NZSA enews - latest news, opportunities and events
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Welcome to this week's enews

If you are on Facebook you may have received a friend request from Jackie Hill this week and wondered who Jackie Hill is. She is NZSA Staff - both of us. We needed a Facebook page to link the NZ Society of Authors group to. If you didn't, find us and friend us or go straight to the NZ Society of Authors group page, and you will be kept up to date with news and chatter (but not too much) from National Office. You can also 'like' NZ Book Week page.

Applications for the Lilian Ida Smith award close Friday 30 October,  Hachette Mentorship program is open until Monday 9 November and applications for our Creative NZ funded mentorship programme will open 20 November.

Enjoy this weeks e-news.
All the best
Jackie Dennis and Claire Hill

NZSA BOOK WEEK 26 Oct - 1 Nov

How you can make NZ Book Week matter

 - read a book written by a New Zealand writer and if you enjoyed it - shout out about it
 - buy a book written by a New Zealand writer - choose one published recently
 - give a gift of a book written by a New Zealand writer - one that you read and loved
 - publicly celebrate your favourite books written by New Zealand writers
 - photograph a section of your bookcase full of books written by NZ writers and post on facebook NZ Book Week
 - check out the events / workshops some branches have organised, go along!
 - check out Bookshop day events happening on Oct 31 - there's bound to be one at a bookshop near you

Most people buy books because of word of mouth so help New Zealanders hear about the incredible literature our country is producing.

Item for illustrators who like to design logos

The NZSA is planning a national writers conference next year. 

We need a designer for the National Writers Forum 2016 and the good news is we have a budget (although nothing to write home about). We're going to start with a logo and from there move on to banner for the website and other necessary aspects to give the event a cohesive and very contemporary look. 

We thought it would be great to see if we could find the designer from within our membership. If this interests you, please send a note to Jackie about why you would be the right person to design it, along with some samples of your work. 

Here's a brief Brief.

Call for Judges in the 2016 New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults

Experts in children’s literature are once again being sought to help judge the prestigious New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults. The call for judges opens today and closes on October 30. The selected judges’ work will begin in November when the first wave of entries in the awards begins to arrive.

A total of three judges are sought and the New Zealand Book Awards Trust, which governs the awards, is confident that terrific candidates will step forward and be selected. “We’ve always been delighted by the calibre and dedication of our judges,” says Trust chair Nicola Legat. “It’s a very substantial job which involves hours of work, but they’ve always risen to the challenge because they believe in the power and importance of books and stories written by New Zealand writers for New Zealand children.”

Application forms and background information can be downloaded from,or please email

Farewell to Sandra Bogart

Northland Branch member Sandra Bogart died on Tuesday evening last week after losing her fight with acute myeloid leukaemia. Sandra was passionate about life in all its aspects and she will be mourned and missed not only by her writing friends but the Bream Bay/Waipu community with whom she was deeply involved as a writer, belly dancer, ukulele player, gardener, teacher, fundraiser, civil defence organiser, entertainer and superb hostess. More 

100 Women Project seeks debating groups

The BBC is hosting an international debate which will be live (online) on 1 December as part of their 100 women project.

They are looking to tap into as many International groups as possible. The topic to be discussed focuses on the pressures girls/women face wherever they are in the world - What’s it like being a “good girl” or “ideal woman” wherever you are in the world.
Debating groups can be as small as 4 per group or as large as 10 per group (or more) - groups will be connected via this online debate to other groups internationally.  This will take place between 0600GMT and 2200GMT.   They will only be needed for the duration of 2 hours on the day – done at a time that’s most suitable to group.

They will be “joined” on the day by various groups as diverse as the Nigerian Reading Club, to the Girly Book Club in New York to the Princeton Debating Club. It would be great to have groups from New Zealand too on board.  

To sign up to participate contact Karnie Sharp

Congratulations to recipients of 2015 Prime Minister’s Awards For Literary Achievement 

Creative New Zealand has announced the winners of the 2015 Prime Minister’s Awards for Literary Achievement.  They are social anthropologist Dame Joan Metge, playwright Roger Hall and poet Bernadette Hall.

Each will be awarded $60,000 in recognition of their outstanding contribution to New Zealand literature. Dame Joan Metge will be honoured for non-fiction, Roger Hall for fiction and Bernadette Hall for poetry. More

CLNZ Education Awards 2015 finalists Announced

Congratulations to the finalists in this year’s CLNZ Education Awards, who showcase the very real strength and breadth of our home-grown educational resources. The four categories are Best Resource in Primary, Best Resource in Secondary, Best Resource  in Te Reo Maori, Best Resource in Higher Education. More

Creative New Zealand News

Statement of Performance Expectations 2015/16

Creative New Zealand's Statement of Performance Expectations 2015 - 2016 sets out plans, targets and financial forecasts for the 2015/16 financial year.

