PenNorth September 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

  • Trish Nicholson has a new travel memoir published, Inside the Crocodile: The Papua New Guinea Journals. It is available in paperback from The Book Depository and as an ebook from Amazon. Members might also be interested to see the brief video book trailer here

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

Members’ Books

We would like to encourage members to discuss their books on this site. You can have one book (or one series of books) featured in PenNorth (until all members have had an opportunity and then you are welcome to feature another one) which will also be displayed on our Books page here. Descriptions should be kept to around 200 words. If you are interested please send an image of the cover and your description to Kathy or to northlandauthors[at]gmail[dot]com. Our first feature is the second edition of Steven Radich’s book The Water Treatment.

The Water Treatment by Steven Radich

The Water TreatmentThe Water Treatment is a fictional take on the intrigue surrounding the Marlborough Sound’s Double Murder of 2008. Populated by recognizable Kiwi characters, the novel explores the murky boundaries between legal and moral, right and wrong, good and bad. Superficially it is an escape story, a real-deal big boy’s misadventure. Through the linking romance, the leading lady ends up as the novel’s most well developed character. On a deeper level, the novel is about the results of one’s actions – about the inevitable tide of consequences – of how we are bound to reap what we sow, no matter our best attempts at mitigation.  The title, The Water Treatment, references the strategy developed by the main protagonist to cope with the burdens of his conscience. By means of the strategy he is able to find a short-lived yet vitally life-affirming peace of mind.

A two-chapter biblet is available here. Copies of the book can be purchased from your local bookstore or online as a print or ebook from Amazon or Fishpond.  You might also see Steven selling his book on the streets of Whangarei and Auckland.


NorthWrite 2016

Unfortunately we have not received funding for NorthWrite 2016 but that doesn’t mean we will not be providing you with an awesome writing and learning experience next year. We are currently working on the idea of an online conference which you would attend from a “hub” (for example there may be hubs at Kerikeri, Kaitaia and Whangarei), which would provide networking opportunities, shared lunches and other good stuff.

In addition to NorthWrite there will also be the annual Auckland Writers Festival in May (, IBBY is coming to New Zealand in August (, the annual Romance Writers’ Conference will also be in August (location and dates to be advised) and NZSA head office is contemplating a national writing conference in Auckland – 2016 should be a great year!

Next Meeting

Our next meeting is on Saturday 19 September 2015 in Kerikeri. Full details will be sent by email to Northland members. Dates for all the 2015 meetings can be found here.


Film and Literature Sessions at Kings Theatre Creative

Talented local authors and poets from the New Zealand Society of Authors showcased their work and provided inspiration and guidance on how to turn creative ideas into published books at Kings Theatre Creative during August.

Guest authors included our members: creative non-fiction writer and author of Millennium – A Memoir, Peri Hoskins; biography and memoir writer, Kathleen Wynn; personal development writer Gwendolyn Needham; award-winning writer of young adult fiction and local histories, Diana Menefy; 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, along with other NZSA members, provided a panel discussion and formed break-out groups offering tips on getting started, editing, writing memoirs and traditional and non-traditional approaches to getting published.

Poets from Whangarei and the Far North shared their love of words in an impromptu ‘open mic’ performance at one session. Fifteen poets took the mic and entertained the audience with energy, passion and humour.

The final session featured local filmmaker Karen Sidney who has written and produced a range of short film, documentary, drama and series television in both te reo and English. Karen talked about her experience and inspiration in film, and her writing pathway. Karen’s presentation was followed by the screening of several works.

All sessions were well-attended and a huge success. We are grateful for the time and effort Lau’rell Pratt put into organising these events and we also thank Connie Atkinson for her organisation and Julie O’Brien for the press releases. We hope that you were all able to attend at least one session to support our fellow members and other creative writers, poets and filmmakers in the community. If you weren’t able to attend do take the time to stop in and have a look around Kings Theatre Creative and see the wonderful facility Lau’rell is building for our community. For up-to-date information on events visit: Lau’rell is keen to run another literature month next year and welcomes any feedback from our members who attended.

Other Northland Events

A full list of Northland writing events and opportunities (including writers’ groups and information on the Whangarei Community Publications Trust) can be found here.


NZ Society of Authors Heritage Week

The NZSA Heritage Week competition is open for books and short forms (short story, non-fiction essay and poem). The closing date is 20 September 2015 and more information is available at:

Words on a Small Island

This year the Waiheke Literary Festival is launching The Collinson’s Short Story Competition. Anyone 18 years or over from anywhere around the world is invited to enter a story on the theme Words on a Small Island. Entries close on 30 September and the winner’s prize is a place on the Intro to Creative Writing course run by The Creative Hub, Auckland’s Waterfront Writing Centre. The course can be taken in class or online. The value of this prize is NZ$475. Alternatively, the winner can take the same value off the cost off the classroom or online Thirty Week Fiction Writing Course. More information is available here. The Waiheke Literary Festival will be held on 13–15 November and the programme is available here.

Te Hā ki Tāmaki Māori Writers

1 Flyer WanangaThe Northern Branch of The Maori Writers’ Group, Te Hā ki Tāmaki, is holding their first Writer’s Workshop from 16–18 Oct, on Waiheke Island. Scheduled start time is Friday at 6pm and it finishes at 3pm on the Sunday. Writers of all ethnicities are welcome to attend, regardless of skill or experience level. Numbers are capped for logistical purposes so the sooner people register the sooner their places will be confirmed.

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 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 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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