NZSA enews - latest news, opportunities and events
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CLNZ/NZSA Research Grant recipients 2015
National Poetry Day
NZSA StartWrite Service - kickstart your next project!
NZ Bookshop Day: seeking authors!
The Creative Hub, Auckland’s Waterfront Writing Centre
Clippings from the Internet
 - George RR Martin 'relieved' after Sad Puppies' Hugo awards defeat
 - Telling the real story: diversity in young adult literature
Book Launch 
Digital Files
 - Two pieces of news last week that foretell changes in the ebook marketplace
 - Jellybooks: Tracking Reader Engagement for Better Marketing
NZ Independent Book Festival– Auckland
Comic / Graphic News
 - Duke students say Alison Bechdel novel is 'insensitive to conservative beliefs'
New Zealanders at War residential workshop - MKWC
Congratulations to Grace Lee
Congratulations to Mind Body Spirit Literary Awards Winner
NZSA Oral History Project: Writers to be interviewed
Freelance Writers Aotearoa - Journalists pay survey
PEN Matters
 - PEN: Focus on the Pacific
Death by Deadline
Bestsellers from Nielsen BookScan
Writers on Radio and TV

Welcome to this week's enews

Today is National Poetry Day. In recognition of this we have moved the Poetry events to second on the list today so you can see what is on today and tomorrow that you might like to participate in. I am looking forward to attending an event welcoming New Zealand's new Poet Laureate Karl Stead this evening.

Our first item is an announcement of the CLNZ / NZSA Research Grant recipients. These awards enable four writing projects to progress with much valued research - thanks to the CLNZ Cultural Fund.

Finally, please consider participating in NZ Bookshop Day by adding your name to a list of authors interested in doing something with their local bookshop. The day has been established to celebrate the great local bookstores in New Zealand.

Enjoy this weeks e-news.
All the best
Jackie Dennis and Claire Hill

CLNZ/NZSA Research Grant recipients 2015


Four compelling NZ writing projects awarded grants


Strong research is crucial to convincing writing and the recipients of this year’s CLNZ / NZSA Research Grants are four diverse and compelling writing projects.

Open Research Grants of $5000 each were awarded to Heather McQuillan, Paul Moon and Philippa Werry. The Stout Research Grant, which includes $5,000 and a six week residential fellowship at the Stout Research Centre at Victoria University of Wellington, was awarded to Paul Bensemann.
Read more

National Poetry Day 

Friday, 28 August
Celebrating its 18th year, National Poetry Day 2015 features an astounding 80 events from Kerikeri to Southland and into cyberspace. This year’s calendar holds something for everyone, from aspiring to established poets, and from those who enjoy poetry to those who think poetry isn’t for them. The 2015 calendar of events offers a way for anyone to get involved in the poetry community, discover New Zealand poets, share their own work or find out what it is all about.  The full calendar of events is live online now.  Website Facebook 

More NPD Events...


Divine Muses XII

6.30 pm, Fri 28 August. Gus Fisher Gallery, 74 Shortland St, Auckland.
An evening of poetry with readings from six of New Zealand’s finest poets: Tusiata Avia, Miriam Barr, Siobhan Harvey, Maris O'Rourke, Harry Ricketts, Jack Ross. A highlight of the evening will be the announcement of the 2015 winners of the NEW VOICES - Emerging Poets Competition. More

Poetry Central

Fri, 28 August.  Level 2, Whare Wananga, Central City library, Lorne St, Auck CBD
Celebrate NPD with the launch of Murray Edmond’s book Shaggy Magpie Songs.  Also, poetry readings with Bob Orr, Ian Wedde, Lisa Samuels, Makyla Curtis & Michele Leggott,  with MC: Murray Edmond. Email Website

NPD Mokaba Cafe Poetry

5:30-9:00pm Friday, 28 August at 6 Quayside, Town Basin, Whangarei
Featuring the launch of Fast Fibres 2 with poets Piet Nieuwland. More Info  Facebook 

Lower Hutt Poetry Reading & Open Mic

28 August, 7:30pm located at St Marks CHurch Complex, 50 Woburn Rd.
A lineup of established poets followed by an open mic, free entry and refreshments.  Email Viv Ball for more info.

Poetry Day Wrap Party - "WE" Society Book Launch

7pm Sat, 29 August. Te Henga Studios, 130 Bethells Rd, Bethells Beach.
NPD celebration with WE Society poets, book launch & sales, music & open mic. Music: Fats White. Email  More Info

NZSA StartWrite Service - kickstart your next project!

StartWrite assessments offer a great opportunity to receive a chapter and synopsis assessment from a qualified assessor. As an NZSA member you can access this service at a heavily discounted rate - gaining invaluable insight into your writing project.

The subsidised StartWrite service runs through the year until all subsidised assessments have been used and there are currently plenty of subsidised assessment slots available. Find out more.