NZ literature boosted by new contract for international and national development 

Media release: The international profile and sales of New Zealand literature and the development of the national publishing sector will be boosted over the next three financial years by a new contract awarded by Creative New Zealand.

The Publishers’ Association of New Zealand (PANZ) has been contracted to deliver a range of initiatives to increase the international sales and profile of New Zealand literature and authors and to develop networks which will help to achieve these results.

It will administer translation and international travel funds, support New Zealand’s presence at major international book fairs, and host international publishers in New Zealand as part of Creative New Zealand’s international visitors’ programme, Te Manu Ka Tau. More

Radio NZ (Catch up funding) Amendment Bill 

Radio New Zealand is an important source of book reviews, readings and interviews with authors so I thought members would find this interesting.

Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Clare Curran put out a media release 15 Oct advising The Radio NZ (Catch-Up Funding) Amendment Bill has been placed in the private member’s bill ballot.

The purpose of this Bill is to ensure public funding of Radio New Zealand (Radio NZ) is adjusted in line with inflation and population growth as it continues with its publicly stated aims to become a multimedia public service network.
Radio NZ is New Zealand’s sole commercial free public broadcaster yet its public funding has been frozen since 2009. This funding freeze has slowed its ability to maximise the public value of content and continue to grow as a fully-fledged multi- platform broadcaster. More

Into the River: Update

The interim ban on Into the River ended last week with the majority of the Film and Literature Board classifying the book as ‘unrestricted’. The majority of the Board stated that the book dealt with the subject matter in a way that was ‘essential to the story’ and was not gratuitous.

The majority viewed the book as dealing with matters “about the potentially negative consequences that can follow from involvement in casual sex, underage drinking, drug taking, crime, violence and bullying” in a way that was likely to educate, rather than promote. The majority therefore reached the conclusion that Into the River was not “objectionable” as defined by section 3(1) of the Films, Videos, and Publications Classification Act 1993 (“the Act”).

The Film and Literature Board also removed its earlier age restriction on Into the River. The book now carries no age restriction.  The majority decision can be viewed here. The dissenting  decision can be viewed here.

New Writer in Residence at the International Institute of Modern Letters

Novelist, poet and film writer Anne Kennedy has been appointed the Victoria University of Wellington and Creative New Zealand Writer in Residence for 2016. 
Since her 1988 novella 100 Traditional Smiles, Ms Kennedy, a Victoria University graduate, has been regarded as one of New Zealand’s most original and gifted writers. She has twice been awarded New Zealand’s top prize for poetry and her most recent novel, The Last Days of the National Costume, was a finalist in the 2014 New Zealand Post Book Awards. More

Take your manuscript to the next level...

Experienced manuscript assessor, Tina Shaw, can point you in the right direction. A professional assessment may look at the strengths and weaknesses of a manuscript, give an overall picture, and also offer editorial suggestions and comments. Various aspects discussed could be characterisation, the use of dialogue, structure, and the effectiveness of the work. This kind of assessment aims to guide the author through a further draft of the manuscript and tidy up any potential pitfalls that the author may be experiencing. 
Editing and private mentoring also available.
Editor of the Bateman Writer's Handbook, and author of The Children's Pond, Tina has been a professional manuscript assessor for 15 years. She is a member of the NZ Association of Manuscript Assessors. 
Contact for a competitive quote. 

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Clippings from the Internet

Explainer: what is fanfiction?

(extract from article by Rukmini Pande in the Conversation)
Consider yourself a stranger to fanfiction? It’s unlikely.
If you’ve read E.L. James' 50 Shades of Grey (2011) then you already have at least one title under your belt. If you caught Robert Downey Jr’s turn as Sherlock Holmes (2009), that’s another.

So what is it? At its most basic, fanfiction is a genre of amateur fiction writing that takes as its basis a “canon” of “original” material. This original material is most often popular books, television shows and movies – but can expand to almost anything, from the lives of celebrities to the travels of inanimate objects like the Mars rover. More


What do writers owe readers in the digital age?

(extract from article by Richard Lea in the Guardian)
How can an author navigate the competing imperatives of art, commerce and the public in the Facebook age?

In a provocation delivered at the Manchester literature festival on Monday night, the novelist Joanne Harris complained that the digital age has left some readers feeling a misplaced sense that writers were required to be permanently available to their audience. In this new world, Harris proposed a 12-point writer’s manifesto, a compact between author and reader  in which – among other pledges – she promised her readers “not to be aloof whenever you reach out to me – be that on social media or outside, in the real world”. More

Comic / Graphic News


How A New Generation of Graphic Novels Are Portraying Migration

(extract from article by Naima Morelli in Global Comment)
Graphic Journalism is emerging as one of the most compelling ways to talk about an urgent issue: migration. From Persepolis to Vietnamerica, authors are creating stories where the political history of countries is the framework for intimate narrations.

