NZSA Literary Bulletin - latest news, opportunities and events
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Want to start a writing group?
New Writers Award
Youth Mentorship Programme - applications close 1 April
Oratia Media rebrands and expands
CLNZ invites publishers and authors to their AGM
Memoir Master Class with Deborah Shepard – closing soon
Janet Frame Memorial Lecture 2016
New partnership powers up National Poetry Day
2016 Ashton Wylie Charitable Trust Literary Awards
Full or Associate NZSA member?
MANIFESTO. A political anthology. Call for submissions
Storylines Tessa Duder Award - Shortlist announced
Volunteer proofreaders needed
PEN Matters
  World Poetry Day
Clippings from the Internet
  For me, traditional publishing means poverty. But self-publish? No way
  10 of the most commonly misused words and what they actually mean
Digital Files
  If the industry is changing, publishing house structures, processes, and budgets need to change too
  Viewpoints: on Publishing's Digital Transformation
NWF - conference for writers
Bestsellers from Nielsen BookScan
Writers on Radio and TV

Welcome to the Literary Bulletin

National Office will be closed an extra day over Easter - Tuesday 29 March. I am hoping for a little bit of rain each day as rain gives me permission to stop and read.
For you - I hope you find the time to write. Enjoy the break.
All the best
Jackie Dennis and Claire Hill

Want to start a writing group?


No writing groups in your area? Reach out to local NZSA members and start your own writing group. This is a new members only website resource, you have to be logged in to put a call out for a new writing group and / or view the list of writing group call outs.

New Writers Award

Feedback from the writing community (spearheaded by a submission to the CLNZ Board by NZ Society of Authors), has made it clear that awards giving writers the time to write are valued and necessary. In recognition of this, CLNZ is launching a new Award for writers, as part of their revised Cultural Fund investment plan. Applications will be taken between April and June with the recipient of the $25,000 award to be announced at the NZSA National Writers’ Forum in September.

The award will be made available to one writer each year for the next three years and will feature broad and inclusive criteria to allow writers across a variety of non-fiction genres, including those with an educational focus, to apply.

Youth Mentorship Programme - applications close 1 April

The NZSA Youth Mentorship Programme 2016 offers aspiring young writers (aged 15-18) a mentorship, from May to November, giving them the opportunity to gain valuable skills and knowledge. The successful three secondary school students will each have the opportunity to be mentored by one of New Zealand’s best professional authors in order to develop their craft and hone their writing skills. More

Deadline 5pm, Friday, 1 April 2016

Oratia Media rebrands and expands

Independent publishing company Oratia Media has launched a new corporate identity as part of an expansion of its business and publishing programme.
All of the company’s publishing and media activities are now unified under the Oratia brand, with the Libro International publishing imprint being wound into an enlarged programme called Oratia Books.
“The change reflects a natural evolution of our business, which we set up in 2000 as a media and editorial services company with an international focus,” commented Founder and Publisher Peter Dowling.
“Today our core business is publishing books with a strong New Zealand and
Māori orientation, and the Oratia name captures that along with our grounding
in the beautiful Waitakere Ranges.” More.

CLNZ invites publishers and authors to their AGM

This year, for the first time, CLNZ will host an open forum at its Annual General Meeting so all interested stakeholders can hear more from the Directors and Chief Executive about the company and its business strategy. This is a great opportunity to find out more about CLNZ and to ask questions you may have.

AGM date is 5th May 2016, and they are calling for expressions of interest. If you would like to attend please contact Ann Sprosen on 09 486 6250 or

Once numbers are established a Central Auckland venue will be chosen and announced. CLNZ said "This is an important year for CLNZ’s strategy in regard to our work with government and we hope to see as many of you there as possible!"

Memoir Master Class with Deborah Shepard – closing soon


Registrations for Deborah Shepard’s Memoir Master Class at the Michael King Writers’ Centre will now close on Tuesday 29th March

Writing Your Heart Out with Deborah Shepard
Michael King Writers’ Centre, Takarunga Mount Victoria, Devonport, Auckland
Tuesdays from 5th April 2016 6 - 8.30pm
Cost $295 including GST. Nine places only.
Please go here for course outline and application form.
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Janet Frame Memorial Lecture 2016

Our President of Honour Philip Temple delivered the Janet Frame Memorial Lecture earlier this month during Writers Week in Wellington. The full text of this state of the nation address entitled Where We Were, Where We Are Now can be found here

Photo credit New Zealand Festival

New partnership powers up National Poetry Day

In its 19th year, National Poetry Day — the biggest nationwide poetry event of the year —will be boosted by the partnership between the New Zealand Book Awards Trust and Phantom Billstickers, with a sponsorship agreement announced.
The highly popular and eclectic National Poetry Day will now be known as Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day and will continue to bring poetry to the people, with over 80 events held nationwide, involving everyone from seasoned award winners to aspiring poets facing the microphone for the first time. Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day will be held on Friday August 26 this year and continue the day’s legacy of taking poetry to the people from Kerikeri to Southland, across the streets of small towns and major cities.

“It's an opportunity to hear more poetry. There’s the possibility to take it back to the regions that built us,” says Jim Wilson, owner of Phantom, “We’ve been putting the New Zealand voice out there for some time. Now with this exciting partnership that voice will become louder.” 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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Full or Associate NZSA member?

