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

Inspired by the Digital File this week - why twitter is awesome for writers -  here's a link to our twitter account should you like to follow us and we can, in turn, follow you. If you are on facebook, here is a link to our page.

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

Mandy Hager's Singing Home the Whale wins 2015 Margaret Mahy Book of the Year [AND Best Young Adult Fiction]

Congratulations to NZSA member Mandy Hager, whose beautifully told story of hope and promise set in the tranquillity of the Marlborough Sounds, spanning issues of environment, conservation and relationships is the winner of this year’s Margaret Mahy Book of the Year Award, in the prestigious New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults. Singing Home the Whale is also the winner in the Awards’ Young Adult Fiction category.

Winners of the 2015 New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults!

Margaret Mahy Book of the Year and winner of Best Young Adult Fiction: Singing Home the Whale, by Mandy Hager (Penguin Random House NZ)
Best Picture Book: Jim’s Letters, by Glyn Harper, illustrated by Jenny Cooper (Penguin Random House NZ (Puffin))
Best Non-Fiction: Mōtītī Blue and the Oil Spill, by Debbie McCauley and Tamati Waaka (translation) (Mauāo Press)
Best Junior Fiction: Monkey Boy, by Donovan Bixley (Scholastic NZ)
Māori Language Award: Ngā Kī, translation by Kawata Teepa (Ngai Tuhoe, Te Arawa) of Keys by Sacha Cotter, illustrated by Josh Morgan (Huia Publishers)
Best First Book: Māori Art for Kids, by Julie Noanoa (Potton & Burton)

Children's Choice Award 2015

In this year’s newly revamped Children’s Choice Award, nearly 16,000 votes were cast by children to select the winners from their own specially selected finalists’ list. The 2015 Children’s Choice winners are:
Picture Book: The Anzac Puppy by Peter Millett, illustrated by Trish Bowles (Scholastic NZ)
Non-Fiction: The Letterbox Cat & Other Poems by Paula Green, illustrated by Myles Lawford (Scholastic NZ)
Junior Fiction Winner: Island of Lost Horses by Stacy Gregg (HarperCollins).
Young Adult Fiction: Night Vision by Ella West (Allen & Unwin)
Each book wins $1,000.

C.K. Stead new Poet Laureate

Congratulations to C.K. Stead who is Poet Laureate for 2015-17. His awards for poetry have included the Jessie Mackay award, the New Zealand Book Award for poetry, the King’s Lynn Poetry prize, the Hippocrates Prize for poetry and Medicine, and the Sarah Broom prize. His Collected Poems 1951-2006 received a Montana Prize in 2009.

Thinking about the nature of poetry in the foreword to his Collected Poems, Stead wrote: ‘Language is what distinguishes us on our planet, and poetry pushes that everyday currency out into new territories of sense – sensory and semantic. I think of writing a poem as putting oneself in the moment at the moment.’ More

Congratulations to NZSA member Wes Lee

Wellington Branch Member, Wes Lee, has been awarded 2nd place in The London Magazine’s Poetry Competition 2015.  
The winning poems will be published by The London Magazine in October.

NZSA Peter & Dianne Beatson Fellowship

Deadline for applications is 5pm, 24 August

The NZSA Peter & Dianne Beatson Fellowship seeks applications from writers of fiction, non-fiction, poetry and drama who are members of the NZ Society of Authors and who are currently working on a new project.
This annual Fellowship is generously donated by Peter Beatson and provides the successful applicant with a stipend of $7,000.   More

Clippings from the Internet


David Bowie’s Top 100 books

A documentary commissioned by London’s Victoria and Albert Museum, where ‘David Bowie Is’ first showed in 2013, quotes the singer describing himself as ‘a librarian with a sex drive’. He released his ‘Top 100 Must Read Books’ that year to coincide with the unveiling of the exhibition. That exhibition is showing in Melbourne until November at the Australian Centre for the Movie Image (ACMI).  More

Book Launch

"Earthquakes & Butterflies Otautahi Christchurch"

by Kathleen Gallagher with photographs by Michael Coughlan
Sunday 5:30, 6 September at Sacred Heart Hall 70 Spencer St. Addington Christchurch. Order now via email.  More info

Position Vacant: CLNZ Writer Board Member

Copyright Licensing New Zealand (CLNZ) is jointly owned by the New Zealand Society of Authors (NZSA) and the Publishers Association of New Zealand (PANZ).

