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Welcome Bestsellers from Nielsen BookScan
Writers on Radio and TV

Welcome to the Literary Bulletin

For those that got involved, thank you for all your efforts during Book Week. We received some great photos from NZSA Book Week activites and we'll feature them in the November issue of NZ Author.

Enjoy your weekend
All the best from National Office

StartWrite: Chapter and Synopsis Assessment

Six subsidised StartWrite assessments left for 2016 - get in quick!

Are you a writer with a book on the front burner? Need a pair of skilled eyes to help you get to the next stage?

The NZSA StartWrite Chapter and Synopsis Assessment Service is an excellent opportunity for writers and comic and graphic novelists to get an appraisal for part of a manuscript. StartWrite is a fast and efficient way to get you on track to finish your book. More 

Queries? Email Claire

Auckland Libraries

I received a few emails of concern following the Bernard Orsman Oct 23 NZ Herald news item "More than 50 jobs could go at Auckland libraries". The concerns were about the loss of more than 50 library staff, that 31 of Auckland's 55 libraries will close between Christmas and New Year, and that library staff have been told by council management not to talk to the media about the changes. This restriction on freedom of speech is standard now for Government employees and the issue is on PEN NZ's radar. Our PEN spokesperson, Dana Wensley, gave a talk earlier this week down in Nelson linking this inability for staff to speak out to reduced voices being heard in the media, restrictions on the flow of information and reduced transparency. Dana says "the demise of freedom of speech and the impact on our daily lives restricts the ability to exercise our democratic freedoms".

Following the NZ Herald article General Manager Libraries and Information Mirla Edmundson released Libraries preparing for the future explaining their Fit for the Furture Programme is about services and programmes being redesigned in response to shifting customer demand. We'll keep you informed if there are any concerning developments.
Jackie Dennis, Chief Executive.

Heritage Book Awards and Writing Competition winners

The winners of the second annual Heritage Book Awards and Writing Competition run by NZSA's Canterbury branch in partnership with Christchurch City Council were announced on 22nd October. They are:
Short Prose: "Finders Keepers" by Anne Else
Poetry: "Canterbury Melt" by Sommer Cullingford
Non-fiction book: "To the Memory: New Zealand's War Memorials" by Jock Phillips, published by Potton and Burton
Fiction book: "All Day at the Movies" by Fiona Kidman, published by Vintage.
Our congratulations to the winners. More

Looking for an affordable author’s website?

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  • a launch pad for generating interest in new titles well ahead of their launch date
  • ability to generate book sales without needing an e-commerce site
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No compromise on quality: receive the same high quality professionally built website and ongoing tech support as a commercial website without the high price tag. The only difference is the time you save on having a custom design built from scratch and making lots of design decisions. Instead, we apply your individual branding to a quality pre-designed template.  For more information about Web Tonic authors’ websites visit Web Tonic.  
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NZ author Anna Smaill wins World Fantasy Award

Kiwi author Anna Smaill's debut novel The Chimes has won best novel at the World Fantasy Awards.

The award is presented annually at the World Fantasy Convention, held this year in Ohio, USA. Smaill tweeted to say winning the award was "fantastic news". The Chimes is the Wellington-based author's first novel, which was also long-listed for the Man Booker Prize.

The Chimes is a dystopian fantasy novel set in a parallel London where people are stripped of their memories by a strange music called The Chimes.  More

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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Can't wait for CompleteMS next year? 