NZ Bookshop Day: seeking authors!

Bookshops are keen to have authors in store on NZ Bookshop Day which is Saturday October 31. Whether it be a book signing, a launch of a new book, a reading, or just dropping in for a chat and an opportunity for book buyers to meet their local authors. Tthis is a great day for authors to connect with their local bookshop. The day has been established to celebrate the great local bookstores in New Zealand.

We are helping Booksellers identify writers who would love to be involved. You could also use the store on the day to run a seminar or an event.

Booksellers are organising lots of promotion and activities to promote the day. There will be ambassadors who will speak to the importance of local bookstores, posters, bookmarks, balloons with tagline "Your Place, Your Bookshop", PR to media, social media and competitions.

If you have a current or recent title available in bookshops, or perhaps a classic and are willing to pop into your local bookstore on October 31 please email us. The Bookshop will then contact authors on that list to make an arrangement.

The Creative Hub, Auckland’s Waterfront Writing Centre

Our next 30 Week Fiction Course begins on 29th  Sept 2015. Society of Authors members receive a 10% discount. The course is in its sixth year, and features many of NZ’s leading writers and editors as workshop leaders and mentors, including Fiona Kidman, Tessa Duder, Geoff Walker, Roger Hall, Owen Marshall, Chris Else, Sarah Laing, Elisabeth Smither and Judith White. Students receive one-on-one mentoring over the summer with an established Kiwi writer. Graduates regularly report that the most valuable aspect of the course is the close support of a group of like-minded start out writers. Many graduate groups go on meeting for years after the end of the course, so you get several years support for the price of one! Thirteen graduates of our 30 week fiction courses have gone on to publish novels or win prizes in national writing awards.

Intro to Creative Writing, starts 22 October, 6-8pm, eight weeks (or any time online). This course is intended to introduce you to skills that make writing so enjoyable. More detail...

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Clippings from the Internet


George RR Martin 'relieved' after Sad Puppies' Hugo awards defeat

(extract from article by Alison Flood in the Guardian)
George RR Martin has said that the group of rightwing science fiction writers who tried to swing the results of this weekend’s Hugo awards to their own agenda were “routed” by the majority of fans who “did not like having their choices imposed on us”.

Two campaign groups, the so-called “Sad Puppies” and their more politically extreme counterparts the “Rabid Puppies”, had mobilised earlier this year to vote a bloc of writers onto the shortlists for the Hugo awards.  More

Telling the real story: diversity in young adult literature

(extract from article in the conversation)
There’s a conversation gaining momentum in Australia about the lack of diversity in Young Adult (YA) and children’s literature. It’s been inspired in part by debate in the US, which many critics date back to a seminal essay by Nancy Larrick titled The All-White World of Children’s Books that was published in the Saturday Review in 1965. More

Book Launch


Book Launch: Robynanne Milford's "Aspiring Light"

30 August, 5pm at Dilana Gallery, 102 Buchan St. Sydenham, Christchurch
MC is James Norcliffe, poet and novelist. RSVP here 

Digital Files


Two pieces of news last week that foretell changes in the ebook marketplace

(extract from the Shatzkin files)
Two pieces of news this past week and how things play out with them might foretell some things about the direction of the ebook market. One news item is that reading on phones is really taking off.  More than half of ebook consumers use their phones at least some of the time and the number that primarily read on phones is up to one in seven. More

Jellybooks: Tracking Reader Engagement for Better Marketing

(extract from article by Andrew Rhomberg, Founder, Jellybooks)
Authors and publishers know the story in the book, but for the most part they don’t know the story behind the book. What story is that? It is the story of how readers engage with the book.

Do they open the book? Do they finish the book? Do they read the book during their commute or do they read on weekends? Do they read the book fast, do they read it slow? Do they struggle in chapter 11? Is the reader who can’t put the book down a woman or a man, a millennial or a baby boomer?  More

NZ Independent Book Festival– Auckland

12 pm – 4 pm Saturday, 3 October & 10 am – 4 pm Sunday, 4 October.

Come and meet authors who’ve travelled from all parts of New Zealand to meet readers, just like you.  These authors have independently published or self-published their stories into print and e-books.
Books on offer cover all genres and ages ranges.  Chat to enthusiastic authors, download their e-books or buy the print copies and have them personally signed. Got a manuscript hiding in the drawer? Bring it along and chat to literary businesses who can assist with turning your dream of publishing into a reality. 

