NZSA enews - latest news, opportunities and events
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Hachette Mentoring Program Open
CLNZ responds to NZSA's submission
NZSA Book Week News
NZSA's New Website - Member Profiles
Congratulations to Eileen Merriman!
Sunset at the Estuary Launch
Farewell to Dorothy Butler
Clippings from the Internet
 - Forget The Book, Have You Read This Irresistible Story On Blurbs?
 - Ebooks change the game for both backlist and export
Paul Cleave wins Ngaio Marsh 2015
Comic / Graphic News
 - Mosaic Guide to Banned Books 
Fact to Fiction Seminar
Last Call for IBBY Congress Presentations
Digital Files
 - Waterstones to stop selling Kindle as book sales surge
PEN Matters
 - Courage Day
University of Waikato/Creative New Zealand Writer in Residence 2016
Book Launches
2016 Michael King Writers’ Centre residencies
Study a Master of Creative Writing at Massey University
JD Stout Fellow for 2016
Death by Deadline
Bestsellers from Nielsen BookScan
Writers on Radio and TV

Welcome to this week's enews

We are fascinated by the conflicting media reports about e-books - are sales up or are they down? We'll leave it to you to figure out but genre may be the key to the confusion.

We are so excited to be offering the Hachette Mentorship for the first time. What a great opportunity! It's time to re-visit your manuscript and get it ready for submission - check the criteria first though.

NZSA Book Week needs your help to promote Read NZ Buy NZ.  We know you can't all get out and participate in an event but you can facebook and tweet the idea that any reading during Book Week Oct 26 - Oct 31 should be dedicated to a book written by a New Zealand Writer. What will you be reading?

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

Hachette Mentoring Program

Proudly presented by Hachette Australia & New Zealand
In partnership with The New Zealand Society of Authors

An exciting new opportunity exclusive to NZSA members! Time to pull your unpublished manuscript out of the drawer and give it the once over!

Applications open today

The Hachette Mentoring Program gives one writer an opportunity to work on a new draft of their completed manuscript under the mentorship of Hachette Publishing Australia. Find out more.

Deadline for applications 9 November 2015

CLNZ responds to NZSA's submission

CLNZ Cultural Fund: new writers' award to open 2016; contestable funding now open

CLNZ adds $50,000 per year to the Cultural Fund for the next three years
  • $25,000 for a new writers award to open in 2016
  • contestable funding increased – application process now open
The CLNZ Cultural Fund has a new three-year plan that will make significant investments in New Zealand writing and publishing. In 2016, 2017 and 2018, the Fund has been allocated an additional $50,000 per year. This additional money is not from domestic licensing revenue but from overseas revenue that is non-title specific.

The new investment plan adds to the existing programmes run through the Cultural Fund and responds to feedback from the New Zealand writing community and the publishing industry on the Cultural Fund programmes. More

NZSA BOOK WEEK 26 Oct - 1 Nov

New Zealand Society of Authors celebrates Book Week with a grass roots campaign.

Facing a second year with no NZ Book Month, the NZSA has taken the initiative and is running a grass roots campaign with the message “Read NZ Buy NZ”. NZSA Book Week will take place October 26 to November 1.

Back in 1936 NZSA, then known as the PEN Centre, instigated Authors Week which was a successful event for many years, so it is fitting that the Society is promoting Book Week as a campaign for recognition for books written by New Zealand authors. Old newsletters of the Society report “NZ Books emerged from the back shelves of booksellers shops and into the window display”. We aim for the same in 2015 – and more.

We ask NZSA members to promote this via social media. Share our facebook posts or create your own. Tweet #ReadNZBuyNZ and ask the question, what book by a NZ writer will you read next?

NZSA's New Website - Member Profiles

The new NZSA website is coming along! We have now begun the import of member information into the new website. This stage of the development will take a a little time, as we need to check that information has been imported correctly.

We are asking members to NOT update their profile information on the old website for now. If you do update your profile, you may have to reenter the information again in the new website once it is live.

Thanks for your patience!

Congratulations to Eileen Merriman!

Eileen Merriman (NZSA Mentee of 2015) has gained second prize in the inaugral Bath Flash Fiction Award with her story This Is How They Drown.