Migration has been tackled multiple times by the pioneers of modern graphic journalism. Malta-born, Melbourne-bred American author Joe Sacco treated the issue in relation to his native island. “Not in my country” – published by The Guardian – is a tale of unwanted immigrants in the Mediterranean. Here the political element is filtered by deep human empathy. More

Fact to Fiction Seminar

November 7 – 9.30am to 3pm – Southwell School, Hamilton

This year’s Waikato Children's Literature Association seminar features guest authors Stacy Gregg, Susan Brocker and Philippa Werry. They will discuss how they create stories and novels with a basis in fact.

Stacy Gregg is author of the Pony Club Secrets and Pony Club Rivals series. The Princess and the Foal was inspired by the story of Olympic equestrienne Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein of Jordan. The Island of Lost Horses is based on the world’s rarest horses, the Abaco Barbs, while The Girl Who Rode the Wind sweeps between Italy in WWII and the present day.

Philippa Werry is known for her fiction and non-fiction books about war including Anzac Day, Best Mates. Enemy at the Gate is a novel set in Wellington and based around the polio epidemic of 1936-37.

Some of Susan Brocker’s books are non-fiction about wildlife conservation, social history and natural science. She brings history alive in her stories that include Brave Bess and 1914: Riding into War.
For more seminar information, email

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Digital Files

Govt Broadband Scheme Slammed by Regions

The Government’s rural broadband initiative is failing the regions and prompting an outcry among local mayors, councils, National MPs, Fonterra and Federated Farmers, Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran said today.

“Rural New Zealand is being left behind in the broadband race. The figures from council surveys are truly astonishing.

“In Huntly household internet access is 44 per cent. In Western Bay of Plenty, 72 per cent say it’s not fast enough or reliable enough for their needs. In Kaitaia, internet penetration is just 49 per cent. The data for Ruapehu is too unreliable as many people could not even load the test.

“Only 14 per cent of people in Northland are satisfied with their internet with one person saying they can’t even load the NZ Herald website. More

PEN Matters

PEN International: New President

PEN International has a new President at its helm after John Ralston Saul ended his term at the 81st PEN International Congress in Ottawa. Jennifer Clement, a Mexican –American writer was elected. Clement’s work has focused attention on the plight of journalists in Mexico. She has previously held the post of president of PEN Mexico. More.  

Three Empty Chairs: 81st PEN International Congress

Empty Chairs for three writers were featured at the latest PEN International Congress in Ottawa. Two of the chairs symbolised imprisoned writers Raif Badawai and Amanuel Asrat. The third chair, for Juan Carlos Argenal Medina, stood empty in his honour following his murder outside his home in Honduras in December 2013. PEN International continues to call for justice following his murder. More.
For more information on what the day involves, or how you can contribute, please contact PEN (NZ) spokesperson Dana Wensley. More information about works by imprisoned writers and Courage Day is available at

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

Book Launches


Book Launch - Auckland

12 noon, Sat 31 Oct. Dorothy Butler Children's Bookshop, Three Lamps, Ponsonby
An invite to the launch of Sue Copsey's new junior fiction, The Ghosts of Tarawera.
The launch will have a Halloween theme with ghost face painting, spookilicious food, colouring-in and other activities, and a reading from the book.

Book Launch - Porirua

2pm to 3pm, Sat 31 Oct, Paper Plus North City, Titahi Bay Rd, Porirua
Paper Plus North City and Potton & Burton warmly invite you to the launch of Whose Beak is This? by Gillian Candler and Fraser Williamson.
Celebrate NZ Bookshop Day! Bring your children to colour in a beak mask. Gillian will be reading from her books and signed books will be available to purchase.

Book Launch - Wellington

5pm - 6.30pm, Sat 31 Oct, The Children's Bookshop, Shop 26, Kilbirnie Plaza, Wellington
Gecko Press, The Children's Bookshop & NZ Bookshop Day invite you to a double book launch & a birthday party at which Barbara Else sets sail on The Knot ImpossiblePaul Beavis announces Hello World! Gecko Press turns 10. Special guest Michael Moynahan will toast 2 marvellous books, 10 curiously good years, all the reasons to buy good books for children & the best children's bookshop in Wellington! 

Book Launch - Auckland

5pm, Sun 8 Nov, Mt Eden Village Centre, 449 Mt Eden Rd, Mt Eden
Duck Creek Press invites NZSA members to the launch of Lillibutt's Australian Adventure by Maris O'Rourke and Claudia Pond Eyley. All 3 Lillibutt books will be available. Children welcome! More

Use your passion for writing to transform yourself and the world through an intense exploration of language.


