PenNorth March 2017



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Our next meeting is the AGM followed by our usual monthly meeting. It takes place on Saturday 18 March from 11am in Whangarei at a venue to be advised.

Community outreach

We have had a request from Marlene Greene, the activities coordinator at the Jane Mander Retirement Village in Whangarei. Marlene is planning activities in April for the village residents to celebrate the birthday of Jane Mander (9 April 1877– 1949). There will be a display of historic photos, including photos of Jane Mander and her father Frank, who at one time owned The Northern Advocate. Jane was a journalist on this paper. Copies of Jane Mander’s novels will be available.

Marlene has asked NZSA members to consider volunteering some time during April to read Mander’s novels and journalism articles to the village residents. This is a great opportunity for our branch to reach out to the wider community and share our love of reading. It is also an opportunity to establish some connections for local writers to reach new audiences. If you are interested, please contact marleneantony[at]googlemail[dot]com

Update on New Zealand Book Week

We are delighted that Beth Ashworth of the Procter Library in Kerikeri has received an internal Far North District Council “reward and recognition” commendation for her work supporting the NZSA New Zealand Book Week display at the library. Also, as a result of our NZ Book Week activities, the Far North District Libraries have added a subject heading link to their catalogue for Far North authors. Authors currently on this list are shown here.

Members’ Announcements

  • Piet Nieuwland is participating in LIMIT:less, an exhibition by Inmates of Ngawha Prison, students and tutors of Northtec, and independent artists, opening at the Geoff Wilson Gallery on Thursday 6 April 2017 from 5 to 6pm.
  • Trish Nicholson would like to draw members’ attention to a newly published anthology of prose and poetry, My Walk to Equality, initiated and edited by Rashmii Bell, a young Papua New Guinean writer whom Trish has been encouraging for the last year or so. For the first time in PNG, 45 writers have been brought together to produce 81 essays, stories and poems covering diverse aspects of life for women in Papua New Guinea. Despite their lives being hard and domestic violence pandemic, these are strong women voicing optimism and hope. Trish has reviewed the book here:http://cc/zcioiy. My Walk to Equality is available from The Book Depository and from Amazon in both print and digital editions. The proceeds will go to increasing awareness by distributing copies free within PNG where those in most need of it do not have the money to buy books. Trish has commented that since domestic violence is a big issue in this country as well and stories are so influential, the NZSA might like to consider supporting a similar initiative here.


Trish Nicholson will be providing the third in the series of writing workshops for the local family history group in Kaitaia on March 4th, where she will give open feedback on scripts submitted beforehand and discuss the wide range of approaches to writing family histories. If you are interested, please contact Trish: trishn[at]orcon[dot]

Poetry Events

  • Dirty word open mic poetry will be held at the Old Stone Butter Factory Wednesday, 8 March at 7pm.
  • Poets at ONEONESIX will be held at 116 Bank Street on Thursday, 16 March at 5pm
  • A new poetry group is starting at the Whangarei Library on Tuesday, 21 March at 3.30pm. All welcome.

BOI Writers Group

BOI Writers Group is go! Our three founding members have their first assignment, a piece of up to 300 words with the prompt ‘Combination’, to bring along, read, share and critique on the second Monday of the month at 7–9pm. Our aim is mutual improvement and inspiration through constructive criticism. We are writing short pieces, extracts and flash fiction, both to improve our style and for publication and competition. If you’d like to join us, email Vivian at vthonger[at]gmail[dot]com.

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


2017 NFFD Competition

The 2017 National Flash Fiction Day Competition is open. 300-word entries can be submitted between February 15 – April 30. There are two categories: Adult (19+) judged by Michael Harlow and Emma Neale, and youth (18 and under) judged by Fleur Beale and Heather McQuillan. There are generous cash prizes for both categories. Winners will be announced June 22 at the NFFD celebrations, and all winners are invited to attend and share their stories. Full competition entry details are available here.

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.

Please contact Kathy or Margaret if you have any announcements, items of interest or achievements you would included in this monthly newsletter.

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