NZSA enews - latest news, opportunities and events
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Welcome to the first Literary Bulletin for 2016


It's heartening to start the year with the news that book sales are up. This should trickle through to a more buoyant environment for writers. 

All your opportunities and literary events can be found at - although we have featured a few high profile ones here today. If you have any problems logging in to the website don't hesitate to call the office.

All the best
Jackie Dennis and Claire Hill

National Writers Conference planned -
Writers, save the date! 

Venue is University of Auckland
If you have a business, product or service you would like to promote consider becoming a supporting partner, sponsor or exhibitor at the National Writers Forum. Find out about all the sponsorship options here.

Submissions open for $10,000 Text Prize for Young Adult and Children's Writing 

The $10,000 Text Prize aims to discover incredible new books for young adults and children by Australian and New Zealand writers.

Awarded annually to the best manuscript written for young readers, the prize has unearthed extraordinary, multi-award-winning books and launched international publishing careers. 

Published and unpublished writers of all ages are eligible to enter with works of fiction or non-fiction.

The winner receives a publishing contract with Text and a $10,000 advance against royalties. 

Read FAQ page and download the entry form for the 2016 Text Prize.
SUBMISSIONS OPEN: Monday 1 Feb 2016 | SUBMISSIONS CLOSE: Friday 4 March 2016
The winner of the 2016 Text Prize will be announced at an event in Melbourne in April.

Book Sales Are Up

From Booksellers NZ
Booksellers, publishers, authors and readers are ringing in 2016 with smiles on their faces, as the Nielsen BookScan NZ 2015 Snapshot proves what we all know: Books are back, and they’re here to stay. 

2015 saw a growth in volume of 7.1% (with 5.3m books sold), while value also grew by 2.1% overall. Nielsen Book’s figures are taken from their retailer panel of The Warehouse, LS Travel, Paper Plus and a weighted sample of independent bookstores. 
While the book industry has stabilised since the e-book panic of the early part of the 2010’s, last year is the first year to post a significant rise in overall sales. And it isn’t led just by adult colouring books here in NZ, evidenced by the top five overall bestsellers from 2015: 
  1. Dan Carter: My Story, by Dan Carter & Duncan Greive (Upstart Press)
  2. Make Me, by Lee Child (Random House)
  3. Grey, by E. L. James (Random House)
  4. Homemade Happiness, by Chelsea Winter (Random House) 
  5. Wimpy Kid: Old School, by Jeff Kinney (Penguin) 

Authors to Join NZ Contingent at TIBE 2016

It has been announced that three NZ authors will be joining the publisher delegation at TIBE 2016 this February. 

NZSA member Rachel Fenton will be at TIBE to promote the book Island to Island, a joint publication between herself and two other New Zealand graphic novelists along with three Taiwanese graphic novelists. Copies of the book will be available in New Zealand soon.

Joining Rachel will be award-winning author and illustrator Donovan Bixley, promoting his new picture book Much Ado About Shakespeare, and Michael Corballis, who will be a guest of the National Taiwan University Press to promote his forthcoming book The Wandering Mind.

Apply for the NZSA Mentor Programme 2016 by 5 Feb

For your opportunity to be mentored by an established writer, poet, playwright or comic / graphic novelist - apply to NZ Society of Authors by 5 Feb.

Apply now for: Writing Mentorship     Comic / Graphic Novelist Mentorship

NZSA Youth Mentor Programme Seeks Emerging Young Writers 

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.

Applications for the Youth Mentorship Programme open 2 Feb and must be submitted by 1 April.  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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Wallace Arts Trust Prize Winners Announced 

This year's winner of the Wallace Arts Trust Prize for best short story is Jade du Preez with "Lily of the Valley". The runner up in the Wallace Arts Trust Prize for short fiction is NZSA member and 2015 NZSA Mentee Nod Ghosh with "Seven Lesbians and a Bar of  Soap". 
The award ceremony will occur during Same Same But Different, an LGBTQI literary festival that coincides with Auckland Pride Festival. More

PEN: New Voices Award 

Submissions for the PEN International New Voices Award will be received from February. The award is aimed at writers aged 18- 30 years and open to unpublished writers. Authors must be nominated by PEN centres and PEN NZ would like to nominate one of our writers. The award encourages entries from diverse linguistic regions and communities.

It would be particularly suited to a member who is writing in te reo but we encourage
all members who fit the description to contact us early so we can start the review process. Contact Dana Wensley for more information.

New Zealand Festival Writers Week - Wgtn

Writers Week (8 – 13 March) view the full programme here. The festival features more than 100 writers in over 50 events, including Miranda July, Richard Dawkins, Henry Marsh, Cornelia Funke and Andrew O'Hagan, as well as other, previously unannounced guests. 

To book early, join Festival supporters group The Culture Club and take advantage of its pre-sale from Friday 29 January – Thursday 4 February. Booking for the general public opens on Friday 5 February.

Top of the South Writers Retreat: last chance to book

18 – 20 March at Mount Richmond Estate in Rai Valley  

This popular event offers the chance for writers to hide away and write, to meet and socialise with other writers, and to take part in mentoring and discussion sessions on writing and how to meet its many challenges.
Please complete the registration form or email the administrator, David Briggs, by 31 Jan confirming: 
  • what accommodation you require (single or shared chalet, or none)
  • whether you wish to reserve dinner on Friday and/or Saturday, or will be fully self-catering
  • whether or not you are an NZSA member. Please note that your registration fee ($40 for NZSA members, $60 for non-members) reserves your place and must be received no later than 18 February.
Further information about the Retreat can be found here.