Whether you’re a professional writer wanting to enhance your skills or simply looking for a degree that will appeal to your passion for language our 180 credit Master of Creative Writing could be for you. This selected entry course puts you side by side with some of New Zealand’s leading authors including Thom Conroy and Bryan Walpert. You’ll produce your own pieces of creative writing, challenge your creative energies and discover new ways to unlock ideas and connect with your readers. From poems, to short stories, scripts and creative non-fiction this course will ignite your intellect and imagination to new levels.
Graduate Jillian Sullivan, author of Parallel, credits her Master’s for her success as a professional writer, “The knowledge I gained has been hugely beneficial not only when producing my own creative writing, but also when working with others on their writing. As an editor, manuscript assessor, and teacher at the Highlights Foundation in America, I’ve been able to bring my knowledge through into these roles and help other people develop their skills.”
Find out more

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Best New Zealand Poems

Best New Zealand Poems is published annually by the International Institute of Modern Letters, and aims to introduce readers - especially internationally - to leading contemporary New Zealand poets. The poems are chosen to show the vitality and range of current writing. More
Deadline for submissions 15 December

Writers Island -  New Podcast for Indie Authors Launching Books

A new radio show (for podcast) for Indie authors on Radio Access in Wellington called "Writers Island" is starting soon. Organiser Peter King is looking for NZ indie authors who are launching to promote. NZSA members launching books are welcome to email Peter with their title, ISBN and a short book description. Recorded exerpts of five minutes are also an option. Contact

Competition for Song, Story and Essay

Open competition - run by Hourglass Literary Magazine for writers who write in English, Bosnian, Croatian and Serbian. Open to authors from the Diaspora. $1000 for the best short story; $1000 for the best essay; $1,000 for the best song. More
Deadline is 1 Jan 2016.

Except for NZSA initiatives, opportunities will appear here once and can then be found in Death by Deadline (here and on our website).



Poetry in Performance - Canterbury

6.30pm Wednesday's till 18 Nov. CPIT Lecture Theatre, 5 Madras St, Christchurch
Canterbury Poets Collective. More

Nelson Reader and Writers Festival

17 to 26 October, Nelson
From circus to comedy, hip-hop to jazz, theatre to dance, a programme to suit a whole range of tastes. Including Gavin Bishop in conversation 10.30am, 17 October at the Granary Festival Cafe. More


Deborah Challinor Devonport Event

12.30pm Tues 3 Nov, The Esplanade Hotel, Devonport, Auckland
New Zealand's mistress of historical fiction, Deborah Challinor, will speak about her latest book A Tattooed Heart at an exclusive lunch in Devonport in November. Tickets: $45 each includes lunch & wine. Available from Paper Plus Glenfield ph. 441 7084. On-line through Or from the Michael King Writers' Centre. More

Poetry Live every Tuesday night - Auckland

8pm, Thirsty Dog, K Road, Auckland. Featuring Guest Poets every week. More

2015 NZ Poetry Conference

13 to 15 November, National Library, Molesworth St, Wellington.  More

Wellington - LitCrawl 2015

Saturday 14 November. More 

Greenbean Novel Fair 2016

20 February at Irish Writers Centre, 19 Parnell Square, Dublin 1
The Greenbean Novel Fair aims to introduce up-and-coming and debut writers to top publishers and literary agents. More info     Website

Death by Deadline


23 University of Waikato / Creative NZ Writer in Residence More
30 NZSA Lilian Ida Smith Award 2015. More
30 Young-Adult Unpublished Novel Prize. More 
30 Call for Submissions - Canterbury Poetry Anthology More
31 Storylines Trust Awards for Children's & YA writers. More
31 Flash Frontier - November (NZ issue) Theme: sky More


6  Randell Cottage Writers Residency More
9  NZSA Hachette Mentoring Program More
13 2016 Residency at University of Manitoba More
20 CLNZ Contestable Fund More
29 Build Your Own Blog New Writer Scholarship More
30 Saving Endangered Species Int'l Playwriting Prize More
30 Flash Frontier - December (international issue) no theme More


1 "The Wallace Arts Trust Prize” short fiction contest. More
10 Celtic Mythology Short Story Competition. More
     Magic Oxygen Literary Prize. More 
15 Best New Zealand Poems More
31 2015 Books-For-Film Competition More


1  Competition for Song, Story and Essay. More
10 Submissions for Landfall 231, May 2016 More
31 OBhéal Five Words Poetry Competition. More

A list of all those important deadlines can be found on NZ Literary Calendar. If you wish to change the look of the calendar so that it appears in list format then click on Agenda on the top right hand corner of the calendar.

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 © 2015 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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