PenNorth December 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.
  • Dargaville has a fledgling writing group for beginner writers and the Kerikeri group will start up in the New Year. Contact northlandauthors[at]gmail[dot]com for more information.

Member Announcements

  • Maureen’s poetry book, Antipodes, is out and will be launched at our December meeting.
  • Kathy has a story in the December issue of Flash Frontier.
  • Walker Books has a new publishing manager who’s gone through the list and dropped fifty books. Unfortunately Di’s book was one of them.  It had been due to be published next year.  Di’s contacted the illustrator, and they’ll try and do the book together.
  • The latest Poetry NZ Yearbook is out, and Piet Nieuwland and his daughter (Rata Gordon, who is being mentored by Paula Green) both have poems in it.
  • Maureen has had two poems accepted for print anthologies, and a haibun coming out in the next Fine Line – NZ Poetry magazine. A very impressive achievement for someone who’s also starting up a new writers’ group and running our branch.
  • Hide and Seek by Donna Blaber – Book 5 in the Kiwi Critters series – was launched on 7 November at Tuatara Design Store.

NorthWrite 2015


NorthWrite 2015 is a go! We are focusing on various forms of indie/self-publishing and exploring the steps involved in producing a successful publication. There will be two workshop streams, one for those interested in writing for their families and/or local communities, and another for writers planning to publish for the commercial market. The date is 18 April 2015. We will keep you informed here and on


The Northland Branch of the NZ Society of Authors is selling earrings made by Lesley Marshall. If you are interested in purchasing a pair at $NZ10 each then please email northlandauthors[at]gmail[dot]com. We will contact you to discuss delivery and payment. Colours available: orange, cerise, pink, bright blue, yellow, green, teal blue, mauve/purple, greyish-green, black with red binding, black with yellow binding, rose pink, scarlet, and three sets made from cut-offs from children’s art that are multi-coloured in green/blue/brown. Example images below and more images will be put on the site at a later date. Earrings can also be made to order.

earrings mauve

earrings balck with red  earrings scarlet
Next Meeting

Our next meeting is at Tapuhi on Saturday 13 December 2014. Note this is the second Saturday of the month not the third as usual because of the proximity of the third weekend to Christmas. It is also the only meeting each year where we do a shared lunch rather than a BYO.

Dates for the 2015 meetings can be found here.




Poets Exposed

Poets Exposed is a poetry group that meets once a month in Whangarei at Te Studio in the Old Library. They are taking a break in December and will be back in January.

Fast Fibre poets met in Dargaville on Thursday 27 November, which was welcomed by those who live in this area.

Whangarei Community Publications Trust

The Whangarei Community Publications Trust has developed an online community news and views website. We have listed the NZ Society of Authors, Northland Branch under the Community, Interests category here. The trust is also looking for content to publish. At this stage it is unpaid but could be a viable publication avenue for writers just starting out, or for established writers who want to have their say about something concerning their community.

Dargaville Toastmasters

For anyone in Dargaville wanting to improve their public speaking skills there is a new Toastmasters club being formed. Commercial Hotel, 75 River Road, Dargaville 1st and 3rd Thursday of each month at 7 p.m.


Poems in the Waiting Room

Poems in the Waiting Room is launching its 2015 Poetry Competition.  They currently distribute 6200 free poetry cards to medical waiting rooms, rest homes, hospices and prisons every season.  Full competition details may be found at

Competitions and Awards for Writers

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


The Northland Branch of the NZ Society of Authors supports PEN International, and Lesley is the New Zealand coordinator (do contact her if you’d like to be part of her letter-writing team). Recently we have written letters and had an empty chair at some of our meetings for the imprisoned Kazakhstan poet, Aron Atabek. Word got back to Aron and he has written a poem to express his gratitude for our thoughts and letters. The poem, New Zealand Shanyrak, has been translated from Russian by his son, Askar Aidarkhan.  A shanyrak is a symbol for the roof of a nomadic Kazakh dwelling (a yurt).

for Lesley Marshall

and PEN-New-Zealand

There is an empty chair in New Zealand –
Kept for me on writers’ congress,
That is the God to turn me –
Back to an ‘environment’, to a writer’s place!

Writer is an armchair worm –
Gnawing science tomes,
Only sometimes he affects –
Having published poems and novels.

And Life, seems to be passing by,
Writer – the life’s contemplator,
Yet he is present invisibly,
On the stricken filed with us.

Writer, he is the THRID EYE –
And he sees through distance,
And contemplates the “SHANYRAK” –
And us, the fighters on the stricken field.

And if in Kazakhstan bulldozer breaks homes –
Family’s asylum, a Holy Hearth,
By doing that they break
New Zealand ‘SHANYRAK’ too!

As ‘SHANYRAK’ is not merely a shelter, roof –
In summer heat, in winter cold,
‘Shanyrak’ is a Segner wheel, given from above,
A symbol of the Sky, the Sun, the eternal motion!

The world is a running Segner wheel –
From the crucifixion till the crucifixion
Christ, He also had been a REVOLUTIONARY –
Social-Justice and Democracy!

Quotation: “And TENGRI sees my soul –
With the eyes of the *Aruakh,
With the Nation’s karma –
I am crucified on the ‘SHANYRAK’!

…There is an empty chair in New Zealand –
Kept for me on writers’ congress,
Wait, my friends, and I will come back –
Not for an empty place!

Aron ATABEK 12.10.2014
Pavlodar, SI-14, solitary confinement, punishment cell of the PKT, c.#36

*Aruakh — Kazakh ‘Ancestor’s spirit’.

Original text in Russian is available at

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