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

We are really pleased with the number of members from Auckland, Northland and Hamilton Branches who have placed a vote for your regional delegate. If you haven't yet, we have included a link below to make it easy for you.

On Monday 27 July the Lilian Ida Smith Award will open for applications. This is a biennial award funded by the interest earned on the bequest Lilian made to the NZSA. Interest rates have been so low the Award didn't run in 2013, so we are delighted we can offer it this year. Documents will be up on the website next week.

The NZSA has the Peter and Dianne Beatson Fellowship open at the moment and it is also made possible thanks to generosity. With this award it's the Beatson's. Applications close 24 August.
All the best
Jackie Dennis and Claire Hill

CLNZ/NZSA Research Grants 2015 Application deadline 5pm 31 July!

Research is a crucial part of the writing process. Copyright Licensing New Zealand (CLNZ) and the New Zealand Society of Authors (NZSA) Research Grants support New Zealand writers by providing assistance to writers who wish to undertake research for a fiction or non-fiction writing project. The 2015 application process is now open.
Four grants of $5,000 each are available. Three are Open Research Grants and the fourth, the Stout Research Centre Grant includes funding of $5,000 and a six-week residential fellowship at the Stout Research Centre at Victoria University of Wellington.
Full guidelines and application forms are available on both the CLNZ and NZSA websites.

Northland, Hamilton and Auckland Branches - time to vote

Regional Delegate - Northern Districts

Three members have generously volunteered their time to be the Northern Districts Regional Delegate. Click on the link to find out more about your three candidates, Susan Battye, Tui Allen and Brent Leslie.

You can place your vote here until midnight on 23 July.

Tui Allen  
Susan Battye  
Brent Leslie
This election is open to members of the Northland, Hamilton and Auckland Branches.

Ashton Wylie Awards Finalists announced

Works by a former methamphetamine addict, a university professor, a monk, two vicars, a documentary film maker and a mental health commissioner are among the finalists of this year’s Mind Body Spirit Literary Awards, announced yesterday.
There are 11 finalists’ works in the awards, which are organised by the Ashton Wylie Charitable Trust, six in the book category and five in the unpublished manuscript category.  NZSA would like to make special mentions of those NZSA members who made the shortlist: Sue Reidy, Julie Leibrich, Keith Hill and Hugh Major.
The complete list of 2015 Mind Body Spirit Literary Awards finalists are: 
Book Category
Julie Leibrich - Sanctuary: The Discovery of Wonder
Janet Balcombe - Take A Walk On the Wild Side 
Michael Cocks - Into The Wider Dream
Thomas M Fairs - In Human Terms
Ron Hay - Finding The Forgotten God
Greg Hopkinson - Boundless: A Wayward Entrepreneur’s Search for Peace

Unpublished Manuscript Category
Keith Hill - Clapping with two Hands
Hugh Major - From Monkey to Moth : An Imaginal Evolution
Dr Karlo Mila - Mana Moana
Sue Reidy - Small Steps to Happiness: A Guide to Enriching Your Life One Step at a Time
Rohana Ulluwishewa - Spirituality Demystified: Understanding Spirituality in Rational Terms
All finalists compete for a $20,000 prize pool, thanks to a bequest from the late businessman, Ashton Wylie.  There are two prizes of $10,000 for the winner of each category. The winners will be announced at a ceremony at The Ashton Wylie Charitable Trust’s own venue, Hopetoun Alpha in Auckland on 14 August, 2015. More

Top publisher appointed to Massey University Press

Nicola Legat, former Random House New Zealand publisher and a widely acknowledged champion of New Zealand’s book culture, has been appointed as the first publisher for Massey University Press.

Ms Legat is a former editor of Metro magazine and member of numerous literary and publishing organisations. She won the New Zealand Publisher of the Year Award for seven consecutive years, and says she is excited by the potential for the new press.

The job of publisher at Massey University Press, which was launched in February this year, is a “rare opportunity” to be part of an innovative publishing venture in the modern era, she says. More

Congratulations to NZSA member Eileen Merriman

Congratulations to Eileen Merriman on receiving a Commendation from Carrie Kania in the 2015 Bath Short Story Award for 'Hummingbird Heart'. There were 1003 entries and Eileen's story impressed with its original angle on the theme of loss and dying. It was a story that worked on many levels.

Competition judge Carrie Kania commented: 'A young doctor's exhausting rounds leads him to a brief encounter with a dying woman. The rush atmosphere of the ER is deftly balanced with the last breaths of life.' More

Literacy Expert and Author Wins Storylines Margaret Mahy Medal

Jill Eggleton, QSO, internationally recognised as a literacy consultant, teacher and author, has won Storylines’ top award, the Margaret Mahy Medal given annually for lifetime achievement and an outstanding contribution to New Zealand children’s literature and literacy. More

The Famous Five: Ngaio shortlist announced

Five outstanding novels full of mystery and intrigue have been announced as the shortlist for the 2015 Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Crime Novel, which will be presented at a WORD Christchurch event in late September. With special mention to NZSA members Tina Shaw and Paddy Richardson.

