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

In one sense we are winding down for summer holidays but in another... the demands on all  of us have ramped up to maximum. Whether it be end of year deadline for finances or thank yous it's a race to the end... of another year.

We will be in the office until midday on 23rd December and our final literary bulletin for the year will be the Friday before, 18 December. By now you will all have the summer issue of NZ Author - I hope you find a quiet moment to read it.

Enjoy this week's e-news.
All the best
Jackie Dennis and Claire Hill

The Winners of a Full Manuscript Assessment

Congratulations to Katie Levendis and Amy Martin who are the two winners we pulled out of a hat for a full manuscript assessment. Thanks to all those who entered, your comments have helped us to learn about what is important to NZSA writers!

Here's some of the testimonials we received:
"Being a member of the NZSA means not being alone. As a writer, I spend a lot of time in my own head, or holed up somewhere with ink stains on my fingers, or hunched over a computer. The NZSA provides great resources, and opportunities to work with people who can help you make the next step in your writing journey, and the chance to connect with other people who understand this crazy thing we do."

"When I get up at 4.30 a.m. to write 500 words before going to work, I know I am not alone and that I can turn somewhere for guidance and encouragement to get over the daunting task of turning my compost heap of ideas into a vibrant flower garden. In short, it means a lot.  It helps to keep my dreams alive."

"Writers can often be caught up in their own world of four walls and a computer with little knowledge of what is happening in their writing community. The NZ Society of Authors is the gate, to that which is beyond."

Congratulations to Maris O'Rourke   

The winner of the 2015 Kathleen Grattan Prize for a Sequence of Poems, run by International Writers' Workshop NZ Inc, has been announced with the $1000 prize awarded to Maris O’Rourke of Mt Eden for her small but perfectly formed sequence, MotheringsMore

Congratulations to Andrew Stiggers

Andrew Stiggers short story "Flower Behind Her Ear", received an Honourable Mention for the Aestas 2015 Short Story Competition. This story was developed as part of Andrew's project for the NZSA Mentorship Programme 2015.
Another short story, "The Best Sandcastle on the Beach", was shortlisted for the Collinson’s Short Story Competition, Waiheke Literary Festival. 

Judging panel for the 2016 NZ Book Awards for Children and Young Adults announced

Fiona Mackie, Kathy Aloniu and Melinda Szymanik have been appointed as judges of the 2016 New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults.
The judging team will deliberate over an expected 150 entries in five categories: Picture Book, Illustration, Junior Fiction, Non-fiction and Young Adult Fiction. They will select five finalists, then a winner in each category.
Te Rangi Rangi Tangohau, Lawren Matrix, and Mereana Taungapeau have been appointed as judges for Te Kura Pounamu – the award that recognises and celebrates books written or translated into te reo Māori. More

IBBY Honour List

The International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) New Zealand is pleased to announce that the following New Zealand titles will be included in the 2016 IBBY International Honour List.
Writing: Mandy Hager Singing Home the Whale, PenguinRandomHouse.
Illustration: Vasanti Unka The Boring Book, PenguinRandomHouse.
Translation (Te Reo): Kawata Teepa  Ngā Kī, Huia.
Translation (English): Julia Marshall Detective Gordon: The First Case, Gecko Press.
The IBBY Honour List is a biennial selection of outstanding, recently published books honouring writers, illustrators and translators from the 75 IBBY member countries. More

Kāpiti Writers' Retreat

January 22-24

The Kāpiti Writers' Retreat features intensive workshops, lively afternoon discussions and the space and time to write in natural surroundings.

Hosted by Pip Adam, Anna Taylor, James George, Gary Copeland Lilley, Sam Orchard, Helen Lehndorf and Renee the retreat offers writers of all levels the opportunity to create, revise or polish your work whether fiction, memoir, poetry or the graphic novel.

The retreat is brought to you by Kahini, an international network of writers and writing groups that connect writers across borders of all kinds. The retreat runs from 22-24 January 2016. Accommodation is available onsite. Find out more here or by emailing Kirsten 

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3 Novels from NZ on the 2016 Dublin Literary Award longlist!