There were 1,000 entries for this award! Read Eileen's award-winning story here. 

Sunset at the Estuary Launch

A collection of poetry and prose by New Zealand authors who have been awarded the Beatson Writers’ Fellowship, or availed themselves of the Writers’ Retreat at Foxton. 

Editors, Joan Rosier-Jones and Dorothy Alexander have created a wonderful memorial to the late Dianne Beatson who, with her husband Peter, opened their house in Foxton to writers.  Stevan Eldred-Grigg, Sue McCauley and Chris Else, are just three of the thirty-one contributors to this book. In many cases their writing centres around their experiences living beside the Foxton estuary, and their emotional involvement with the landscape which features strongly in these pieces.
Sponsored by the Central Districts Branch of the New Zealand Society of Authors this anthology is essential reading for all those who enjoy New Zealand writing at its best. 

RRP $30 Available from Rangitawa Publishing. More

Farewell to Dorothy Butler

We are sorry to hear of the loss of Dorothy Butler, who was one of the "kaumatuas" of New Zealand children's literature and a longstanding member of the New Zealand Society of Authors. Here are links to a news article (that includes comments from NZSA member Tessa Duder) and another interesting article about Dorothy 'Icon of the West'.

Clippings from the Internet


Forget The Book, Have You Read This Irresistible Story On Blurbs?

(extract from article by Colin Dwyer in npr)
Whatever the old adage might warn, there is a bit of merit to judging a book by its cover — if only in one respect. Consider the blurb, one of the most pervasive, longest-running — and, at times, controversial — tools in the publishing industry.

For such a curious word, the term "blurb" has amassed a number of meanings in the decades since it worked its way into our vocabulary, but lately it has referred to just one thing: a bylined endorsement from a fellow writer — or celebrity — that sings the praises of a book's author right on the cover of their book.

They're claims couched in quote marks, homes for words you might never hear otherwise — like compelling, or luminous, or unputdownable. Heck, at least three books have reportedly inspired celebrated memoirist Frank McCourt to say "you'll claw yourself with pleasure." More

Ebooks change the game for both backlist and export

(extract from post in the Shatzkin Files)
There are two aspects of the business that ebooks should really change. One is that ebooks can really enable increases in sales of the backlist. The other is that ebooks will really enable sales outside the publisher’s home territory...

...The big publishers are suggesting that ebook sales have plateaued, perhaps even declined. Amazon says “not true”, that ebook sales are still rising. Some analysis, such as what is done by Data Guy for Author Earnings, says that the publishers’ big books are losing ebook share to the indies, primarily relying on data scraped from Amazon to make the case. The most commonly-offered explanations are that publishers’ success forcing higher ebook prices for their titles, combined with a decline in new converts to ebooks (who are inclined to “load up” their devices when they first start reading digitally) account for the apparent trend. More

Paul Cleave wins Ngaio Marsh 2015

Paul Cleave became the Crown Prince of antipodean crime writing when his thriller FIVE MINUTES ALONE was named the winner of the 2015 Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Crime Novel.

The internationally bestselling author made history when his “gritty and thoroughly absorbing” novel that “evokes complex feelings about retribution and morality” was revealed as the winner before a packed hometown crowd at a lively WORD Christchurch event at the Court Theatre on 4 October.  

“In a year with a remarkable quintet of finalists, it’s fitting that Paul Cleave has become the first author to win the Ngaio Marsh Award twice,” said Judging Convenor Craig Sisterson. More

Comic / Graphic News


Mosaic Guide to Banned Books

In honour of Banned Books week last week, Mosaic brings you a short list of provocative publications. From childhood favourites to beloved classics, each title captures the power —and necessity— of free expression.

1. “Persepolis” by Marjane Satrapi: “I had learned that you should always shout louder than your aggressor.”

In 2000, the Iranian-born French graphic novelist, Marjane Satrapi...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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Last call for IBBY Congress Presentations 

Writers and illustrators from New Zealand can present at the IBBY Congress 2016. The extended deadline to submit your presentation is October 17.

