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NZSA Waitangi Day Honour 2017 awarded to poet Selina Tusitala Marsh
Catriona Ferguson (CEO of NZ Book Council) takes on new role at PANZ
Help us protect copyright for New Zealand authors
Same same but different writers festival - 17-18 Feb, Auckland
Congratulations to Time Out Bookstore
Creative Writing Dunedin Courses 2017
Flash in Aotearoa: NFFD 2017 competition is open!
How much does it cost to self-publish a book?
   PEN: Asia- Pacific Centres’ Meeting
   The Role of Broadcasting in Democracy
2017 Ashton Wylie Charitable Trust Literary Awards
Clippings from the Internet
   I cannot write about the past unless I go where history happened
   The female werewolf and her shaggy suffragette sisters
Comic News
   Cartoonist Amy Kurzweil on drawing inherited trauma
Digital Files
   For the Love of Writers: A Heartthrob Romances the Radish
   Microsoft Says We Need a "Digital" Geneva Convention
Want to start a writing group?
Bestsellers from Nielsen BookScan
Writers on Radio and TV

Welcome to the Literary Bulletin

Claire and I have been busy reviewing our data management systems this week with some experts in the field spending time in the office with us. We are about to select a new system to manage our membership database, which needs to connect with the website and Xero - so we wanted to get it right. Although they have yet to give us a full report, on the day they were very impressed by  the statistics from our Literary Bulletin: we have an extremely high open rate and click rate. No fibbing or fudging, they were looking at our actual statistics in mailchimp and it shows rock solid proof that our membership is highly engaged. Enjoy this weeks edition of the Bulletin and have a lovely weekend.

Jackie Dennis and Claire Hill at your National Office

NZSA Waitangi Day Honour 2017 awarded to poet Selina Tusitala Marsh

Acclaimed poet and scholar, Selina Tusitala Marsh, has been made Honorary Literary Fellow in the New Zealand Society of Authors’ annual Waitangi Day Honours.  “As the country’s largest writers’ organisation, we believe it’s important to celebrate significant literary achievements, especially on the international stage,” said NZSA President, Kyle Mewburn. “Each year more and more Kiwi writers are achieving exceptional things internationally. Last year was no exception.” 

“As 2016’s Commonwealth Poet, this year’s NZSA Literary Fellow, Selina Tusitala Marsh, was able to share her unique and powerful voice with the world. This included a memorable performance before the Queen at the Commonwealth Day of Observance in Westminster Abbey, which placed the diversity of our local poetry in the international spotlight,” Mewburn said.

“Fa’afetai tele lava for this lovely acknowledgment,” said Tusitala Marsh. “The wondrous thing about a poem is that it’s an ‘ala’ – the proto-Polynesian word for ‘path’. As a ‘Tusitala’ my poems are paths between cultures and world views. In 2016 a poem found its way into Westminster Abbey connecting my Tuvalu grandfather with the Queen of England, Samoan philosophy with global ecology, and a New Zealand Fast Talking PI poet with the Commonwealth. How marvellous is that? Here’s to paving more poetic paths!”

First introduced in 2013, the NZSA’s Waitangi Day Honours celebrate success on the international stage. “As the only writing awards bestowed by peers, they have become a highly regarded and prestigious honour,” Mewburn said. Previous winners include Eleanor Catton, Paul Cleave and Philip Mann.

Catriona Ferguson leaves NZ Book Council to take new role at PANZ

The New Zealand Book Council have paid tribute to Catriona Ferguson who has resigned from the Book Council after four and a half years as CEO.

Catriona is leaving the Book Council to take up the role of Association Director at Publishers Association of New Zealand. More

Help us protect copyright for New Zealand authors

There is a move to promote a more open approach to Intellectual Property rights and activities by certain organisations in New Zealand as we move towards a review of the New Zealand copyright legislation.

Internet NZ is holding the following public event about Copyright at University of Auckland Tue 21 Feb at 6pm: with some big international speakers. I shall be going  - but I encourage you to get along as well if you can (RSVP was yesterday but you still may be able to register interest). It is very important that the voice of content creators is heard at these sorts of events.