10 novels from Australia and 3 from New Zealand are among 160 titles that have been nominated by libraries worldwide for the €100,000 International DUBLIN Literary Award, the world’s most valuable annual literary prize for a single work of fiction published in English. Nominations include 53 novels in translation with works by 44 American, 25 British, 10 Canadian, 7 Irish, 6 German and 3 South African authors. More

Congratulations to the NZ nominees:
Where the Rēkohu Bone Sings by Tina Makereti
Of Things Gone Astray by Janina Matthewson
The Bright Side of my Condition by Charlotte Randall

Updating your information on


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To update your profile:

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Promoting your skills may bring work your way

NZ’s First Openly Gay Novelist Launches Inaugural LGBTIQ Literary Festival

Twenty-five years ago, renowned novelist, historian playwright and film-maker Peter Wells launched his short story collection, Dangerous Desires, the country’s first gay themed work published with the author’s actual name; today he launches the country’s inaugural LGBTIQ Writers Festival –  samesame but different.
Mr Wells, who co-founded The Auckland Writers Festival, says samesame but different is a celebration of difference and a statement of confidence in how far we have come as LGBTIQ New Zealanders.

Samesame but different will be broad in scope, featuring some of Aotearoa New Zealand's top writers and will also focus on new LGBTIQ voices, introducing emerging talent. More

Arts Council annual report 2014/2015

Creative New Zealand distributed the Arts Council Annual Report for 2014/2015 earlier this week with the headline Arts Council investment in the arts peaks in 2014/15

Of interest to our sector is the distribution of funding by artform 2014/15
  • Music 27.5% $10,921,142
  • Theatre 23.7% $9,400,049
  • Multidisciplinary 14.8% $5,897,165
  • Visual Arts 10.6% $4,213,113
  • Dance 10.3% $4,108,127
  • Literature 6.1% $2,411,909
  • Craft Object Art 3.2% $1,284,703
  • Māori Perfoming Arts 1.9% $745,959
  • Interarts 1.4% $544,229
  • Media Arts 0.3% $124,501
  • Oral Arts 0.2% $85,000

Clippings from the Internet

Literature vs genre is a battle where both sides lose

from article in the Guardian by Damien Walter. It’s always a problem when one of literature’s big beasts wanders off the reservation into the badlands of genre.

The latest to blunder through the electric barriers erected around the safe zone is two-time Booker prize nominee David Mitchell, whose new book Slade House is undeniably a haunted house story. Or, as the Chicago Tribune put it, his “take on a classic ghost story”. As if the thousands of genre ghost stories written every year by horror writers weren’t also one individual’s take on that classic form. More

Comic / Graphic News


Peanuts cartoonist Charles Schulz on the necessity of loserdom

Extract from article by Sam Thielman in the Guardian. Charles Schulz, author of the Peanuts comics, had this to say about his creation Lucy in 1985: “She is annoyed that it’s all too easy,” he wrote. “Charlie Brown isn’t much of a challenge. To be consistent, however, we have to let her triumph, for all the loves in the strip are unrequited; all the baseball games are lost; all the test scores are D-minuses; the Great Pumpkin never comes; and the football is always pulled away.” More

Digital Files

Free Guide to Ebook Licensing for Public Libraries and Publishers

By Javier Celaya of Dosdoce, Bookwire and Publishing Perspectives are offering an exclusive ebook licensing guide for global public libraries and publishers. 
The 21st century will see public libraries becoming one of the main destinations on the internet for readers to discover new reading material (ebooks, audio books, apps, etc.), in conjunction with other readers of similar tastes. The prospect will provide publishers with a wide range of possibilities to employ new business models, whereby libraries will be able to offer e-lending services in keeping with the new trends in content consumption (book club streaming services, pay-as-you-read, etc.) Read more

PEN Matters 

Continuing Media Crackdown 

Turkey PEN is calling for signatories in support of journalists in troubled Turkey. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan continues to persecute media in Turkey. The Editor-in-Chief of Cumhuriyet, a Turkish daily, has been held since 26th November and charged with spying and terrorism after coverage last May of evidence of arms deliveries by Turkish intelligence to Islamist groups in Syria. Turkey is currently ranked 149th out of 180 countries on the Reporters without Borders press freedom index. More

Bloggers Killed: Brazil

Two political bloggers have been killed in north-eastern Brazil in just over a week. global writers’ association told PEN International that the violence against writers must be checked. ‘PEN is alarmed by this new wave of killings,’ said Salil Tripathi, Chair of PEN International Writers in Prison Committee. 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

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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