PenNorth September 2014



  • We have an email loop for gossip, advice, research queries and anything writing-related. You are not automatically subscribed to this loop when you join NZSA. If you are interested in joining or want more information please email northlandauthors[at]gmail[dot]com.
  • Remember to let us know of your achievements by emailing them to Kathy or to northlandauthors[at]gmail[dot]com.
  • A few Kerikeri writers are toying with starting a writing hub one night a month, where writers can get together to discuss writing matters. If you are a Bay of Islands writer and would be interested in meeting up once a month please email northlandauthors[at]gmail[dot]com – no business meetings, we promise!
  • Dargaville writers are looking to set up a hub for children’s picture book writers. Contact northlandauthors[at]gmail[dot]com for more details.
  • Another hub, Poets Exposed, is a poetry group that meets once a month in Whangarei at Te Studio in the Old Library. People come from as far away as Dargaville and the Hokianga. Next date: Thursday 25 September and then Thursday 30 October.
  • Lesley Marshall has made some wonderful book earrings. Check out the display at the bottom of this post.

Member Announcements

  • Jac Jenkins won the Hamilton Poetry Day’s Wintec Poetry Competition with her poem ‘Hauraki’.
  • For those who missed it, here is the link for the Kiwis at War series from Scholastic. The first book by Susan Brocker is out and our own Di Menefy has written the second one, due out for Anzac Day 2015.
  • Kathy Derrick has been accepted into the University of Edinburgh’s Masters of Creative Writing online programme.
  • Peri had a good review of his Millennium in The Listener (2-8 August issue).
  • Anne McDonell’s manuscript for a YA novel was awarded a place on NZSA’s Assessment programme. She has also had a book published on strokes – S Day – with profits going to the Northland branch of the Stroke Foundation.  Copies may be purchased from the Foundation or from Anne at a cost of $20.  And she has a poem in A Treasury of New Zealand Poetry coming out in October.
  • Trish Nicholson is leading workshops in six venues in the Netherlands and UK during September and October as part of a promotional tour for her two latest books on writing craft.
  • Zana’s book, Fool’s Gold, will be launched on 22 October at the Glenfield Mall PaperPlus.
  • Piet Nieuwland and Poets Exposed featured in The Northern Advocate on 16 August 2014. Read the article here.

NorthWrite 2015

With NorthWrite2014 behind us we are now looking for ideas for 2015. This will be a low-key year but we still want an exciting project that will appeal to both Northland members and the wider national writing community. We have some ideas so far:

  • one-on-one workshop/mentoring (online or face-to-face)
  • a competition
  • an orbital critique service, online workshops, etc.
  • an indie festival – discussions, workshops etc. using local designers and printers; a small festival, mainly aimed at Northlanders.

If you have any ideas or anything in particular you would like to see us focus on please email northlandauthors[at]gmail[dot]com. We will need to make a decision soon to give us time to plan.



Storylines Family Day
Mrs Wishy Washy at Storylines Whangarei

Whangarei Library was buzzing on Saturday 30 August, with authors, minders and children visiting all the Storylines Family Day stations.  Library staff did a great job, and each child had a card to be stamped at all the happenings.  In the old library there was drawing and crafts, and Maria Gill had the children making paper dolphins.  Well-known authors like Mark Sommerset and Kyle Mewburn joined locals in reading to little groups of excited children.  Di Menefy and her band of minders did a sterling job keeping everybody on track, and Sue Scott and Annemarie Florian had worked very hard to make the day a success.  There were Snoopy dogs, stilt walkers, Mrs Wishywashy and lots of other storybook characters. The weather was miserable but certainly didn’t put a damper on the day. Congratulations to everyone involved for a successful day.

Poetry Day and Writers in Prison

empty chairThe National Poetry Day event at the Butter Factory in Whangarei collected about 20 signatures and messages from the audience on a card for Aron Atabek, a Kazakhstan poet imprisoned for writing a book critical of his government. The event featured an empty chair displaying his photos and poetry, and Piet Nieuwland took a photo of it to include in the card.  No money was collected this year but we did raise awareness for his plight and a number of poets openly stated their disgust at the situation.  This week the PEN organiser in London phoned Lesley to ask about NZ PEN activities, and when the Butter Factory event was described to Emma she was very excited, and looking forward to reporting this to the Kazakhstan PEN coordinator.


Competitions and Awards:

For information on other competitions and awards please use NZSA’s Death by Deadline. Also make use of the NZSA website to find out what’s on.


The Northland Branch of the NZ Society of Authors is selling earrings made by Lesley Marshall. They are very cool. If you are interested in purchasing a pair at $NZ10 each then please email northlandauthors[at]gmail[dot]com – first in first served so make sure you tell us which ones you want. We will contact you to discuss delivery and payment. Earrings can also be made to order.

Earrings 1 - Orange
Earrings 1 – Orange
Earrings 2
Earrings 2
Earrings 3
Earrings 3
Earrings 4
Earrings 4
Earrings 5
Earrings 5



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