The themes are:
1. Global, local and indigenous literature
2. Diverse literary forms and formats
3. Engaging readers

Find out more here

Digital Files


Waterstones to stop selling Kindle as book sales surge

(extract from article by Samuel Gibbs in the Guardian)
The UK’s largest book retailer is removing Amazon’s Kindle ebooks from its stores nationwide and replacing them with print books due to “pitiful sales”.

Waterstones, which teamed up with Amazon in 2012 to sell the electronic reader in its stores, will use the display space for physical paperbacks and hardbacks instead.

James Daunt, the managing director of the retailer, told The Bookseller: “Sales of Kindles continue to be pitiful so we are taking the display space back in more and more shops. More

PEN Matters


Courage Day: The Day of the Imprisoned Writer (15th November)

NZSA PEN (NZ) is spearheading a nationwide campaign to promote the Day of the Imprisoned Writer (known locally as “Courage Day”). It is the day we get a chance to recognise writers who defend the right to free speech, and those who suffer oppression and are killed / imprisoned for their work. Previous years have seen a number of libraries hold individual events. This year we would like to see more writers take part. It may be as simple as arranging for an ‘empty chair’ in support of imprisoned writers to be placed in the local library, or may involve ‘pop up’ readings of works by imprisoned writers. The interim ban on Into the River reminds us that we need to be vigilant and support freedom of expression at every opportunity.
PEN NZ named it Courage Day after James Courage, a New Zealand novelist and poet whose book, A Way of Love, was banned for expressing ideas of homosexuality. His grandmother, Sarah Courage, had her book on early colonial life in Canterbury, Lights and Shadows of Colonial Life, burned by irate neighbours for comments she made about them.
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


Canterbury Writing Workshops

The evening of Fri 16 Oct and all day on Sat 17 Oct at Christchurch South Library, Colombo St

Canterbury writers can look forward to another exciting lineup of speakers at the annual Writing Workshop weekend presented by the Canterbury branch of New Zealand Society of Authors. Among the presenters are leading children’s author Kyle Mewburn, romance writer Soraya Lane, fiction writer and poet Jillian Sullivan, playwright Carl Nixon, non-fiction author and publisher Jenny Haworth and award winning short story writer, Frankie McMillan.

Tickets cost $20 per workshop, or a season pass for $60 can be purchased enabling access to the entire event. More

Beginner's Guide to Screenwriting: Part 2

9.30am – 4.30pm 07 & 08 NOV 2015. MTG RM, Kingsland
Two-day intensive screen writing course. Dynamic training for screenwriters seeking a deeper understanding of how screenplays work and how to apply that to their work. It's a theoretical AND practical.  And it's kinda fun...
WHO'S IT FOR?  New screenwriters or industry professionals looking to up skill.
CAN I ATTEND IF I HAVEN'T DONE BG2S (part 1)?  Yes, however it's expected you’ll already have an understanding of screenplays and have some writing experience. (In short basics like formatting & the 3 Act Structure will be assumed knowledge)
Early Bird Tickets: $299/ (until 05 Oct) Students: $279/ Industry Guild Member: $319. Grab your Earlybird ticket now

University of Waikato/Creative New Zealand Writer in Residence 2016

The University of Waikato invites applications for the position of Writer in Residence, tenable for twelve months from January.  The emolument is currently $52,000 jointly funded by the University of Waikato and Creative New Zealand, the Arts Council of New Zealand Toi Aotearoa.  The position is open to poets, novelists, short story writers, dramatists, and writers of serious non-fiction.  The appointment will be made on the basis of a proven record of publications of high quality.
The Writer is required to live in Hamilton during the tenure of the award.  There are no teaching or lecturing duties attached to the award, the sole purpose of which is to give the Writer the freedom to write.  It is expected the Writer will participate in the cultural life of the University.  The Writer will be able to make use of the Michael King Writers’ Retreat in Opoutere for a period of up to two weeks (market value $3,000).
Enquiries can be made to Dr Sarah Shieff, email:
Closing date: 23 October 2015  
Vacancy number: 350270
To apply, visit

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Book Launches


Book Launches - Waipawa and Wellington

Thursday October 15th 5.30pm-6.30pm. Waipawa and October 21st 5.30pm -6.30pm. Wellington
NZSA members are invited to the launch of Waitapu, Helen Waaka’s short story collection, at the Waipawa library, High St, Waipawa on the 15th October and the Wellington Central Library’s Community Room, Mezzanine floor, on 21st October.

