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Welcome to the Literary Bulletin

Book Week: 22 - 28 October

Venture out and participate in Book Week. Find out what your branch is doing and join in. Alternatively buy or borrow a book by a New Zealand author and enjoy Labour Day reading it.

Bookshop Day: 29 October

Great day to go to a bookshop. 170 bookshops from Whangarei to Invercargill will hold special – and quirky – events, author readings, competitions and draws, as well as delightfully fun times for readers and booklovers of all ages and stages.

2016 CLNZ Contestable Fund

Copyright Licensing New Zealand is delighted to announce the successful applicants in the third round of the CLNZ Contestable Fund.  In 2016, total funds available were $75,000. Congratulations to the recipients.
The projects receiving funding contributions in 2016 are:
Toitoi Media Limited  $7,600
Huia (NZ) Ltd  $10,000
Lesley Smith  $10,000
NZ Book Awards Trust $20,000
Prue Langbein  $8,000 
Clean Slate Press Ltd  $8000 
Zak Waipara $5000
Flying Start Books Ltd  $5000                             

Funding contributions will be made to Huia Publishing, Clean Slate Press and Zak Waipara, for projects that specifically encourage Te Reo in primary school classrooms. Toitoi Media Ltd receives funding to help deliver New Zealand student journal publications and teaching resources into low decile schools. Authors Lesley Smith and Prue Langbein also receive contributions towards their individual writing projects. The New Zealand Book Awards Trust receives $20,000 towards the employment of a part-time manager, who will help to enhance the delivery of the NZ Book Awards, NZ Children’s Book Awards and National Poetry Day. Flying Start Books Ltd receives a contribution of $5,000 towards their project to develop their digital export trade. More                                                                        

2016 Prime Minister's Awards For Literary Achievement:
Winners announced

The recipients of the Prime Minister’s Awards for Literary Achievement for 2016 have been announced. Writers Atholl Anderson, Marilyn Duckworth and David Eggleton will each be awarded $60,000 in recognition of their outstanding contribution to New Zealand literature.

The three winners were agreed by the Arts Council of Creative New Zealand, based on public nominations and the recommendations of a selection panel. Atholl Anderson will be recognised for non-fiction, Marilyn Duckworth for fiction and David Eggleton for poetry.

Arts Council Chairman, Dr Dick Grant, says, “The Prime Minister’s Awards for Literary Achievement differ from other prizes in that they recognise a career and a significant body of acclaimed work, rather than a single work of literature. The contribution of nominees to the literary community over time is also taken into consideration.” More


MA in Creative Writing

The MA in Creative Writing is a one year full-time graduate research degree, which gives recognition to work in creative writing. The programme does not teach a specific set of predetermined skills; rather, it encourages writers to identify and articulate, as appropriate, their own distinctive voices in their chosen medium. It is built around a strong workshop culture, reflecting our belief in the importance of nurturing individual voices within a lively community of writers.

Applications close 1 November 2016

See their website here for more information.
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Peter Porter Poetry Prize

The Peter Porter Poetry Prize is now open to poets around the world. This prestigious prize is worth a total of AU$7,500. The overall winner will receive $5,000 and a print by the great artist Arthur Boyd, who collaborated with Peter Porter. Poems must not exceed 75 lines and must be written in English. Full details about how to enter and eligibility criteria can be found on the Australian Book Review  website  

Deadline for entries is 1 December 2016
Australian Book Review – one of the country’s foremost cultural magazines – publishes writers (and reviews books) from around the world. The Porter Prize complements ABR’s impressive commitment to poetry. In addition to publishing reviews, essays and new poems in each issue, we offer the online, open-access States of Poetry anthologies and Poem of the Week. We welcome submissions from poets via
Subscribe to ABR Online and enter a poem in the Porter Prize for the special price of just $55.
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Tala Tusi: The teller is the tale in 4 tales

The 2016 NZBC Lecture

Delivered by Selina Tusitala Marsh
National Library of New Zealand, 70 Molesworth St, Thordon, Wellington
Friday 11 November 6 pm
This is a free event but spaces are limited.
Please email to secure your seat.
This event is presented by the NZ Book Council in partnership with the National Library of New Zealand.

Call For Submissions

Bonsai: The big book of small stories

Editors Michelle Elvy, Frankie McMillan and James Norcliffe are seeking submissions for a comprehensive book of compressed fiction to be published in 2017. This is an ambitious project, the first of its kind in New Zealand, and we aim to include the very best small fictions from around Aotearoa.
The book will be a wide-ranging collection in three parts: one section will feature the best of previously published work; one section will feature considerations and essays by noted practitioners on the short narrative form and its development/ growth in New Zealand; one section will feature entirely new work, to showcase the fast-changing landscape of New Zealand small fictions. More

Calling on all Creative Nurses out There!

The art of nursing manifests itself in many forms. One of these is when nurses respond to their nursing work and experiences through writing about them. As part of the NZNO Visibility of Nursing project, an exciting opportunity has arisen to create an inaugural book of poetry written by NZ nurses.

If you wish to submit a poem or poems for consideration…  

Please send your poem(s) and/or any enquiries to this email address by 31st January 2017. Up to 3 poems may be submitted, and the poems can be very broad in subject matter – about nursing, nurses, the health system, patient experiences, wellness, illness, etc.
We look forward to receiving your creative responses. Poems may be previously published or unpublished, and should be no longer than 36 lines. Please include your name and email address as notification of successful inclusion in the collection will be by email only.