The Board comprises 6 Directors – 2 appointed by NZSA. This appointment process is being undertaken by NZSA, in consultation with CLNZ, to find a suitable candidate from within our membership to replace a current director whose term on the Board is due to end in December 2015. The new appointee will attend their first CLNZ Board meeting in February 2016, having completed an induction process prior to that date. The appointment will be for a three year term with the potential for a second 3 year term. There are five board meetings and one planning meeting each year, held in Auckland. If the new appointee lives outside of Auckland travel and accommodation expenses are covered. The appointee will receive a per annum fee of $7,864 adjusted at the beginning of each calendar year by CPI.

Please email to request a copy of the Director Candidate Requirements and the Boards Directives. Applications are open until 24 August.

Digital Files


7 Reasons Why Twitter is Awesome for Writers

(extract from post by Frances Caballo on
  1. If you are active on Twitter, it will refer a ton of traffic to your blog and website. (Twitter is my #1 source of website traffic.)
  2. There is a large community of Indie authors on Twitter who are willing to help you promote your book and form supportive alliances. Endeavor to meet other authors in your genre, share blog posts, and promote each other on Twitter.
  3. Twitter will help you to market your books

Comic / Graphic News


Edward Gorey: cover star of book design

(extract from article in the Guardian by Steven Heller)
Deliciously and subversively cryptic, Edward St John Gorey’s books, plays, postcards, toys, stage sets and costumes – indeed an entire lifetime of utterly sublime, mockingly apprehensive artistry and authorship – are celebrated and critically acclaimed by everyone from cultural pundits to goth cultists. The rare front-page New York Times obituary, on 17 April 2000, is testament to Gorey’s eclectic narrative range. “In creating a large body of small work, he made an indelible imprint on noir fiction and on the psyche of his admirers,” Mel Gussow wrote. More
New Zealanders at War
Writing War
A residential workshop for writers
New Zealanders at War: Writing War will cover all aspects of writing about war: research, the resources available, the ethics and the issues. With leading writers of New Zealand history, it will include sessions on writing military history, social history, the experience of Māori and Pacific Island people, war in fiction, drama and art, writing about war for children, and writing about the things we might prefer to forget.
Speakers include leading international military historian Chris Pugsley, Damien Fenton from Massey University, Gavin McLean from the Ministry of Culture and Heritage, historian and archaeologist David Veart, Puawai Cairns from Te Papa, art historian and author Jenny Haworth, oral historian and author Megan Hutching, peace activist and author Maire Leadbetter, social historian Te Awhina Arahanga and publishers.
Places are limited.  Applciations close August 2. For the full media release go here.
When:            Saturday October 24 to Monday October 26, 2015 (Labour weekend)
Location:        Vaughan Park Retreat and Conference Centre, Auckland
Cost:               Workshop including all meals and single accommodation $595 incl GST
                      Twin accommodation $550 incl GST

For an application form, full programme details and speaker profiles, please go here or email:     

Paid Advertisement 

National Poetry Day 

Friday, 28 August
Celebrating its 18th year, National Poetry Day 2015 features an astounding 80 events from Kerikeri to Southland and into cyberspace. This year’s calendar holds something for everyone, from aspiring to established poets, and from those who enjoy poetry to those who think poetry isn’t for them. The 2015 calendar of events offers a way for anyone to get involved in the poetry community, discover New Zealand poets, share their own work or find out what it is all about.  The full calendar of events is live online now.  Website Facebook 

More NPD Events...