Book Launch - Wellington

6.30pm, Wed, 14 October. Community Room, Mezzanine floor, Wellington Central Library
Escalator Press warmly invites NZSA members to the launch of Open Your Eyes, Jackson Ryder by Rudy Castaneda Lopez. RSVP to by 9 October.

Applications open for 2016 Michael King Writers’ Centre residencies

The Michael King Writers’ Centre invites applications from New Zealand writers for four supported residencies in 2016, with stipends ranging from $8,000 to $30,000.
The residencies are at the Michael King Writers’ Centre which is based in the Signalman’s House, a heritage villa on Takarunga Mt Victoria in Devonport.
The residency programme aims to support New Zealand writers and promote the development of high-quality New Zealand writing. Projects can be in a wide range of genres, including non-fiction, fiction, drama and poetry. Previous resident writers include Man Booker prize-winner Eleanor Catton, who wrote the final draft of her novel The Luminaries at the centre, and Rachel Barrowman, whose biography of Maurice Gee was published in July to critical acclaim. More
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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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JD Stout Fellow for 2016 announced

Emeritus Professor Atholl Anderson will be the John David Stout Fellow for 2016 at Victoria University of Wellington. The fellowship is hosted by the Stout Research Centre for New Zealand Studies and funded by the Stout Trust.
Victoria University’s Pro Vice-Chancellor of Humanities and Social Sciences, Professor Jennifer Windsor, says Victoria is delighted to host Emeritus Professor Anderson who has had a long and distinguished career.
“He is the author or editor of 26 books and innumerable scholarly papers. Tangata Whenua, which he co-authored with Judith Binney and Aroha Harris, won the Royal Society of New Zealand Science Prize this year.” 

For more information contact Chris Wilson at Victoria University of Wellington 


The Michael King Writers’ Studio Trust seeks Executive Director

The Michael King Writers' Studio is looking for a dynamic Executive Director for 30 hours a week to run the Michael King Writers’ Centre in Devonport, Auckland. More
Deadline for applications 5pm Fri, 16 October 2015.

Randell Cottage Writers Residency

Applications are now open for the 2016 Creative New Zealand Randell Cottage Writers Fellowship. The fellowship comprises a stipend of $22,000 and six months’ rent free accommodation in one of Wellington’s oldest colonial buildings.

Built in Thorndon in 1867, the Cottage has been painstakingly restored and is close to the National Library, the Turnbull Library and National Archive. It’s provided an inner city base for writers from a range of genres: novelists, poets, biographers... The first New Zealand resident was Peter Wells, in 2002. He’s been followed by Tim Corballis, Michael Harlow, Renée, Beryl Fletcher, Whiti Hereaka, Jennifer Compton, Kirsty Gunn, Pat White, Peter Walker, Vivienne Plumb, Denis Welch, Tina Makereti, and most recently by Witi Ihimaera who was jointly awarded the 2015 fellowship with Owen Marshall. More
Deadline for applications Fri, 6 November 2015

"The Wallace Arts Trust Prize” short fiction contest  

With the support of the Wallace Foundation Alternative Bindings are awarding the following prizes in 2016
  • $600 for the Wallace Arts Trust Prize Best Short Story; and
  • $300 for the Wallace Arts Trust Runner-up Short Story.
The competition welcomes both emerging and established writers to share their stories based on the theme ‘A Kiwi Romance’ using a maximum of 750 words. The winning story will be announced in Auckland during Pride 2016 and published on Email for full entry criteria.  
Entries close 1 December 2015.

New creative journal - fingers comma toes

- A journal created for kids, by kids 

Introducing a new literary project that may be of interest to students/ children of NZ Society of Authors members. Submissions are open through December 15 for the inaugural issue (January 2016) - creative writing, photography, visual art, music. Submission details here.

