PenNorth August

Due to the exciting literary events happening around the north this month, this PenNorth is a schedule of all the activities available during August. There will be no NZSA Northland branch meeting this month and members will instead have the opportunity to check out and support our local and visiting writers, poets and illustrators.


(Please scroll down for full details)

CE-Whangarei Fiction Course

Wednesday 5 August


Fiction is perhaps the dominant form of writing in the world. Behind every film, comic, production, script, book, TV show and great speech lies narrative text. Narrative also underscores news reporting, academic writing and Michael Botur-235oral storytelling. By arranging words and stories in a certain order with a certain voice, we make the ordinary into something extraordinary. If you are interested in fiction writing then this introductory course, taught by an experienced and much-published writer, will introduce you to cliche, point of view, narrative structure, dialogue, editing, conflict, genre and poetic prose.  At the end of the course you will publish a book with your fellow students.
Tutor: Michael Botur
ID: C260
Date: starts Wednesday 5 August 2015
Length: 8 weeks
Time:  6-8pm
Course Price: $80
Enrol here:

Film & Literature Sunday Sessions at Kings Theatre in Kawakawa

Talented local authors and poets from the New Zealand Society of Authors will showcase their work and provide inspiration and guidance on how to turn creative ideas into published books.

The author events run from 1–4pm at the Kings Theatre, 80 Gillies St, Kawakawa, with a complimentary cup of tea from 12.30pm. There is a koha/donation/entry fee of $2, $5, or $10. The events are whānau friendly and tamariki are welcome.

Sunday 9 August

On Sunday 9 August the guest authors include creative non-fiction writer and author of Millennium A Memoir, Peri Hoskins; biography and memoir writer, Kathleen Wynn; personal development writer Gwendolyn Needham; and award-winning writer of young adult fiction and local histories, Diana Menefy. Diana’s novel for young adults set during World War 1, 1915 Wounds of War, was published earlier this year. Her local history, Hukerenui in the beginning is a popular Northland read.

As well as talking about their own writing processes and books published, the authors will form a panel and invite questions from the audience, and there will also be an opportunity to meet and greet the authors and get books signed.

Peri Hoskins

Peri HoskinsOf Ngapuhi and Anglo-Celtic descent, lawyer and writer Peri spent most of his childhood in Whangarei. His first published book, Millennium A memoir is a novella-length piece of creative non-fiction based on a diary he kept during a trip to Tonga at the turn of this century. The underlying theme is the quality of time, and Peri draws on ancient Hindu teachings to reflect the slice of life travelogue. He is currently working on an autobiographical novel, East, based on the five months he spent travelling around Australia in 1994.

Diana Menefy

DiDiana’s writing career began with stories and articles in the New Zealand Farmer and School Journal in the late 1970s and early 1980s. After five years as a part-time feature writer for the local paper, she went freelance to work on commissioned histories. In 2001 her first junior novel River Crossing was published, as well as her sixth commissioned non-fiction book, The Centenary of Whangarei Hospital. Other books followed, including Pounamu New Zealand Jade and her next junior novel, Shadow of the Boyd, which won the LIANZA Esther Glen Medal in 2011 and was shortlisted for the New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards that year. Her latest historical fiction young adult novel, 1915 Wounds of War, was released in April this year, as well as a new edition of Hukerenui… in the beginning. She is now working on Chasing Silver, about the old silver mines at Puhipuhi in the early 1890s. Diana co-ordinates the NorthTec writing course.

Gwendolyn Needham

GwendolynGwendolyn is a freelance community social educator, leading workshops and writing books in order to inspire and empower people to take charge of their lives. She started writing when she was a priest and saw a need for more basic, non-academic texts on personal development. She has written High Roads: Keys to personal power and business success, Lasting Relationships in Life, Love and Marriage, and Dear Young Adult New Zealanders.

Kathleen Wynn

Kathleen’s first magazine article was published in 1971. She has been writing material for and with students since the 1980s (including plays, which the students performed). In the last 10 years she has focused on writing biography, and has completed or ghost written about 25 biographies and memoirs, many of them for hospice patients. She has also edited two collections of student writing, Find Your Voice, and Speak Out. She tutors on the NorthTec writing course.

Sunday 16 August

The featured authors on Sunday 16 August are award-winning author of a mystical thriller based on the events of 9/11, The Brotherhood of Purity, Connie Atkinson; journalist and author of Love at the End of the Road: Finding my Heart in the Country, Rae Roadley; and fantasy writer Derin Attwood, author of The Token Bearers trilogy.

As well as  talking about their books, these authors will be joined by other NZSA authors and editors to form break-out groups offering tips on getting started, editing, writing memoirs and traditional and non-traditional approaches to getting published. There will also be a chance to meet and greet the authors and purchase signed copies of their books.

Connie D. Atkinson

ConnieOriginally from the USA, Connie Di Carlo-Atkinson is a writer and lecturer. Her latest novel, The Brotherhood of Purity, is a mystical thriller that explores whether it is possible to see a terrorist other than with hate. The novel has won two literary awards. Since the launch of her book, Connie has been actively advocating for alternative means of peaceful resolution to the crises we face in a complex and diverse world.

Derin Attwood

DerinWhangarei fantasy writer Derin Attwood started writing a short story for her children in 2005 that turned into a novel. It became the first book in The Token Bearers trilogy: The Caves of Kirym, The Fortress of Faltryn and The Trail to ChurnygThe Caves of Kirym was shortlisted for the Sir Julius Vogel awards.