Divine Muses XII

6.30 pm, Fri 28 August. Gus Fisher Gallery, 74 Shortland St, Auckland.
An evening of poetry with readings from six of New Zealand’s finest poets: Tusiata Avia, Miriam Barr, Siobhan Harvey, Maris O'Rourke, Harry Ricketts, Jack Ross. A highlight of the evening will be the announcement of the 2015 winners of the NEW VOICES - Emerging Poets Competition. More

Poetry Central

Fri, 28 August.  Level 2, Whare Wananga, Central City library, Lorne St, Auck CBD
Celebrate NPD with the launch of Murray Edmond’s book Shaggy Magpie Songs.  Also, poetry readings with Bob Orr, Ian Wedde, Lisa Samuels, Makyla Curtis & Michele Leggott,  with MC: Murray Edmond. Email Website

NPD Mokaba Cafe Poetry

5:30-9:00pm Friday, 28 August at 6 Quayside, Town Basin, Whangarei
Featuring the launch of Fast Fibres 2 with poets Piet Nieuwland. More Info  Facebook

Poetry Day Wrap Party - "WE" Society Book Launch

7pm Sat, 29 August. Te Henga Studios, 130 Bethells Rd, Bethells Beach.
NPD celebration with WE Society poets, book launch & sales, music & open mic. Music: Fats White. Email  More Info

PEN Matters


Bangladesh: 4th Blogger Killed

On 7th August another secular blogger, Niloy Chakrabarti, was killed in Bangladesh. This is part of a widening pattern of violence in the country. Niloy Chakrabarti’s name was on the list of bloggers in the country who are described as anti-Islamic and blasphemous. He is the 4th of the list of 83 secular bloggers to be killed this year alone. PEN International calls on the Bangladeshi authorities to swiftly and impartially investigate his death and ensure that the perpetrators are brought to justice. John Ralston Saul, President of PEN International issued following statement in response to these attacks:
“The hacking to death of Niloy Chakrabati highlights the need for the Bangladeshi government to assume its responsibilities. This is a matter of governmental authority. They must act to bring those responsible to justice and ensure that others who may be at risk are provided with adequate protection.” 

Aron Atabek: ‘Empty Chair’ at Picton Writers’ Forum

This year PEN (NZ) continues to support imprisoned poet Aron Atabek. Aron Atabek has written several books of poetry and prose inspired by Tengriist spirituality and was the founder, in 1992, of the monthly newspaper Khak (The Truth). Atabek was awarded the literary “Almas Kylysh” prize in 2004 and the Freedom to Create “imprisoned” prize in 2010. He is currently in prison in Kazakhstan. We are pleased that the upcoming Writers’ and Publishers’ Forum in Picton has joined the growing list of literary events hosting an ‘empty chair’ in honour of Aron Atabek. The forum, which runs from 14th-16th August, is held at Picton Little Theatre. more

If you are hosting a literary event and want more information about the ‘empty chair’ campaign and for further information on PEN or any issues or concerns raised above please contact Dana Wensley, PEN Representative for NZ at 



Travel Writers for Fodors NZ Guide

Fodors is looking to refresh their pool of writers for a New Zealand guidebook. Especially South Island writers based in Christchurch, Canterbury, Southern Alps and Fiordland, Otago, Invercargill, and Stewart Island.  If interested, please forward your resume and clips to Róisín Cameron at Clips demonstrating experience writing restaurant, hotel, or site reviews are especially valuable. More info

The Takahe Poetry Competition

Deadline 31 August
Entry fee: $5 (per entry) -- First prize: $250, Second prize: $100
Poems up to 50 lines long on any theme will be accepted. Submissions must be previously unpublished, including online (blogs, zines etc.) More Info 

Live Canon 2015 International Poetry Competition

Deadline is 6 September.  
First prize: $1000. Single poems are accepted, of any length, and from anywhere in the World, provided they are written in the English language.  
Entry Form Website Twitter Facebook