The shortlist: Swimming In the Dark by Paddy Richardson (Upstart Press), The Children’s Pond by Tina Shaw (Pointer Press), Five Minutes Alone by Paul Cleave (Penguin NZ), The Petticoat Men by Barbara Ewing (Head of Zeus), Fallout by Paul Thomas (Upstart Press)
“The five books on this year’s shortlist are a superb showcase of New Zealand writing talent,” says Judging Convenor Craig Sisterson. More

Clippings from the Internet


Leading authors call for government probe of Amazon's 'damaging' power

(extract from article by Alison Flood in the Guardian)
Authors including Malcolm Gladwell, Ursula Le Guin, Michael Chabon and Ann Patchett are putting their names to a letter attacking Amazon’s “abuse of its dominance in the world of books” and calling on the US justice department to investigate the retailer’s “power over the book market”.

The letter, which is due to be submitted to the department later this month, is the latest initiative from the group of powerful authors calling themselves Authors United, which was set up in the wake of the dispute over terms between the internet shopping site and Hachette last year. More

When Is a Bestseller Not a Bestseller? When The NYT Says So

(extract from article by Dennis Abrams in Publishing Perspectives)
Talking Points Memo (TPM) reports that Republican Senator Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign, along with his publisher HarperCollins, “lashed out…against The New York Times for leaving Cruz’s book off its bestsellers list.”

According to Nielsen Bookscan, Cruz’s book A Time For Truth sold 11,854 copies in its first week. Even so, it was left off the Times’ bestseller list because, as a spokesperson told Politico, “the overwhelming preponderance of evidence was that sales were limited to strategic bulk purchases.” 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 

Digital Files

An end to email shame? Gmail's 'Undo Send' comes to the masses

(extract from article by Stuart Dredge in the Guardian)
If you’ve ever drunkenly emailed your devotion to a former partner or accidentally used reply-all on an email thread to thousands of colleagues, good news: Gmail’s “undo send” feature has come to the masses.

The feature, which can prevent massive social embarrassment and help avoid long chats with the HR department about what you just mistakenly sent to a colleague, is to be a standard part of Google’s webmail. More

Comic / Graphic News


Civil Rights Movement in a graphic novel: Congressman Cosplays At Comic Com As Himself

(extract from article by Carman Tse on
Image: Photo shows John Lewis recreating his trench coat and backpack from marching at Selma 50 years ago

Fans at Comic Com often dress up as their favorite superhero. Congressman John Lewis of Georgia decided to cosplay as a real-life hero: himself, marching at Selma fifty years ago.

Lewis, who represents Georgia's 5th District, is considered one of the Big Six leaders during the Civil Rights Movement, and was chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee from 1963 to 1966. On March 7, 1965, Lewis suffered a skull fracture after being beaten by Alabama State Troopers when he led 600 marchers across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama. He still has scars on his head today. Lewis has chronicled his experience in the Civil Rights Movement in a graphic novel trilogy titled March. More

PEN Matters

BAHRAIN: Nabeel Rajab pardoned and released from prison

The release from prison on 14July 2015 after more than three months in solitary confinement, of Nabeel Rajab, human rights defender, writer and President of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights (BCHR), is a welcome first step towards an improvement in the freedom of expression situation in the country, PEN International said today. Rajab was pardoned by King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa. The global writers organisation also reiterated its call for the release of others held solely for exercising their right of freedom of expression. “Nabeel Rajab is a fearless defender of freedom of expression in Bahrain and his release is very welcome news,” said Marian Botsford Fraser, Chair of PEN International’s Writers in Prison Committee. More

INDIA: Imposing Silence

Indian journalist Akshay Singh is the latest journalist to die in mysterious circumstances in what PEN International, PEN Canada, and PEN Delhi call a “worrying development”.
Reports suggest that 45 people related to the investigation of a corruptions scandal in India have died. The scandal, known as “Vyapam Scan” involves admission to medical schools. Singh’s death follows the earlier murder of journalist Sandeep Kothari who was kidnapped, choked, and set on fire. Earlier this year another journalist, Jagendra Singh, was set on fire after alleging state involvement in illegal mining and land seizures. More     


The longlist for the 2015 PEN International New Voices Award has been announced. Unfortunately no one from NZ made the longlist, but there is always next year!

