being released free on the internet by Victoria University.

Baxter’s prose is now accessible through the NZETC (New Zealand Electronic Text Centre), Victoria University’s large and ever-growing digital resource comprising historical texts, manuscripts, and contemporary texts. More

NWF - Writers, save the date! 

The National Writers Forum is an exciting new event on New Zealand’s literary calendar. It is for people who write – books, graphic novels, poetry, flash-fiction and interactive forms.

It is a two day intensive where writers will talk, learn and share information about the craft of writing and the business of getting published – traditional, hybrid and indie – print and digital. It will discuss the prospects for writers in the new democracy of the digital world and the state of play in New Zealand right now.
Venue is University of Auckland.

If you have a business, product or service you would like to promote consider becoming a supporting partner, sponsor or exhibitor at the National Writers Forum. Find out about all the sponsorship options here.



The Calendar of Opportunities is found on our website. 

  • Opportunities are displayed in calendar or list form (together with events). 
  • Opportunities are only visible to members! To see opportunities on the website you need to log in using your email address and website password.
  • To find opportunities in your area, visit your branch page.
  • Beware! The listing appears on the deadline date.

Events / Book Launches / Workshops


Events are found on our website

  • You can see Events in calendar or list form (together with opportunities). 
  • To find all events and book launches go here.
  • To find events in your area, visit your branch page.

Bestsellers from Nielsen BookScan

Latest Nielsen Bestseller reports: Bestsellers Chart - fiction, non fiction, adults, children & Independent Booksellers Top 20

Writers on Radio and TV

Click here to see the lineup for upcoming Books on Radio New Zealand National.

Here's a direct link to Books on Saturday Morning

Copyright © 2016 NZSA, All rights reserved. This e-news is distributed fortnightly. The information included and views expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of The New Zealand Society of Authors (PEN NZ Inc). 
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