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 30 Sept to 18 Nov. CPIT Lecture Theatre, 5 Madras St, Christchurch
Canterbury Poets Collective. More

Titirangi Poets

2pm to 4pm, Sat 10 October at the Titirangi Library
Special Guests:  Janet Charman, an Avondale poet published by AUP,  Bill Sutton, who organised the Napier Poetry Conference,  Judith McNeill, a singer from the Kaipara Hills.  MC : Amanda Eason. Poets from the floor welcomed.


Vogel St Party – Literature and Light

Sat Oct 10, 3pm to 10pm, Vogel St, Dunedin
This year Dunedin’s annual street party celebrates our new status as UNESCO International City of Literature. Poetry from other cities of literature will appear in large dots around the street. Have Design students help you craft a poem. Melbourne writer Matt Blackwood will represent his writing across a range of visual art forms in the street. There will be the Book Bus, a Zine Jam, Slam Poetry, Kid’s Story Time and a Schools Poetry Exhibition. Shine Live Poetry, 3pm – 5pm presents music and ten local poets performing at 49 Vogel Street, Then wait till dark. Poems from Krakow, Edinburgh and Dublin will be projected on to street walls and The Dunedin Writers and Readers Festival people will project poetry and prose from Thomas Bracken to the present day. Tours will be available around the Dutybound Bindery. Weather forecast is sunny, perhaps a little cool. Don’t miss it!

Big Screen Symposium

10 - 11 October. University of Auckland, Auckland
Jane Campion will be joining the Big Screen Symposium this year. Find out More.
Early bird tickets are on sale now until midnight, Friday 18 September.

Inside.Out Open Mic for Writers

7pm, 14 October at One2One Cafe, 121 Ponsonby Rd, Ponsonby.
All welcome, music guest, koha entry. For more info email or see facebook inside.out open mic. (Once a month on the second Wednesday. Upcoming dates for 2015: 14 Oct, 11 Nov, 9 December.)

Heritage Week Book & Writing Competition Winners Announcement!

4pm to 6pm, Sat 17 Oct. South Christchurch Library, 66 Colombo St, Christchurch
The winners of the inaugural Heritage Week Book and Writing Competition will be announced by the President of NZSA, Kyle Mewburn. This free event is open to all and finalists in the NZ Book of the Year competition will read from their work. Run in conjunction with NZSA Canterbury Branch and Heritage Week Christchurch, entries have been received from across New Zealand. Competitors have been inspired by the theme 'Arrivals and Departures'. More

Poetry Kai’ at the Whau Arts Festival

Sunday 18 Oct, 6-8pm. Wing Wah Chinese Restaurant, 2023 Gt. North Rd. Avondale
What: Over a shared meal every diner at the table reads aloud a couple of poems they’ve written and/or a couple they like by someone else.
Why: Food for the senses – Food for the mind.
Price: $20/person (plus Eventbrite booking fee if you choose to pay online - sorry we can't change this!)
The food: Seven dishes to share at each seven person table: Fish / Pork / Chicken / Tofu / Veges. You will be asked for any particular dietary requirements when you book. More

Poetry from the Octagon Collective

8pm Wed Oct 21, Circadian Rhythm Café, St Andrews St, Dunedin.
Guest poets are Hera Lindsay Bird, Princess Te Hangi, and the students of Otago University English Department’s Poetry Workshop 2015. MC is Emma Neale. You will notice that our guests this time are numerous, and in fact the precise number is uncertain. For this reason, the time we’ll have available for open mic is also uncertain. So please bring a poem just in case. Emma will try to give you room at the mic. But if this is impossible, please bring your poem back in November.

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


6:30pm, 13-17 October at BATS in Wellington
Bubblelands is a crazy, colourful and whimsical tragicomedy about a fish and a crayfish who meet... in the fishtank of a Chinese restaurant. More info  Support the show  Media Release

Poetry Live every Tuesday night - Auckland

8pm, Thirsty Dog, K Road, Auckland. Featuring Guest Poets each 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


12 Young & Hungry Playwrights' Initiative More
14 Chris Cole Catley Writing Awards. More
15 2016 Kathy Fish Fellowship More
15 NZ Queer/Rainbow Poetry Anthology
19 Asia/NZ Co-commissioning Fund October 2015. More
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


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 
31 2015 Books-For-Film Competition 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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