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



Creative Connections Residency 2015 – Call for Applications

The Caselberg Trust is looking for projects that reach out and make links across a variety of creative media, professional disciplines, and/or communities relevant to the planned project. Applications are welcomed from people from any background i.e arts or non arts. 3 months Residency, Accommodation at Caselberg Cottage in Dunedin, $6000 Stipend, $2000 Towards residency costs. More
Closing date: 16 August 2015

Magic Oxygen Literary Prize

Yes indeed, MOLP2 is finally here and we have another £3,000 in the prize fund! The second Magic Oxygen Literary Prize is open for entries of short stories and poetry from 1st July and will remain open until the 31st December 2015. More
Deadline 31 December

Bhéal Five Words Poetry Competition

The 3rd Ó Bhéal Five Words Poetry Competition runs until the end of January 2016. Each Tuesday at noon (GMT), five words are posted on the competition page. Entrants have one week to compose and submit poems that include all five words given for the week. A prize of 500 euros will be awarded to one winner, and if available, invited to read at Ó Bhéal’s ninth anniversary event in April, 2016 (an additional travel fee of 100 euro plus B&B accommodation will be provided for this). The shortlisted poems and winning entry will also be published in Five Words Vol IX – the next annual anthology of five word poems, launched at the same event. More
Competition ends 31 January

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

Book Launch

Book Launch: Friendship, Foes and Feathers: June, Anne and the Great War

5.30pm to 7.30pm, Sat 18 July. Alleluya Bar & Cafe, St Kevins Arcade, 183 Karangahape Rd, Auckland
Author: Lynda Johansson Nunweek, Editor: Mark Webster, Illustrator: Diana Curtis. CreativeTech Publishing invite you to an panel event, celebrating the launch of their third multi-touch e-book. Join us for a night of good old fashioned geekery, information, education, history, devices and a glass or two with nibbles.


NZ ComicCon 2015

17 to 19 July. Wellington
NZ ComicCon will feature numerous events throughout Wellington City, and turn the Capital into Geek central for three incredible days and nights. More

Poetry@Circadian Rhythm Café

8pm Wednesday 22 July. St Andrews St, Dunedin.
The Octagon Poets Collective presents an evening of open mic, and guests Richard Reeve and Nick Ascroft. MC will be Shae MacMillan. This will be a big event, probably standing room only, so be early to be sure of a chair, never mind a table. Please bring only one poem for open mic so that Shae can include everyone.

Writers on Monday - Wellington

July- September. Wellington Te Papa Marae, Level 4, Te Papa. 12.15-1.15pm
Full programme

The Testing Ground: Play Reading: The Male Of The Species

Thu Jul 23, 6.30pm, Free. Auckland Theatre Company, cnr Dominion & Brixton Rds, Balmoral
Wr: Tom Scott  Dir: Simon Prast. Cast: Shane Cortese, Peter Elliott, Maria Walker, Paul Barrett & Mikey Havoc. Hear new scripts being read by a professional cast
engage with the playwright at the writing stage. More

In conversation with Kevin Ireland and Peter Bland

Sun Jul 26, 4pm, Michael King Writers Centre, Summit Rd, Devonport

Two giant figures of New Zealand writing reflect and reminisce on more than five decades of creative endeavour. $5 Booking recommended.

Marlborough Book Festival

24 to 26 July
Nine of NZs contemporary writers, and one documentary maker, will be interviewed by Marlborough personalities at beautiful venues in and around Blenheim. The writers coming are: Joy Cowley, Patricia Grace, Liam McIlvanney, Fiona Farrell, Nicky Pellegrino, Joe Bennett, Nicky Hager, Mike White and Judith Hunt, plus Judith Curran, producer of the documentary series Our Big Blue Backyard. Some events are expected to sell out quickly, so don’t delay! For the full programme and to buy tickets

Inside.Out Open Mic for Writers

7pm, 12 August 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: 12 August, 9 Sept, 14 Oct, 11 Nov, 9 December.)

The Human Condition

7pm, 14 August, Time Out Bookstore, Mt Eden, Auckland
This poetry reading will feature 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

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

Auckland Zinefest

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

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

Poetry Live every Tuesday night - Auckland

8pm, Thirsty Dog, K Road, Auckland  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



20 Yarram Community Learning Centre. More
20 Narrative Seventh Annual Poetry Contest More
24 The Next Stage Festival of New Work 2015. More
31 Writing For The Freelance Anthology Series. More
31 CLNZ / NZSA Research Grants. More
31 The Kathleen Grattan Award More


01 Unproduced Feature Film Script Competition. More
03 2015 Emerging Poets Competition. More
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 NZ Book Council/Creative NZ International Festival Travel Fund. More
31 Aesthetica Creative Writing Award. More


30 Chinese Poll Tax Heritage Trust funding. More


2 NZSA Central Districts Short Story Competition (Open & School Student categories). More
6 $1000 Poetry Prize. More
30 Young-Adult Unpublished Novel Prize. More


30 Saving Endangered Species Int'l Playwriting Prize More


Magic Oxygen Literary Prize. 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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