2016 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards

Deadline for submissions: 7 October.  
Accepting books published between 1 June 2014 & 21 December 2015
More Info Entry Form Entry Pack  

Build Your Own Blog New Writer Scholarship

Deadline for submissions: 29 November.
Earn $4000 to help advance your writing career.
More info Flyer

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

NZSA Heritage Week Writing Competition

Book of the Year
The theme is NZ Heritage. Books must have been published between 1 September 2013 and 20 September 2015. Entry fee: $35, Prize: $1000

The theme is (NZ) Arrivals & Departures: the journeys that have shaped us. Entry fee (per entry): $15, Prize for each short-form category: $400
  • Short story (maximum 1,800 words)
  • Non fiction essay (maximum 1,800 words)
  • Poem (maximum 50 lines)
You may enter more than one category and/or more than one entry in each category but you must pay a separate fee for each entry. Deadline for entries 20 September     More information Website

D’Arcy Writers’ Residencies on Waiheke Island

Applications are open from writers for two three-month residencies on Waiheke Island during 2016, to write essays of 10,000 to 12,000 words on NZ life and culture. Email applications to (preferred). Post to: D’Arcy Writers’ Residencies, PO Box 2320, Shortland St, Auckland 1140. More  Deadline 28 August 2015

D'Arcy Residency News: North & South will publish the first essay from the D’ Arcy Writers’ Residencies in a special section of its November issue. It’s a lively and moving piece by Julie Hill on life in K-Road.

Romance Writers NZ have generously offered NZSA members a discounted rate of 18% for the Friday and weekend conference only, for bookings made between 31 July and 14th of August.



Film & Literature Sunday Sessions

1-4pm, 9, 16, 23, 30 August
Meet Northland authors, korero, share, exchange ideas in literature and poetry. Featuring not only guest authors but a live poetry performance.  More Info

The Human Condition

7pm, 14 August, Time Out Bookstore, Mt Eden, Auckland
Featuring five very different contemporary NZ poets: Michele Leggott, inaugural NZ Poet Laureate,  (2007-2009), Jack Ross, Editor of Poetry New Zealand, Makyla Curtis, Senior Editor of Potroast, Lisa Samuels, highly regarded American/NZ writer, poet, critic, Iain Britton, poet. More 

Earth-Beat Winter Gathering

4:00-11:30pm, Saturday 15 August.  Blockhouse Bay Boat Club 3BC, 91 Endeavor St, Auckland.
Come and celebrate the final weeks of winter and welcome the new light in the warm embrace of community. An occasion to sing, dance, and eat together, to strengthen our connections with each other and honour the rhythms of nature.  Tickets Website

Writers’ And Publishers’ Forum in Picton

14 to 16 August
The second Writers’ and Publishers’ Forum will be held at Picton Little Theatre, Dublin Street, from 14 – 16 August. The object of the forum is to enable writers to share their work with other writers and the public while expanding their skills by learning from each other and discovering what specialist publishing services are available. More

Writers on Monday - Wellington

17 August, Te Papa Marae, Level 4, Te Papa, Wellington
Riding the Ruins: David Coventry & Hamish Clayton  Full programme

Poetry Live

8-11pm, Tuesday 18, August. The Thirsty Dog, 367 K Rd.
Open mic poetry & guests.  Poet: David Merritt; Musician: Otis Mace. More Info

Octagon Poets Collective presents

8pm, Wed 19 August. Live poetry, Circadian Rhythm Café, St Andrews St, Dunedin.
Our guests poets will be Sue Wootton, David Goodwin and the evening’s host will be James Dignan. Please bring a poem for open mic, and be sure James has your name before the readings begin. All welcome.