For those who cannot attend, this event will be live-streamed. The live-stream link will be posted on the day at this URL:

Jackie Dennis

Same same but different writers festival - 17-18 Feb, Auckland

Head to AUT this weekend for a two-day event that celebrates thinking, ideas, writing and sharing conversation among LGBTQI people.

The winner of the James Wallace short story competition will be announced at the festival on Saturday evening. Shortlisted for the competition is NZSA member Geoff Allen - congratulations on reaching the shortlist Geoff! More

Congratulations to Time Out Bookstore

Time Out Bookstore - a local and independent book store in Auckland's Mt Eden has been shortlisted alongside Exclusive Books (South Africa) and Shakespeare and Company (France) for Bookstore of the Year at The London Book Fair.

The winner is announced at the awards ceremony on March 14th. You can read the press release here.

Creative Writing Dunedin Courses 2017

Creative Writing Dunedin offers a range of online and face to face courses throughout the year covering fiction, poetry and memoir. Enrol online. 
  • Finding Your Voice: Fortnightly Starts Tues 28 February 7-9pm, $450
  • Tools for Storytelling: Fortnightly Starts Tues 1 Aug 7-9pm, $550
  • Writing Your Life: Fortnightly Starts Tues 28 February 10am-12pm, $450
  • Making Fine Poems: Fortnightly Starts Tues 1 Aug 10am -12pm, $450
  • Manuscript 2 Class: Monthly Starts Thurs 9 Mar, 7.00-9.30 pm, $520
  • Discounts for Early Bird Payments and Returning Students
Plus Saturday classes:
  • Stimulating the Muse: Saturday 11 March, 10.30am-3.30pm, $50
  • Taking Reality by Surprise: Saturday 6 May, 10.30am-3.30pm, $50
  • Flash Fiction/ Nonfiction: Saturday 29 July, 10.30am-3.30pm, $50
  • Best Words/ Best Order: Saturday 23 September, 10.30am-3.30pm, $50
  • Finding Your Voice: Starts 20 February, $450
  • Tools for Storytelling: Starts 3 July, $450
  • Writing Your Life: Starts 20 February, $450
  • Making Fine Poems: Starts 3 July, $450
  • Discounts for Early Bird Payments and Returning Students
Course tutor is experienced teacher Diane Brown, award winning poet, novelist and memoirist.     email:     PH 027 477 1216, (03) 477 4477            
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Flash in Aotearoa: NFFD 2017 competition is open!

The 2017 National Flash Fiction Day runs February 15 – April 30. Send your best 300-word story * Cash prizes * Two categories this year:

Adult (19+) First Prize: $1000, Second Prize: $400, Third Prize: $100
Judges: Michael Harlow and Emma Neale
Youth (18 and under) First Prize: $200, Second Prize: $100, Third Prize: $50
Judges: Fleur Beale and Heather McQuillan

Winners will be announced June 22 at the NFFD celebrations, and all winners are invited to attend and share their stories. NFFD 2017 in Christchurch, Dunedin, Wellington, Auckland, Northland. 
Competition entry details here

How much does it cost to self-publish a book?

Reedsy (a US-based international site that hosts a 'curated marketplace' for authors to find editors, designers and publicists) recently published the results of a survey into the costs of self-publishing.

The costings listed are global and give fascinating insight into average costs for such services as copy editing, proofreading, book cover design, and editorial assessment. Read about the cost of self-publishing. Read about the cost of cover design.

PEN International


PEN: Asia- Pacific Centres’ Meeting

The Asia-Pacific Centres’ Meeting will take place on the 24th-25th April. The meeting is in partnership with the literary organisation Sangam House and the Indian Institute for Human Settlements (IIHS). The agenda includes sessions on the Donostia Protocol to ensure language rights and PEN’s Culture’s Oxygen (UNESCO Report) which will be officially launched and sent to all Centres later this month. Pen (NZ) does not have funding to attend, but if anyone is interested please contact Dana Wensley for links to the agenda.

The Role of Broadcasting in Democracy

A crowd funded investigation into the state of broadcasting in NZ has been launched by ActionStation and the Coalition for Better Broadcasting. A series of panels around the country will be held in February and March. For information on the new initiative and details of Workshops (and how to make online submissions) visit

Email PEN spokesperson Dana Wensley at for any issues to do with Freedom of Expression and Writers In Prison co-ordinator Lesley Marshall if you would like to be part of the Writers in Prison letter writing team.