Entry is free to the public. There is outdoor entertainment and a fully licensed cafe’ on the premises. On both days there are free talks held in the Nielsen Seminar Room. With plenty of free parking right outside the door there’s no reason not to be there.  For more information refer to our website:
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Comic / Graphic News


Duke students say Alison Bechdel novel is 'insensitive to conservative beliefs'

(extract from article by David Barnett in the Guardian)
Incoming freshmen refuse to read graphic novel Fun Home, which deals with sex, sexuality and suicide and was assigned for summer reading.
Alison Bechdel’s graphic novel Fun Home is the tale of a dysfunctional family running a funeral business and addresses sex, sexuality and suicide. Just the sort of thing you’d expect young people about to start college to lap up. 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.  Applications 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:     

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Congratulations to Grace Lee for winning the National Schools Poetry Award for 2015

In addition to a great deal of prestige and a variety of opportunities to expand upon her skills as a writer, Grace has also won a year's membership with the NZSA. More

Congratulations to Mind Body Spirit Literary Awards Winner

Canterbury Anglican Minister, Ron Hay, won the book category, for Finding the Forgotten God published by Daystar Books.
Rohana Ulluwishewa, an Honorary Research Associate at Massey University – Palmerston North, won the Unpublished Manuscript category for Spirituality Demystified: Understanding Spirituality in Rational Terms.  More

NZSA Oral History Project: Writers to be interviewed

Between now and the end of November Deborah Shepard will be conducting recorded interviews with eight writers who have generously agreed to participate in stage 3 of our Oral History project.

The eight writers are Joy Cowley, Marilyn Duckworth, Tessa Duder, Chris Else, David Hill, Witi Ihimaera, Owen Marshall and Philip Temple.

Freelance Writers Aotearoa - Journalists pay survey

2015 Journalist Pay Survey is also open for all journalists and freelancers.

Freelance Writers Aotearoa have also made available legal documents that are adaptable for any commission/ freelance situation to help protect writers' copyright. They are available here

PEN Matters

PEN: Focus on the Pacific

New Zealand currently ranks 6th in the World Press Freedom Index.  The index, compiled by Reporters Without Borders, monitors 180 countries globally and ranks them based on a range of criteria that include media independence, respect for the safety and freedom of journalists, and the legislative, institutional and infrastructural environment in which the media operate. Our current ranking places us as the leader for press freedom in the Pacific, with Australia ranking significantly lower in 25th place.

PEN (NZ) intends to mark our placement by increasing our surveillance in the Pacific region. We live in close proximity to counties who have a more troubled history of press freedom. Fiji currently ranks 93rd on the World Press Freedom Index. Last year two Fijian journalists received death threats over their coverage of the country’s first democratic elections since 2006. And only last week, Pacific Media Centre reported the concerns of Fijian defence lawyer, Aman Ravindra-Singh, in relation to censorship in the reporting of sedition cases. There is ongoing concern about freedom of speech in Nauru, following amendments to the criminal code, which former Nauru president Sprent Dabwido argues will restrict freedom of speech and ‘gag’ political opponents. In Samoa, concerns have been raised over what the passing of the Media Council legislation means for press freedom in that country.

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



One-On-One Poetry Workshop led by Arthur Vogelsang

Deadline for application 7 September. 
Applying is free and open to poets of all skill levels and styles. Application is by submission of 3 poems with an explanation of why you write, whose poetry you admire, and some relevant personal information if you care to include that. Apply with all material, including the poems, in one email, to: arthurv123@​ 
More info 

Waiheke Literary Festival: The Collinson's Short Story Competition

Deadline 13 September
Theme: "Words on a Small Island"
Winner’s prize is a place on the Intro to Creative Writing course run by The Creative Hub, Auckland’s Waterfront Writing Centre. ($475 value) More info 

Flash Frontier - November (New Zealand Issue) 

Deadline for submissions 31 October
Theme: sky More info

Flash Frontier - December: the micro issue (International Issue)

Deadline for submissions 30 November
No theme More info

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



Translating the Muse: A Creative Conversation with Jonathan Galassi

24 August, 5:30-7pm at Wai-te-ata Press, Library Building, Victoria University
New York-based publisher and author Jonathan Galassi will be in Wellington in early September for a few days as a guest of Victoria University of Wellington. RSVP via email by 1 September.  

Wellington Short Film Workshop

Sat 29 - Sun 30 August, 9am-5pm.  Location: Te Whaea, Wellington
Script to Screen presents the 2015 Wellington Short Film Workshop - a two-day workshop that will give you everything you need to know to make a short film. To RSVP email  Website  Facebook

Film & Literature Sunday Sessions

1-4pm, 30 August
Meet Northland authors, korero, share, exchange ideas in literature and poetry. Featuring not only guest authors but a live poetry performance.  More Info

Writers on Monday - Wellington

31 August, 12:15-1:15pm at Te Papa Marae, Level 4, Te Papa, Wellington
Writing Time: Witi Ihimaera
7 September 12:15-1:15pm at Te Papa Marae, Level 4, Te Papa.
Questions of Travel: Michelle de Kretser  Full programme