Zinefest Opening Party

7-11pm, 21 August at Audio Foundation, sub-basement Parisian Tie Company, 4 Poynton Tce, Auckland.
Poetry guests, zines, writing, acoustic music, open mic poetry. More info  Email

Storylines 22nd annual Festival

22 to 30 August. At 6 venues around the country
Storylines Festival of New Zealand Children’s Writers and Illustrators was the brainchild of author Joy Cowley, with the first held in Auckland in 1993. Among the authors appearing at the free Family Days this year are Kate De Goldi and Jennifer Beck (in Dunedin), Gavin Bishop and Stacy Gregg (Christchurch), Kyle Mewburn and Mona Williams (Wellington), Tessa Duder and Ruth Paul (Kerikeri), Fifi Colston and Melinda Syzmanik (South Auckland), and Leonie Agnew, Philippa Werry, Norm Heke, Paula Green and Sandra Morris (Auckland). More

Sunday Session at The Kings: Poetry

1-4pm, 23 August at Kings Theatre Creative, 80 Gillies St. Kawakawa.
Whangarei & the Far North poets share their love of words in an impromptu open mic performance.  Welcoming poets with energy, passion & humor to join in.  
More info  Email 


7pm, 25-29 August at The Basement in Auckland
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

ATC The Testing Ground: Play Reading #6

6:30pm, 27 August at Auckland Theatre Company Studios, cnr Dominion & Brixton Rds, Balmoral.  
Hear new scripts read by a professional cast and engage with the playwright while the script is being worked on. More info 


Auckland Zinefest

21 to 29 August, various central Auckland venues
A community festival celebrating zines and all things DIY. More

Word Christchurch - Shifting points of view

30 August and 7 September
In a world of reality TV shows and light entertainment, where issues are reduced to convenient soundbites, WORD Christchurch, in association with Christchurch Arts Festival, is proud to provide a platform for relevant, in-depth, stimulating — and yes, also entertaining — discussion. More

Inside.Out Open Mic for Writers

7pm, 9 September 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: 9 Sept, 14 Oct, 11 Nov, 9 December.)

Going West Books & Writers Festival 2015

11-13 September at Titirangi Memorial Hall, 500 Sth Titirangi Rd 
Tickets now on sale. More info  Facebook

Gala Opening: Going West Books & Writers Festival 2015

7-10pm, Fri 11 Sept. Titirangi Memorial Hall, 500 Sth Titirangi Rd. 
Poetry & Prose performance with Harry Ricketts, Stephanie Johnson, Tanya Batt, Glenn Colquhoun & Graeme Gash. More info

Whanganui Literary Festival

12 to 20 September. Whanganui
A week-long celebration of writing, beginning with a Fringe Festival on September 12 2015. The main festival weekend will be from Friday 18 September to Sunday 20 September. More


2 to 5 October. St Catherine’s College, Kilbirnie, Wellington
Tinderbox is a professional conference for new and established children’s writers and illustrators. The conference aims to shed light on new writing and illustration practices, inform about current practices and practitioners, and otherwise foster and energise its delegates. 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

Death by Deadline


14 Animal Laureate: The 2015 Page & Blackmore Poetry Competition. More
16 Creative Connections Residency 2015. More
23 Emerging Writers’ Residencies. More 
24 NZSA Peter & Dianne Beatson Fellowship 2015. More
28 D’Arcy Writers’ Residencies on Waiheke Island. More
28 Headland - Submissions for Issue More
28 NZ Book Council/Creative NZ International Festival Travel Fund. More
31 Aesthetica Creative Writing Award. More
31 Takahe Poetry Competition. More


6 Live Canon International Poetry Competition More
20 Heritage Week Writing Competition More
30 Writer in Residence 2016. More
30 Chinese Poll Tax Heritage Trust funding. More


2 NZSA Central Districts Short Story Competition (Open & School Student categories). More
5 NZSA / Auckland Museum Research Grants. More 
7 2016 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards More
6 $1000 Poetry Prize. More
30 NZSA Lilian Ida Smith Award 2015. More
30 Young-Adult Unpublished Novel Prize. More
31 Storylines Trust Awards for Children's & YA writers. More


29 Build Your Own Blog New Writer Scholarship More
30 Saving Endangered Species Int'l Playwriting Prize More


Magic Oxygen Literary Prize. 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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