The New Zealand Association of Manuscript Assessors (NZAMA) is a group of professional New Zealand-based editors and writers who offer authors objective advice and guidance on how to bring their work closer to publishable standard.  Members of the Association have long experience in the local publishing scene as writers, editors, writing tutors and/or publishing consultants.
The Association has a code of practice and strict entry criteria. Its purpose is to give writers confidence in the professional capabilities of its members and thereby help writers avoid exploitation by unscrupulous operators in the field of mentoring, publishing advice and manuscript assessment. More

Canterbury's Original Children’s Bookshop liquidating

Booksellers NZ has announced that The Original Children’s Bookshop, which has been trading in Christchurch for more than 30 years, is the latest NZ bookstore to fall victim to changes in the book industry. The bookstore is still welcoming customers until further notice, and still has lots of current stock. More

PEN International

Courage Day 15th November
From PEN (NZ) spokesperson Dana Wensley:

Our Courage Day event challenge is going well. I have received much interest from branches around the country. PEN (NZ) has received the names of writers PEN is officially recognising this year for Courage Day. I have distributed them to those who have already contacted me. Further details are on the NZSA website.

Our focus cases for 2016 are:

· Ahmed Naji (Egypt) - Novelist and journalist Ahmed Naji is currently serving a two-year prison sentence for ‘violating public modesty’ in relation to the publication of excerpts from his 2014 novel Istikhdam al-Hayat (The Use of Life) in Akhbar al-Adab magazine, also in 2014. Naji has now served almost eight months of his sentence.

·   Aslı Erdoğan (Turkey) - Renowned novelist and PEN member Aslı Erdoğan was arrested at her home in Istanbul on 17 August 2016. She was sent to a prison in Istanbul on preliminary charges of “membership of a terrorist organisation” and “undermining national unity.”  She has been in pre-trial detention since her arrest, and no date has currently been set for her trial.

· Cesario Alejandro Félix Padilla Figueroa (Honduras) - Journalism graduate, student leader, and board member and founding member of PEN Honduras, Cesario Alejandro Félix Padilla Figueroa has faced prosecution, threats and harassment for his part in on-going student protests at the state National Autonomous University of Honduras (UNAH) in the Honduran capital Tegucigalpa since 2014.

·  Dareen Tatour (Israel) – A poet and a Palestinian citizen of Israel, Dareen Tatour is currently standing trial on charges of “support for a terrorist organisation” and several counts of incitement to violence in connection with her poetry and social media activity. Tatour was detained over a year ago and is currently under house arrest.

· Gui Minhai (China) - In October 2015, publisher Gui Minhai disappeared from his holiday home in Thailand. Three months later he appeared in a televised ‘confession’ on state-controlled TV claiming that he had voluntarily surrendered himself to the Chinese authorities over his supposed involvement in a fatal hit-and-run incident in December 2003.  Since then, his whereabouts have been unknown; he has reportedly not had access to legal counsel and has been allowed no contact with his daughter who lives in the UK.

For more information on what the day involves, or how you can contribute, please contact PEN (NZ) spokesperson Dana Wensley at

Titirangi Poets salute to Courage Day

Titirangi poets Riemke Ensing and Paul Protheroe will be featured poets at 2pm on Saturday 12 November at Titirangi Library.

Titirangi Poets will also have a Salute to PEN’s Courage Day with readings from poets wrongly imprisoned for their writings.

Clippings from the internet


Man Booker Prize winner announced

The Sellout by Paul Beatty is named winner of the 2016 Man Booker Prize for Fiction. The Sellout is published by small independent publisher Oneworld, who had their first win in 2015 with Marlon James’ A Brief History of Seven Killings.

The 54-year-old New York resident, born in Los Angeles, is the first American author to win the prize in its 48-year history. US authors became eligible in 2014. The 2016 shortlist included two British, two US, one Canadian and one British-Canadian writer.

The Sellout is a searing satire on race relations in contemporary America. The Sellout is described by The New York Times as a ‘metaphorical multicultural pot almost too hot to touch’, whilst the Wall Street Journal called it a ‘Swiftian satire of the highest order. Like someone shouting fire in a crowded theatre, Mr. Beatty has whispered “Racism” in a postracial world.’ More

First complete edition of Katherine Mansfield’s poems

Edited by Gerri Kimber and Claire Davison

The first complete edition of Katherine Mansfield’s poetry has been published. The collection, including 26 poems dating from 1909–10, was discovered in 2015 by Gerri Kimber in Chicago's Newberry Library.