Storylines 22nd annual Festival

22 to 30 August. At 6 venues around the country
Storylines Festival of New Zealand Children’s Writers and Illustrators was the brainchild of author Joy Cowley, with the first held in Auckland in 1993. Among the authors appearing at the free Family Days this year are Kate De Goldi and Jennifer Beck (in Dunedin), Gavin Bishop and Stacy Gregg (Christchurch), Kyle Mewburn and Mona Williams (Wellington), Tessa Duder and Ruth Paul (Kerikeri), Fifi Colston and Melinda Syzmanik (South Auckland), and Leonie Agnew, Philippa Werry, Norm Heke, Paula Green and Sandra Morris (Auckland). More

Auckland Zinefest

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

Word Christchurch - Shifting points of view

30 August and 7 September
In a world of reality TV shows and light entertainment, where issues are reduced to convenient soundbites, WORD Christchurch, in association with Christchurch Arts Festival, is proud to provide a platform for relevant, in-depth, stimulating — and yes, also entertaining — discussion. More 

The Menton Report: Mandy Hager, A new novel: Chasing Heloise

Tuesday, 8 September at 6pm. City Gallery Wellington
This lecture will discuss Hager's process and the challenges undertaken to bring Heloise d'Argenteuil to life.  More

Inside.Out Open Mic for Writers

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

Going West Books & Writers Festival 2015

11-13 September at Titirangi Memorial Hall, 500 Sth Titirangi Rd 
Tickets now on sale. More info  Facebook 

Titirangi Poets

12 September, 2-4pm at the Titirangi Library
Guest poets Richard von Sturmer & iain Britton with music from Jim Langabeer & MC Piers Davies. 

Panui Going West Festival Poetry Slam 2015

12 September, 8pm at the Titirangi War Memorial Hall
All new & established poets are encouraged to participate! First Prize: $1000, Second Prize: $500, Third Prize: $300. More info  Press Release 

Gala Opening: Going West Books & Writers Festival 2015

7-10pm, Fri 11 Sept. Titirangi Memorial Hall, 500 Sth Titirangi Rd. 
Poetry & Prose performance with Harry Ricketts, Stephanie Johnson, Tanya Batt, Glenn Colquhoun & Graeme Gash. More info 

Writers Together 2015 (WT15)

Thurs 17 September, 6pm-8pm at WT1211, WT Building, Wakefield St, Auckland.
WT15 is the perfect opportunity to find out more about the Master of Creative Writing and join a community of budding and established creative writers.  More info

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  

Big Screen Symposium

10 - 11 October. University of Auckland, Auckland
Jane Campion will be joining  the Big Screen Symposium this year. Find out More.
Early bird tickets are on sale now until midnight, Friday 18 September.


6:30pm, 13-17 October at BATS in Wellington
Bubblelands is a crazy, colourful and whimsical tragicomedy about a fish and a crayfish who meet... in the fishtank of a Chinese restaurant. More info  Support the show  Media Release

Poetry Live every Tuesday night - Auckland

8pm, Thirsty Dog, K Road, Auckland. Featuring Guest Poets each week. More

2015 NZ Poetry Conference

13 to 15 November, National Library, Molesworth St, Wellington.  More

Wellington - LitCrawl 2015

Saturday 14 November. More 

Greenbean Novel Fair 2016

20 February at Irish Writers Centre, 19 Parnell Square, Dublin 1
The Greenbean Novel Fair aims to introduce up-and-coming and debut writers to top publishers and literary agents. More info     Website

Death by Deadline


28 D’Arcy Writers’ Residencies on Waiheke Island. More
28 Headland - Submissions for Issue More
28 NZ Book Council/Creative NZ International Festival Travel Fund. More
31 Aesthetica Creative Writing Award. More
31 Takahe Poetry Competition. More


6 Live Canon International Poetry Competition More
7 One-On-One Poetry Workshop with Arthur Vogelsang More
13 Collinson's Short Story Competition More
20 Heritage Week Writing Competition More
30 Writer in Residence 2016. More
30 Chinese Poll Tax Heritage Trust funding. More


2 NZSA Central Districts Short Story Competition (Open & School Student categories). More
5 NZSA / Auckland Museum Research Grants. More 
7 2016 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards More
6 $1000 Poetry Prize. More
30 NZSA Lilian Ida Smith Award 2015. More
30 Young-Adult Unpublished Novel Prize. More
31 Storylines Trust Awards for Children's & YA writers. More
31 Flash Frontier - November (NZ issue) Theme: sky More


29 Build Your Own Blog New Writer Scholarship More
30 Saving Endangered Species Int'l Playwriting Prize More
30 Flash Frontier - December (international issue) no theme More


Magic Oxygen Literary Prize. More


10 Submissions for Landfall 231, May 2016 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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