Rae Roadley

Rae RoadleyRae Roadley worked in publishing, public relations and journalism before moving to her hometown Whangarei to report for the daily newspaper. She soon fell for a farmer and moved to his farm on a Kaipara Harbour peninsula where she began freelance writing. After being charged by a couple of bulls, she started writing newspaper columns about rural life for The Northern Advocate. Feedback from readers inspired her to write Love at the End of the Road which tells of her life and includes stories about the area’s pioneer past and present. Rae is a writing tutor at NorthTec.

Sunday 23 August

On Sunday 23 August, poets from Whangarei and the Far North will share their love of words in an impromptu ‘open mic’ live performance. Promising energy, passion and humour, all poets are invited to join in the performance on the day.

Sunday 30 August

The final Sunday Session on 30 August will feature local films (details to be advised).

For more information check out

National Poetry Day – Friday 28 August at Mokaba Cafe, Whangarei

NPD-Mokaba-Cafe-Poetry-Poster-V2National Poetry Day will be celebrated in Whangarei with a performance poetry event at Mokaba Café, Town Basin, Whangarei, Friday 28 August, 5.30-9pm. Featuring the launch of Fast Fibres Poetry 2 with poets Piet Nieuwland, Maureen Sudlow, Victoria del la Varis-Woodcock, Michael Botur, and others.

Open Mic Poetry – all welcome.

Contact: mokabapd[at]

Facebook: mokaba café poetry  

Storylines Festival Northland Family Day – Saturday 29 August

The Turner Centre, Kerikeri, 10 am to 2 pm


Climb aboard the pages of a book and fly on in to the Storylines Family Day in Kerikeri!

Free entry but gold coin donation welcome. 

Come and meet our guest authors and illustrators :  Stacy Gregg, Tessa Duder, Ruth Paul, Reading Warrior David Riley, and from Northland, meet Terry Fitzgibbon, Catherine Foreman,  Mary Kelleher, Di Menefy,
Janine McVeagh,
and Kelly Wilson!

Come and hear storytellers Waikarere Gregory share Māori creation stories
and “The Gardener” Michael Joyce bring some picture books to life with audience participation…

Listen to stories being read, authors and illustrators talking about their art and craft, create your own illustrations and learn techniques from artists, take part in book quizzes and cartooning workshops, design the next NRL jersey, make a book and book art, learn knots and cat’s cradle, tell your autobiography, have your face painted, learn about e-books from the FNDC Library team, fish for words, create your reading fingerprint AND MORE…

In the Plaza:

  • Stories and words, books and reading, art and craft, activities and fun for all ages.
  • Visit Paper Plus Kerikeri to buy books and get them personally signed.
  • Pop into the FNDC Libraries cave for stories and craft
  • Get your face painted
  • Play some book-ish games – memory challenge book covers, match the character and title, find the NZ setting on a map.
  • Come along in fancy dress as a book character, in your pjs for a story, as a pirate for a pirate parade or as a sporting hero – spot prizes for entries! Meet Spot and Clifford.

In the Writing Zone:

  • Greet authors and talk about being a writer, about reading and books. Guests include Tessa Duder, Stacy Gregg, Kelly Wilson (Kaimanawa Horses), Di Menefy, Janine McVeagh, and Mary Kelleher.
  • Enter the writing competition with a short story telling us about the places reading takes you – perhaps in your imagination through the pages of a book, or maybe real places you like to go to read.
  • Make a hand-made book and tell your own story – eg family event, biography, favourite things.
  • Fish for words to make a sentence, create some art work and small Violet Mackerel treasures out of old books, personalise your bookmarks, create your reading fingerprint and more.
  • Explore some facts and fiction around the sea, horses, and sports – learn how to read a chart, tie a bowline or half hitch, discover a horse’s age from its teeth.

In the Illustration Zone :

  • Meet more authors and illustrators in the illustration zone and be artists together.
  • Guests include Ruth Paul, David Riley, Catherine Foreman and Terry Fitzgibbon.
  • Enter the illustration competition – create an art work to illustrate one of our Storylines Day themes around boats, horses, flowers, dinosaurs or sport
  • Join in making a fabulous mural with artists Terry Fitzgibbon and Ruth Paul – under the sea, doing a dinosaur stomp.
  • Get designing with David Riley, telling a story with a rugby league jersey – create your own theme and colour scheme, or how about a unique take on a wrestler’s mask and outfit?
  • Create the Cat’s Pyjamas for out-of-this-world dreams with Catherine Foreman, and have a go at Stu Duval’s cartoon characters.

In the Storytelling Zone:

  • The Gardener, Michael Joyce, will bring some picture books to life – with the help of the audience!
  • Far North Storyteller Waikarere Gregory tells some Māori creation stories in English and te reo
  • Ruth Paul and Catherine Foreman share their own wonderful picture books with you.

In the Presentation Zone:

  • A quiet space for our guest authors and illustrators to talk to you about their writing and art and share their stories with you.

In the Book Chat / Book Signing area:

  • Come and have a chat one-on-one with our guest authors, and ask them to sign your books.

In the Workshop / Competition Zone :

  • Take part in a Kiwi Kids Book Quiz – 3 levels : Years 1 – 3, Years 4 – 6, Years 7 – 9. Test your knowledge and recall of all our favourite kiwi authors / illustrators / titles and series.
  • Learn about quick-draw cartoons – follow Stu Duval’s simple instructions starting with a letter or a number to create fun faces or wacky critters.

Free entry but gold coin donation welcome.

For more information check out:

One thought on “PenNorth August

  1. Hi everyone
    Daphne is culling her books and has two small boxes of Australian history books. I’ve got a list of them If anyone is interested in them email me for the list at If no one is keen on them, I’ll put them on TradeMe as a bulk lot in the hopes of finding a writer who needs them.

Talk to us!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: