NZSA Literary Bulletin - latest news, opportunities and events
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Nominations for National Council open now
New Bird Writing Anthology seeks submissions
Educational Publisher re-licensing School Journal work
The Commonwealth Short Story Prize 2016 Shortlist Announced
Decline in Lotto revenue to affect the arts
Storylines Award winners announced
International Award for small New Zealand publisher
Copyright Exception Creep
Best New Zealand Poems 2015 surveys the terrain of NZ poetry
PEN Matters
  Book Club Members Sentenced
  Journalist Prevented from Attending World Press Freedom Day 
Clippings from the Internet
   ‘Occupy Carnegie’: The UK’s Fast-Growing Library Crisis
  What Adult Coloring Books Show Us: Light, and Dark
Comic / Graphic Novels
  15 Ways To Get Ahead In Comics
Digital Files
  Literary Trumps: Crowdfunding a publishing revolution
  Crowdfunding for literature via NZ site Boosted
NWF - conference for writers
Want to start a writing group?
Bestsellers from Nielsen BookScan
Writers on Radio and TV

Welcome to the Literary Bulletin

and have an enjoyable weekend. Jackie & Claire

Nominations for National Council open now

Southland / Otago AND Central and Northern South Island 

This is a call for nominations for two delegates for the National Council. One from each region is needed to represent the members in the region on the National Council. This is a rewarding role, please consider standing.

Wellington and Regions AND Central Districts

In these two regions the current delegate is happy to remain on the National Council as they are enjoying the role and are only part way through the maximum term allowed.  However, nominations are open should a member like to put his / her hand up for the role and prompt an election in the region.

Here is the job description and the process for an election should there be more than one nominee. Email Jackie for information on how to nominate yourself, or another member, for National Council delegate. Note all nominations need to be seconded. Nominations are open until 9am 26 April. 

New Bird Writing Anthology seeks submissions

Elisabeth Easther is editing an anthology of New Zealand bird writing for Penguin Random House, a mixture of poetry, prose and non-fiction. It doesn’t have to be about native birds per se, it may well contain Denis Glover’s The Magpies or Sam Hunt’s charming verse about sparrows, but it’ll lean heavily toward the natives because recently they’ve become the rock stars of our natural world. A story about Kentucky Fried Chicken probably wont cut the mustard, but then again, if it’s good enough, it could get the nod.

And yes there is a modest budget, you wont get to retire but it’s money none the less and exact fees will be calculated when everything is all gathered up.

Submissions deadline: May 21. Email them to Elisabeth

Educational Publisher re-licensing School Journal work

An educational publisher, on behalf of the Ministry of Education, approached a number of contributors who in the past had works published by Learning Media.

The publisher's purpose was to re-license the work for continued use. The new non-exclusive license had additional rights added thereby allowing more flexibility with print and digital formats for schools and students.

One member received more than one new license from the publisher and was disappointed with the payment offered. She sought the advice of our Contract Advisory Committee and the Committee noted that the new fees were not commensurate with the original fees paid, despite the fact the rights had increased, and advised negotiating a higher fee. 

We wanted to let members know that our member took their advice and wrote to the publisher requesting the fee be no less than the original fee. The amount offered was about 60% of the original fee. The publisher went back to the Ministry of Education and the Ministry agreed to pay the increased fee.

We hope this information helps other members who also received new licenses and are undecided about what to do.

The Commonwealth Short Story Prize 2016 Shortlist Announced

Congratulations to all those shortlisted, particularly NZSA members Tina Makereti and Bonnie Etherington!

The 2016 Commonwealth Short Story Prize attracted nearly 4000 entries from 47 countries. Twenty-six “fresh and unexpected” stories by writers from eleven countries make up the shortlist.

After an initial sift by a team of international readers, the global judging panel, representing each of the five regions of the Commonwealth – Helon Habila (Africa), Firdous Azim (Asia),  Pierre Mejlak (Canada and Europe)  Olive Senior (Caribbean), and Patrick Holland (Pacific) – chose the shortlist. More

Decline in Lotto revenue to affect the arts

Creative New Zealand is reviewing its budgets for the 2016/17 financial year and beyond, following a further forecast decline in revenue from New Zealand Lottery Grants Board (NZLGB) for the 2015/16 financial year.

The Arts Council of Creative New Zealand receives approximately two-thirds of its revenue from Lotto NZ profits via a grant from the New Zealand Lottery Grants Board. The remainder of revenue is mostly from the Crown through the Ministry for Culture and Heritage ($15.69 million).

“The arts sector has benefited from steady increases in lottery profits peaking at $37.38 million in 2013/14, which was a record profit year for Lotto NZ. In 2014/15 revenue fell to $31 million and this financial year our latest forecast revenue from the NZLGB is $26.31 million, which is $3.69 million less than forecast at the start of the year,” said Creative New Zealand Chief Executive Stephen Wainwright. More

Storylines Award winners announced

Read the media release here.

NZ Society of Authors congratulates the winners!

Summary of Storylines Awards 2016 

Storylines Margaret Mahy Medal and Lecture Award
Barbara Else, Wellington (currently in Dunedin as Writer in Residence, University of Otago) 
You can read the lecture Barbara delivered at the awards ceremony here.

Storylines Gaelyn Gordon Award for a Much-loved Book
Des Hunt (NZSA) for Cry of the Taniwha, Coromandel.
Storylines Tessa Duder Award for a young adult manuscript, in association with Walker Books, Australia
The Sin Chronicles: New Blood, Gareth Ward (NZSA), Havelock North.
Storylines Tom Fitzgibbon Award for a junior fiction manuscript, in association with Scholastic NZ
Tui Street Tales, Anne Kayes (NZSA member and recipient of a CompleteMS assessment in 2015!), Mt Albert, Auckland.
Storylines Joy Cowley Award for a picture book text, in association with Scholastic NZ
The Wondrous Archew , Sarah Grundy, Ngaio, Wellington.

International Award for small New Zealand publisher

New Zealand publishing house Book Island has received the Bologna Prize 2016 for Best Children’s Publisher in Oceania at the International Children’s Book Fair in Italy. This award has been designed to pay tribute to excellence in the world of children’s publishing. Children’s publishers and cultural institutions from all over the world voted for the children’s publisher, who's well-known for its best-selling 2015 titles The Lion and the Bird, by Marianne Dubuc and The Umbrella, by Ingrid and Dieter Schubert. More

Copyright Exception Creep

Kevin Chapman, Director of Upstart Press comments:
Last week I went to a lecture at Auckland University. It was given by a noted American lawyer and academic, Professor Kenneth Crews, and was ostensibly about copyright and library exceptions in NZ.

Copyright and the prospect of creep in the exceptions area should be a concern for every NZ author and publisher. The lecture started out like Copyright 101, and was designed for its audience. Apart from myself, Sam Elworthy, and Jackie Dennis from NZSA, the audience appeared to be largely librarians and academics, so a fertile ground for anti-copyright sentiment. And that is what Prof. Crews gave them. In a reasoned and mild-mannered way, pretty much every statement had an underlying message – “rights-holders are out to deny you access”. Every so often he would make a statement that seemed even-handed, such as talking about balance, but would then push back to his default position. Apparently balance is a difficult and problematic concept. More

Best New Zealand Poems 2015 surveys the terrain of NZ poetry

The 2015 edition of Best New Zealand Poems has been launched, introducing both established writers and new voices to the wider public. The anthology has been published annually since 2001 by the International Institute of Modern Letters (IIML) at Victoria University of Wellington.
Poet and academic John Newton had the task of sifting through the thousands of poems published in books and journals last year in search of 25 that delivered what he wanted. “I was looking for an active jolt of pleasure,” he says. “That moment of finding something that really does it for you, when you can’t wait to get on the phone or on Facebook, or better still in person, hearing it echoed in the pleasure of the person you’re sharing it with.” More
Listen to NZSA member Serie Barford reading her poem

PEN Matters


Book Club Members Sentenced

Last week 17 writers, activists, and academics, were sentenced by a court in Angola for reading a book. Members of the Luanad Book Club, it demonstrates ‘once more the power of the word, the book and the writer’.  See full details here, and in a transcript of a talk by Mark Heywood ‘Democracy and the Writer’.

Journalist Prevented from Attending World Press Freedom Day

Thai journalist Pravit Rojanaphruk has been banned from travelling to Finland to attend the UNESCO Press Freedom Day conference in May.
“A journalist participating in International Press Freedom Day can’t possess any kind of real threat to his home country. This ban is a punishment targeted to a single profession…it is a blow to freedom of expression,’ according to President of Finnish PEN- Sirpa Kahkonen. More

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


‘Occupy Carnegie’: The UK’s Fast-Growing Library Crisis

For many outside the United Kingdom, it’s hard to understand how the land of Shakespeare and the Shelleys can possibly be closing libraries. The BBC’s assessment of the situation, out less than a week ago, cites 343 UK libraries closed; the government’s estimate is 110. Either way, something has gone wrong when a nation of such literary magnitude watches a reported 25 percent of its library jobs disappear in six years’ time.
Extract from article in Publishing PerspectivesMore

What Adult Coloring Books Show Us: Light, and Dark

It’s springtime for Crayola. Not that we haven’t known for some time that everything’s coming up “Brilliant Rose” for adult coloring books. (That’s a shade of crayon produced by the company from 1949 to 1958, “Fuzzy Wuzzy” having been a more recent shade, 1998 to 2005.).
Extract from article in Publishing Perspectives - More

Comic / Graphic Novels


15 Ways To Get Ahead In Comics

1. We Are In Their Way.
In this amazing age of television and film we’re in, readers are already predisposed to buying Iron Man, Batman, Walking Dead, The Flash and even Groot(!) Before they walk into their comic store, readers have little aperture for new creators or characters. Make no mistake. We are between them and what they really want to see. Welcome to what it’s like to be in advertising.
2. You. Have. This. Much. Time.
Thanks to our endless social feeds, we don’t read anymore. We skim. I believe we need to make our ideas “getable” in these fleeting windows of attention. Your audience has to understand what’s different and interesting about your comic. Very, very quickly. On their laptop and mobile screens. And on increasingly overcrowded comic shelves.
Extract from article by Ken Marcus in the Comics Beat More

Digital Files

Literary Trumps: Crowdfunding a publishing revolution

These are strange times for the book. Technology now enables us to shrink an entire personal library onto an electronic device the size and weight of a single paperback. Yet at the same time, it is also bringing back one of the most old-fashioned ways of funding how books reach readers.  
Extract from article by Alex Johnson in the Independent - More

Crowdfunding for literature via NZ site Boosted

The Boosted website has already assisted many literary projects with crowdfunding. To vist the Boosted website and view projects that have already been crowdfunded via Boosted, go here

Death by Deadline

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 Competition. 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
21 New Bird Writing Anthology seeks submissions 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
7  Inkitt Grand Novel Contest, win and get published (Berlin) 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.

Want to start a writing group?


Is there a lack of 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.

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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