PenNorth July 2015



  • 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.
  • Use the Follow button on the right of this page to ensure you always receive up-to-date information.

Member Announcements

  • Kath Wynn gave a talk on writing biography to an audience of over 30 at the Selwyn Foundation.
  • Piet Nieuwland will have two long poems – Ko Aotearoa Tenei and Kia Kotai Mai – published in the We Society Poetry Anthology edited by Dr Jack Ross (Massey University, Albany). It’s due to be launched by Printable Reality (Gus Suminovich) on Saturday 29 August.
  • Daphne gave this year’s Janet Frame Memorial lecture at the Dunedin Writers and Readers Festival. The full text of her lecture has been published in the New Zealand Author.
  • Daphne was interviewed by National Radio about her role as NZSA President of Honour.
  • Derin’s writing group, Penultimate, is getting so enthusiastic about writing they have decided to write a book together. It will be set on one street, with each writer concentrating on one or two different houses in the street, with some connections between the stories but not a common plot line.
  • Connie presented two lectures about empathy and its role in peace to interfaith groups in Kerikeri and in Whangarei.

Please remember to let us know of your achievements so we can celebrate your success with you.

New Members

We welcome the following members to the branch. If you are a new member, or a current member and would like your profile featured on our webpage, please contact us with a photo and short (150–200 word) bio.

Michael Botur

Michael Botur-235 Michael Botur has published three short story collections, all available at He is first and second-place winner of this year’s Whangarei Libraries Flash Fiction Competition. Botur has published fiction and poetry writing in the literary journals Landfall, Poetry New Zealand, JAAM, Takahe, some overseas literary journals, and many an edgy zine. Botur is a trained journalist and has published news and longform journalism in New Zealand Herald, Herald on Sunday, Sunday Star-Times and Mana. Botur works as a freelance content writer and researcher and is teaching fiction for Community Education Whangarei from July. For more information visit his website:

Julie O’Brien

Julie photo smallJulie started her working life with a BA and a journalism qualification, enabling her to earn a living for 15 years as a writer, initially through daily news reporting, then writing publications for government and community sector organisations and finally by establishing a communications consultancy with a friend. A career change meant Julie spent the next 15 years as a counsellor and psychotherapist listening to other people’s stories and the language they used to tell them, providing her with important information as to what kind of help they needed. She also supervised and trained other practitioners in the modality she worked in, psychosynthesis, which has a holistic view of human well-being that includes the spiritual, creative, environmental and societal aspects of life. Julie is now drawing on the psychosynthesis approach to write a book about individual and social change. She is also doing a part-time editing course at Whitireia with a view to moving into freelance editing.

NorthWrite 2015: Satellite Series

We will be running the NorthWrite 2015 whānau publishing programme at the Schooner Café in the Hokianga later in the year, perhaps August. It will be open to all, including those who attended the NorthWrite event at Maungatapere School. The programme will be similar, but it will be run completely by NZSA Northland members. We will keep you informed.

Next Meeting

Our next meeting is on Saturday 18 July 2015 at Parua Bay. Full details will be sent by email to Northland members. Dates for all the 2015 meetings can be found here.


Kings Theatre Creative, Kawakawa

August’s exhibition at the Kings Theatre Creative will be based around writing and writers as well as art, and writers are welcome to become involved – running workshops, performance poetry or readings. Writers keen to be involved will need to provide images, such as book covers, from which Lau’rell can produce posters, and she has some funding available for this. The gallery and a retail space for authors to sell their books will be set up for the writers taking part. Connie Atkinson is liaising with Lau’rell on the organisation of these events so contact Connie if you’re keen to be a part of this (cld.atkinson[at]

Poets Exposed

Northland LIVE POETRY providing feedback, discussion and critique at the Old Library, Whangarei. Admission: Koha. Thursday 30 July 6pm – 8pm.

National Poetry Day

National Poetry Day will be celebrated in Whangarei with a performance poetry event at Mokaba Café Friday 28 August, 5.30 pm to 9 pm. This will include the launch of Fast Fibres 2.

Northland Writers’ Groups

  • Dargaville has a writing group for beginner writers every second Saturday at 2 pm. Contact Maureen on 09 439 4368 or 0272298801 for more information.
  • Writers’ groups are being established in Kerikeri and the wider Bay of Islands area. These are open to all writers whether members of NZSA or not. If you, or someone you know, would like further information please contact Kathy Derrick northlandauthors[at]gmail[dot]com.

Whangarei Community Publications Trust

A reminder that the Whangarei Community Publications Trust is an online community forum for Northlanders. They are seeking volunteers to submit news, opinion pieces, and everything inbetween, including creative writing and flash fiction. Please get in touch with editor Vivienne Shepherd or Mike Botur if you can contribute – /

A full list of Northland writing events and opportunities can be found here.


Second NZ Independent Book Festival October 2015

The second NZ Independent Book Festival will be held at the North Shore Events Centre in Auckland. This book festival is held once a year, with exhibitors being independent and self-published New Zealand authors, private publishers, literary businesses and independent bookstores. Last year they had 90 exhibitors from all over New Zealand take exhibitor space at the Devonport event. The festival offers free entry to the public, allowing exhibitors to promote and sell their books and literary services directly to them. There will also be workshops, seminars and panel discussions on offer too, at a small charge or donation. More information here. Please contact Louise de Varga if you’d like to have a Trade Exhibitor Application Form emailed out to you. Email: c4s[at]clear[dot]net[dot]nz

Competitions and Awards for Writers

For information on other competitions and awards please use NZSA’s Death by Deadline on the members-only page of the NZSA website.


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 multicoloured in green/blue/brown. Example images below.

earrings mauve

earrings balck with red  earrings scarlet

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