Lorraine Ritchie, October 2016
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Storylines Margaret Mahy Medal 2017

The Storylines Trust will award the Margaret Mahy Medal, its top prize for children’s literature, at its National Awards Day in April 2017.  

Candidates’ names and supporting material should be forwarded to Storylines by 31 October 2016.  

The award, regarded as the most prestigious in New Zealand’s children’s literature, is given for lifetime achievement and an outstanding contribution to writing, illustrating or advocacy for children’s literature and literacy. Previous winners since 1991 have included Joy Cowley, Gavin Bishop, Lynley Dodd, Kate De Goldi, David Hill, Fleur Beale and Barbara Else. 

Nomination forms are on the Storylines website. Nominations should be forwarded by 5 pm 31 October 2016 to

New Writer in Residence at IIML

Acclaimed playwright Victor Rodger has been appointed the Victoria University of Wellington and Creative New Zealand Writer in Residence for 2017. Mr Rodger is the first writer of Pasifika descent to be awarded this position.
Best known for his 2013 play Black Faggot, Mr Rodger has also received critical acclaim for his other works. Mr Rodger’s first play, Sons, won Best New Play and Best Writer at the Chapman Tripp Theatre Awards in 1998. He also received the 2001 Bruce Mason Playwriting Award.
Mr RoNew Writer in Residence at IIMLdger has been the Robert Burns Fellow at Otago University, the McMillan Brown Artist in Residence at Canterbury University and he was the 2006 Fulbright-Creative New Zealand Writer in Residence at the University of Hawaii. More


an online site dedicated to reviewing New Zealand books.

The 100th FlaxFlower book review has been posted. Dr Bronwyn Elsmore began FlaxFlower in 2014 as a free service to fellow Kiwi authors, who often find it difficult to have their books reviewed. She finds a reviewer appropriate to each book, insisting that reviewer and author do not know each other – essential for an unbiased opinion. Books published by traditional publishing houses as well as smaller and independent publishers are accepted. Website

New Zealand Festival appoints Writers Week Manager

The New Zealand Festival has appointed Mark Cubey as the New Zealand Festival Writers Week Manager. Supported by Lion Foundation and Victoria University of Wellington, the event is currently held biennially within the New Zealand Festival.
Artistic Director of the New Zealand Festival, Shelagh Magadza, said: “As the producers of Aotearoa’s very first Writers Week in 1986, we had a vision to share the world’s best writers with New Zealand audiences and 30 years on, the literary landscape has evolved significantly. The time is right to refresh our approach and look ahead to the next 30 years. Mark will play a key role in this development, so it’s hugely exciting to bring him on board.” More

Courage Day

15th November

Courage Day is once again on our horizon. What is your branch doing this year to mark the event? The Day of the Imprisoned Writer (known locally as “Courage Day”) 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 one of the writers on our case list, or may involve ‘pop up’ readings of works by imprisoned writers. Courage Day is named 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.
Authors you might like to use this year are:
  • Dareen Tatour (whose work was translated by PEN centres worldwide for World Translation Day) 
  • Amanuel Asrat’s “The Scourge of War”
  • Enoh Meyomesse’s poem “I Thank You” to thank PEN for our role in freeing him from prison
  • Aron Atabek is still in prison so his poem for PEN NZ is still a useful reminder of our link to one writer.
Contact Dana Wensley for copies of these poems and links to biographical information. For more information on what the day involves, or how you can contribute, please contact PEN (NZ) spokesperson Dana Wensley at

Clippings from the Internet

On Bob Dylan's Nobel Prize.

From The Conversation - Story by David McCooey.

Bob Dylan has won this year’s Nobel Prize for Literature. The media has reported on this surprising choice by asking musicians, poets, and writers if Dylan’s songs are indeed “literature”. Irvine Welsh, the author of Trainspotting (1993), made it clear on Twitter that he didn’t think they were:

If you’re a ‘music’ fan, look it up in the dictionary. Then ‘literature’. Then compare and contrast.

So are song lyrics a type of literature or, more specifically, poetry? More 

Digital Files

Educational Publishers Confront Tech Disruption
From Publishing Perspectives Frankfurt Edition. 

A panel chaired by Samudra Sen, CEO of Learning Mate Solutions, discussed the lessons educational publishers can learn in using new technologies. More

Death by Deadline

28 NZSA / Auckland Museum Research Grants. More
28 NZSA Janet Frame Memorial Award For Literature. More
28 NZWG Seed Grants Round 3. More
28 D'Arcy Writers Grants 2017. More
31 Travel And Discretionary Grants For Journalists. More
31 Flash Frontier: An Adventure in Short Fiction - theme: Birds. More
31 Takuna Beach Short Story & Poetry Competition. More
31 Storylines Margaret Mahy Medal 2017. More

1  Commonwealth Short Story Prize 2017. More
1  IIML MA of Creative Writing. More
4  Randell Cottage Writers Residency. More
4  Creative New Zealand Quick Response Grant. More
13 Hachette Mentorship Program. More
30 Flash Frontier: An Adventure in Short Fiction - no theme. More

1 Peter Porter Poetry Prize. More
10 Celtic Mythology Short Story Competition. More
20 Wallace Foundation Short Fiction Contest 2017. More

30 Kokako twice-yearly magazine of haiku, senryu, tanka, renga and related forms. Email



The Calendar of Opportunities is found on our website. 

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  • 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.

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Writers on Radio and TV

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