PenNorth August 2018

They must call Northland the “Winterless North” because none of our writers go into hibernation! Our members are winning book awards, excelling in competitions, publishing their works and organising events and competitions like busy little beavers.
If you thought writing was a solitary occupation, think again…

Next Meeting

The next meeting of the Northland Branch of NZSA will be held on Saturday 18 August at Ahipara.

September’s meeting is to be replaced with a day at the Book Festival in the beautiful Hokianga, so be sure to check out the great programme and essay competition below.

Latest News

Bianca Staines Wins her Second Purple Dragonfly Award

Having won 2nd place in the ‘Animal/Pets E-book’ category in the 2017 Purple Dragonfly Book Award with her book The Tale of Prince, Bianca has outdone herself by winning 2nd place in the ‘Unpublished Manuscript’ category this year with The Tale of Tyriii.
The Tale of Tyriii is an animal adventure story in which the protagonist is a possum princess who struggles to fit in, but is propelled into action when a huge winged monster starts attacking her people. The story is mostly light-hearted (and unabashedly funny) but touches on some dark themes such as animal testing and the trafficking of endangered species.

For a complete list of winners, visit

New Book: Voyage of the Ika Roa

Heather Whelan’s new book was launched at Whangarei Library on Saturday 14 July.

In Voyage of the Ika Roa author Heather Whelan relates the story of how she and then husband, Tim, built a boat and sailed it from England to New Zealand. The couple had no boatbuilding or sailing experience, but they set to and built Ika Roa, a Wharram-designed catamaran.
The voyage began with a trip across the Bay of Biscay, to Spain and Portugal. The Atlantic crossing took the Ika Roa and her crew far from land for the first time. Heather relates her adventures in the Caribbean Islands, Venezuela and the Dutch Antilles before they reached the Panama Canal.
While cruising the Pacific, Heather became fascinated by Polynesian history and the islanders’ way of life. Friendships among the cruising community and with locals enriched the journey. Two years after leaving Falmouth in England, Ika Roa arrived in New Zealand after sailing more than 10,000 nautical miles.

The book is available from BigWords-Books website or from Heather at heatherwhelan2[at]

Members’ Mentions:

  • Kath Wynn was longlisted for the Whangarei Library Flash Fiction Competition.
  • Piet Nieuwland has had his poem The River published in 7 Deadly Sins Vol.2 Gluttony

What’s On?

Poetry and Launch of FastFibres Poetry Five

FFP5 will be launched at Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day 2018 events:

  • 16 August at FFP5 LAUNCH @ ONEONESIX: 116a Bank Street, Whangarei – 5 to 8pm (gold coin entry)
  • 25 August POETRY POPUP @ Whangarei Central Library – 10am to 12midday (free)
  • 26 August FFP5 and OPEN MIC @ Kings Theatre Creative, Kawakawa – 1 to 3pm ($5)

Want to get a copy of Fast Fibres Poetry Five? It has 60 pages containing 39 Northland poets and can be yours for $10, or $15 for two copies (including P&P). Contact: fastfibres[at]

There is also one more poetry event for this month:

  • Dirty Word @ Old Stone Butter Factory – Friday 24 August from 7pm

Hokianga Book Festival

Rawene will be buzzing with books on Friday 14 and Saturday 15 September with the Hokianga Book Festival. Instead of our regular monthly meeting that weekend, members are encouraged to come along and get involved in the Saturday events.

NEW: Mangawhai Writers Group

This group welcomes writers of all genres, especially those needing help, since the group has several published authors. They meet every second Thursday of the month at 7:30pm in the Old School House opposite the new Mangawhai Museum at the Heads. The meeting does include readings and feedback. Pop along and join this friendly bunch – please bring $3 to cover lights and heating. Please contact bevanconsult[at] to get involved and find out more.

A full list of Northland writing events, opportunities and writers’ groups can be found here.

Competitions & Opportunities

Hokianga Book Festival Essay Competition – Small is Beautiful

As part of the Hokianga Book Festival, No.1 Parnell invites Far North writers to submit a work for its essay competition. The theme is Small is Beautiful and interpretation is open.
There will be one winning prize of $500 and up to 10 finalists will be selected whose work will be published in a book. The finalists and winner will be announced on September 15 at the Hokianga Book Festival.
For more information click here.

NZSA National Writers Forum – Perfect Pitch

The NZSA National Writers Forum 2018 is on next month. Don’t miss your chance to pitch your project to one of New Zealand’s leading publishers or agents. Find out more.

Timeless Wisdom Writing Competition

This competition focuses on non-fiction short stories which share some of the wisdom that can only be acquired through age. There are four themes:

  • Fear & Courage
  • Struggle & Success
  • Love & Loss
  • Human Kindness

Entry is free and closes on 28 September 2018. For submission details and more information see the Exisle Publishing website.

New Zealand Heritage Book & Writing Awards

Entries close 20 August, so get your pen moving. The theme is ‘Strength through Struggle’ with four categories: non-fiction book, novel or collection of short stories, short prose, and poem.
Cost of entry: Books $35, prose and poetry $15. You may enter more than once. For more information, click here.

The Aesthetica Creative Writing Award 2018

Entries close 31 August, so get ready to submit your Poetry & Short Fiction. Submit here.

For information on other competitions and awards check out the Calendar of Opportunities on your NZSA website members-only page.

Please email Wendy or northlandauthors[at] if you have any announcements, items of interest or achievements you would like included in this monthly newsletter.


2 thoughts on “PenNorth August 2018

    1. Thanks! I’m still getting my WordPress-legs, but nice to know it’s being read and appreciated. It helps when everyone sends me heaps of exciting stuff to share.

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