2017 Ashton Wylie Charitable Trust Literary Awards

Writers working in the Mind Body Spirit genre have until 31 March to enter the 2017 Ashton Wylie Charitable Trust Literary Awards.

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

Spokesperson for the 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.
“It is extremely pleasing to reward talented established and emerging writers. We very much look forward to reading this year’s entries.”

The awards are unique in the country for their encouragement of writing in the Mind, Body, Spirit genre.

For the Book category, works must be published between 1 April 2016 and 31 March 2017. Shortlisted writers will be announced mid-July and the award winners will be announced at a ceremony in Auckland in August, 2017.

Submission forms and entry details are available from
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Clippings from the internet

‘I cannot write about the past unless I go where history happened’ : 
Bettany Hughes

My father, who is now 94, was an actor. The prime thing he taught us as children was to walk through the world with our eyes open. I don’t remember him telling me, I just remember knowing. So as soon as I wake, I look and I think. Sometimes at night I think, too – and that is usually a bad thing. Dragged thoughts from half-shut eyes are diabolic or diminished creatures – growling with anxiety or, in the morning, punier than you imagined them to be. Extract from the Guardian. More

The female werewolf and her shaggy suffragette sisters 

As Melbourne lights up for tomorrow’s White Night Festival, the façade of RMIT’s Storey Hall annex will transform into an illuminated billboard of morphing lupine femmes. The portraits - original linocuts of female werewolves - might seem curious bedfellows for a Melbourne icon of deconstructivism. However, there is a long connection between female werewolves and suffragettes - and this building has a feminist history. Extract from The Conversation - Friday Essay. More

Comics News

Cartoonist Amy Kurzweil on drawing inherited trauma

Amy Kurzweil’s first book Flying Couch examines one particularly divisive topic for modern Jews: How can we both remember and forget a traumatic family history? Flying Couch, a graphic memoir in the mold of other feminist manifestos like Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi and Are You My Mother? by Alison Bechdel, portrays the story of three generations of women—Kurzweil’s grandmother (Bubbe), Kurzweil’s mother, and Kurzweil, herself—and offers a type of answer. Extract from article by Julia Purcell in the Lit Hub. More

Digital Files

For the Love of Writers: A Heartthrob Romances the Radish

If you’re just becoming aware of the writing-and-reading startup for serialized fiction called Radish, it’s no accident.“Since we launched on Valentine’s Day of 2016,” says Paul Baek, “we’ve considered Radish a beta. We wanted to prove that a concept of micropayments for writers could work, could result in writers making a living. It was a classic example of wanting to ‘under-promise and over-deliver.'” Extract from article by Porter Anderson in Publishing Perspectives. More

Microsoft Says We Need a "Digital" Geneva Convention

Responding to the rise in nation-state cybersecurity attacks This year's RSA Conference in San Francisco brings the world's security professionals together to discuss cybersecurity at a critical time. The past year has witnessed not just the growth of cybercrime, but a proliferation in cyberattacks that is both new and disconcerting. More 

Want to start a writing group?


Suffering from a dearth of writing groups in your area? Reach out to local NZSA members and start your own writing group!
Log in to our website to put a call out for a new writing group and / or view the list of writing group call outs.

Death by Deadline

17 International Art and Design Publishing Prize. More
28 Sponge. More
28 Poems in the Waiting Room competition More

1  Fulbright-Creative New Zealand Pacific Writer’s Residency. More
10 Creative NZ Arts Grant. More
10 Berlin Writer's Residency. More
10 Michael King Writer’s Fellowship. More
10 Louis Johnson New Writer's Bursary. More
20 Invitation to Oxford Education Research Symposium. More
31 Writer of the City of Gaz. More
31 Flash Frontier April issue More
31 Ashton Wylie Charitable Trust Mind Body Spirit Literature Awards. More

1  Page & Blackmore Short Story competition. More
30 NFFD 2017 Competition. More
30 PANZ Play competition. More

19 Kindle UK Storyteller Award. More

31 Aesthetica Creative Writing Award. More



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


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 for the lineup for upcoming Books on Radio New Zealand National.


Here's a direct link to Books on Saturday Morning

Copyright © 2017 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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