Poets' Picnic In The Park at Michael King Writers Centre

Auckland Anniversary Day, Monday 1 Feb, a picnic in the park is being held at the historic Signalman's House at the Michael King Writers' Centre from 12pm til 4pm. BYO picnic with tea and coffee provided and poetry readings from 2pm.

Celtic Mythology Short Story Competition Results

Congratulations to NZSA member Coral Atkinson, whose short story Lir will be published in the Irish Imbas Celtic Mythology Collection 2016, to be released in March. 
The competition and subsequent publication aims to provide a source of authentic context and information on aspects of Celtic mythology for the general public. More 

Clippings from the Internet


A New App Turns Your Romance Novel Fantasy Into Reality

Extract from article by Claire Fallon in the Huff Post 
Reading a novel isn’t what it used to be.  A new romance book app, Crave, which launched late in 2015, claims to reimagine the reading experience for today’s social media  addicted consumer. By incorporating texts, notifications, GIFS into the narrative - how we communicate on mobile - Crave has altered the storytelling medium to embrace the breaks in concentration that social media apps such as Snapchat and Twitter provide.  More

Who dunnit? Top tips for writing detective fiction

Extract from article by Rohan Gavin in the Guardian. 
I love detective novels because, like a favourite dish, you always know what you’re going to get, but you never know quite how it’s going to be served up. Detective stories always have a crime, a clue, a suspect, and an investigator (or two), but the art is in making it feel fresh. With Knightley & Son I tried to cook up an outlandish mystery, where the main suspect is not a person, but a book. More

Scientists find evidence of mathematical structures in classic books

Extract from article by Alison Flood in the Guardian 
Researchers at Poland’s Institute of Nuclear Physics found complex ‘fractal’ patterning of sentences in literature, particularly in James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake, which resemble ‘ideal’ maths seen in nature...The academics put more than 100 works of world literature, by authors from Charles Dickens to Shakespeare, Alexandre Dumas, Thomas Mann, Umberto Eco and Samuel Beckett, through a detailed statistical analysis. More

Comic / Graphic News


Anyone, Anywhere Can Sign Up For This Free Online Course on Comic Books

The California College of the Arts is one of very few schools to offer an MFA in Comics. But if you’re just starting to make your own comics—or perhaps not quite ready to commit to a degree program—here’s a rad opportunity that anyone can take part in: a free online course that kicks off in February. The Massive Online Open Course in comics, a first for CCA, will be entitled “Comics: Art in Relationships.” More

Top Selling Comics & Graphic Novels For 2015

Extract from report in
Star Wars returned to Marvel Comics in January with the million-selling Star Wars #1 from Jason Aaron and John Cassaday, kicking off a blockbuster year of Star Wars success that climaxed with Star Wars: The Force Awakens shattering box office records worldwide, earning Marvel not only the best-selling comic book published in 2015 but the best-selling single issue in over two decades with Star Wars #1, based on total unit sales to comic book specialty retailers, according to Diamond Comic Distributors, the world’s largest distributor of comics, graphic novels, and pop-culture merchandise. More

Digital Files


How to Turn Both Paper and Digital Text Into an E-Book

Extract from article by April Glaser in Wired.
BOOKS AREN’T DEAD. They’re just getting digitized, like everything else. While there’s a real charm to owning a stack of bound paper that you can fold the corners of, underline, and read without staring at a screen, ebooks are far more convenient. Your backpack can hold maybe four or five books, but one e-reader or tablet can hold thousands of titles. Plus, e-readers allow you to search text, share the saucy bits, and read at night without a light. More

The Internet of Bookish Things

Extract from blog by Andrew Rhomberg in digitalbookworld.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is the network of physical objects, devices, vehicles, buildings and other items which are embedded with electronics, software, sensors, and network connectivity, which enables these objects to collect and exchange data.
We don’t think of books as Internet-connected things, though innovations like conductive ink have made it possible to connect even printed books to the Internet. More

PEN Matters

PEN Rapid Network: Irakli Kakabadze

Freedom of speech proponent, Irakli Kakabadze, has once again been arrested and fined in Georgia. Irakli Kakabadze is an award winning Georgian poet, writer, and rights activist who also holds US citizenship. The author of more than 50 published short stories and essays spanning both Georgian and English newspapers and magazines, he is the author of several books.

You can view a video of his arrest here. More details of his case and how you can take action are available here.


PEN: Partners With UNDEF

The voice of African writers has been strengthened with a new partnership between PEN and The United Nations Democracy Fund (UNDEF). The new partnership will support PEN’s work in promoting freedom of expression and democracy in Africa over the next two years. The programme will include mentoring, training, and advocacy and will focus on four countries; Sierra Leone, South Africa, Uganda, and Zambia
. More

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

Opportunities / Death by Deadline


Opportunities can now be found on our new website. 

  • Opportunities are only visible to members! To see opportunities/death by deadline you need to log in using your email address and member password.
  • To find opportunities in your area, visit your branch page.

Events / Book Launches


Events can now be found on our new website

  • To find all events and book launches go here.
  • To find events in your area, visit your branch page.

Bestsellers from Nielsen BookScan

Latest Nielsen Bestseller reports: Bestsellers Chart - fiction, non fiction, adults, children & Independent Booksellers Top 20
Bestseller Charts for 2015 overall.

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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