Are you listed as an associate member, when you should be listed as a full member? Let us know when you have published work that meets Full Member criteria. We want to recognise your hard work and success!

Criteria for Full Membership
In order to qualify for Full Membership, you must have either:
  • had a book published by an established publisher; or
  • self-published a book as a profit-making enterprise, or
  • had more than five works of fiction or non-fiction published
    including short stories, articles and poetry in major magazines, newspapers, literary or electronic journals; or
  • had a play or other script produced commercially on stage, radio, TV or other medium or had lyrics published with a musical score; or
  • in the case of book illustrators had their work published in book form; or
  • in the opinion of the management committee of National Council, sufficient professional standing to entitle them to membership.
Update your status either by logging in to and filling out the Switch Membership Application form on your log in page. Or email Claire with your publication details and we will add the info to our records.

MANIFESTO. A political anthology. Call for submissions.

Emma Neale and Philip Temple, as editors, are seeking submissions
for Manifesto, an anthology of New Zealand political poetry to be published by
Otago University Press early in 2017. Poems may explore anything from prime ministerial power to the price of milk. Subjects covered may be Parliament, the environment, gender issues, political parties, ethnic issues, elections, immigration, religion and power, class, ageism, economics, pressure groups, politicians, the media and much more.

Deadline is 29 April. Check out Death by Deadline below for more details.

Storylines Tessa Duder Award - Shortlist announced

This year's shortlist includes 3 NZSA members, among them Amy Martin who was the recipient of an NZSA CompleteMS manuscript assessment at the end of 2015! Congratulations to all those shortlisted. More
  • Grow, Amy Martin, Ohaupo (NZSA)
  • The Knowledge Keeper, Jessica Pawley, Auckland
  • The Sin Chronicles: New Blood, Gareth Ward, Havelock North (NZSA)
  • Wild Cards, Fifi Colston, Wellington (NZSA) 

Volunteer proofreaders needed

Four times a year NZSA publishes the NZ Author and we are calling out for volunteer proofreaders to proof the magazine.

There will be a 24 hour window where the proofreader needs to read the magazine and make notes about corrections via annotations using the COMMENT menu in a PDF. 

In return for your hard and fast work we offer a Display Advertisement for your proofreading services in the NZ Author you proof. We will also identify you as the volunteer proofreader of the current issue. Ideally we will have more than one volunteer so you will only be called on once or twice a year.

All that we require is that you are actually an experienced, professional proofreader. If you are interested contact Jackie.

PEN Matters

World Poetry Day

March 21st was World Poetry Day. To mark the occasion PEN highlights poets who have paid a high price for their work and are currently in prison. This year PEN is campaigning on behalf of:
Amanual Asrat: Award-winning Eritrean poet and editor-in-chief of the Zemen, The Times. Arrested on 23rd September 2001, PEN has limited information on Asrat’s whereabouts, but it is assumed he is held without trial or charge in a maximum security prison, Eiraeiro, north of Asmara.
Aron Atabek: poet, journalist, and author of prose inspired by Tengriist spirituality, he was sentenced to 18 years imprisonment in 2007 following a protest at a ‘shanty town’ called Shanyrak. He has written a poem from prison for PEN (NZ) which can be viewed here.
Liu Xia: a Chinese poet and founding member of the Independent Chinese PEN Centre, Liu Xia is held in her Beijing apartment without access to phone, internet, or visitors since her husband (imprisoned poet Liu Xiaobo) was named Nobel Peace Laureate in October 2010.
Ashraf Fayadh: Arrested in August 2013 and accused of ‘misguided and misguiding thoughts’, then rearrested in January 2014 for ‘insulting the divine’ and having long hair, he has been imprisoned in the city of Abha for the last two years. Fayadh is a Saudi Arabia-born Palestinian poet and artist.  


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

Clippings from the Internet

For me, traditional publishing means poverty. But self-publish? No way

Extract from blog by Ros Barber in the Guardian. Life as a professional writer is financially depressing, and I’ve often been advised to self-publish. Here’s why I won’t do it. A few days ago, I wrote a piece on my blog exploding the myth of the rich writer, and laying out (in terms the Royal Literary Fund described as “ruthlessly mathematical”) what authors actually receive when you buy their books. The simple answer for many of us is nothing at all, after that heady advance in the case of my most recent novel, which was £5,000 for two years’ work. More

10 of the most commonly misused words and what they actually mean

Extract from article in the Independent. Last year an expert said that English was evolving at a faster rate than it has at any other time in history, with researchers at Instagram also noting that emoji are replacing acronyms to form more of a picture-based language used on Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp. More

Digital Files

If the industry is changing, publishing house structures, processes, and budgets need to change too

Extract from the Shatzkin Files.
A thought kept recurring — one I’ve written about before — while I was learning new stuff at Digital Book World last week. The structure of publishing houses and of the publishing process as it has developed over the past century make some of the challenges and opportunities of publishing in the emerging digital era very hard to address for publishers operating at any degree of scale. More

Viewpoints: on Publishing's Digital Transformation

Digital Book World Conderence + Expo 2016: Speakers offer insights on key topics. Download the pdf here.

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

1  University of Otago College of Education/Creative NZ Children's Writer in Residence 2017. 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



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.

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 are interested in being a sponsor or exhibitor find out more here.

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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