The edition is made up of 217 poems, ordered chronologically, so that the reader can follow Mansfield’s development as a poet and her experiments with different forms, as well as tracing the themes – love and death, the natural world and the seasons, childhood and friendship, music and song – that preoccupied her throughout her writing life. The comprehensive annotations provide illuminating biographical information as well as explaining the rich contexts of the European poetic tradition, including fin-de-siècle decadence within which Mansfield’s artistry is steeped. More

Denmark’s New Palatium: Curating Indie Books

From Publishing Perspectives by Porter Anderson

Can a ‘gateway to worldwide subscription services’ for self-published authors up the ante for those services? Two Danes think curating indies is the way forward. More


What should I do with a bad pre-pub review?

From Literary Hub, by Broadside PR

Yes, they sting - but do bad pre-publication reviews really matter in the long run? Broadside PR responds. More

Digital Files

U.S. Copyright Office Director Fired

From Artist Rights Watch

On October 21, Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden summarily removed Maria Pallante as Register of Copyright and Director of the U.S. Copyright Office, setting off a firestorm of pro- and anti-copyright responses and allegations of Google interference.


How you can start a daily blog today

From StartupGrind by Jordan Gonen

Writing daily has changed my life. It has become my favorite vehicle for exploring and learning new things. Since my first blog post on February 24th, 2016, I have produced at least one piece of public content every single day. Though storytelling had always been a passion of mine, I had never before imagined I could write at such a large scale. More

Comic / Graphic Novel News

On Making Comic Books For The Blind

From LitHub, by Amy Brady 

Until recently, Jeffrey Albertson, a.k.a. Comic Book Guy from The Simpsons, has loomed large in the minds of Americans as the embodiment of comic-book culture. He mocks those who know less about comics than him—or who hold differing views—flinging sarcastic quips and put-downs that border on abusive.

But as comic-book culture grows more mainstream with annual releases of superhero blockbuster films and popular TV shows, our collective conception of comics-loving geeks has started to change. Marvel Comics, the world’s largest comic-book publisher, has certainly contributed to a shift in the market by introducing female characters like Ms. Marvel (2013) and Squirrel Girl (2015) into its male-dominated universe. The company also recently depicted Ariell Johnson, the first black female comic-book store owner on the East Coast, on the cover of Invincible Iron Man. Another gauge of comic-book culture’s changing demographic? More women and people of color are attending Comic Cons than ever before.

Amid this burgeoning culture of inclusivity, comic-book writer, publisher, and seller, Guy Hasson, seeks to reach a population few others have considered: the blind. More

New Zealand Book Festival - in Auckland tomorrow


Death by Deadline

4  Randell Cottage Writers Residency. More
4  Creative New Zealand Quick Response Grant. More
7  Nominations for Prime Ministers Pacific Youth Award for Art and Creativity More
13 Hachette Mentorship Program. More
28 New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults entries open More
30 Flash Frontier: An Adventure in Short Fiction - no theme. More
30 Fish Short Story Contest 2016 More

1 Peter Porter Poetry Prize. More
7 Casa Ana Writers' Retreat More
10 Celtic Mythology Short Story Competition. More
14 Aotearoa Short Film Lab More
20 Wallace Foundation Short Fiction Contest 2017. More

30 Kokako twice-yearly magazine of haiku, senryu, tanka, renga and related forms. Email
31 Fish Short Memoir Contest More 

28 Poems in the Waiting Room competition More



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.

Bestsellers from Nielsen BookScan


Bestsellers from Nielsen BookScan

Latest Nielsen Bestseller reports: Bestsellers Chart - fiction, non fiction, adults, childrenIndependent Booksellers Top 20

Writers on Radio and TV

Click here for 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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