PenNorth February 2019

antique-author-background-1059110What are your writing New Year’s Resolutions? To finish your great American Kiwi novel? To post a Tweet every time you drink a cup of coffee? Perhaps you’re finally going to steal a writing space for yourself, even if it’s just in the garden shed. The most important commitment you can make is to decide that this is your year and that nothing is going to stop you from achieving your dreams. So dust off your fear of failure, replace it with a fear of obscurity, and get your writing out there…

Next Meeting

The next meeting will be on 16th February 2019. It will be held in Maungatapere, where Paula Brown will be talking about copyright.

The March meeting will be the AGM and will be held in Kohukohu.

Latest News

NorthWrite Update

We are delighted to announce that NorthWrite 2019 is moving out of the planning stage and into reality. It will be a full weekend conference held at Barge Park Showgrounds in Whangarei, 31 August–1 September 2019. We intend offering a diverse range of topics and hope we can provide a little something for everyone. The following speakers are already confirmed: Catherine Chidgey, Kate de Goldi and Simon Minto. We are consulting with other well-known New Zealand (and a couple of international) potential presenters at the moment and will let you know once details are finalised.

Te Puna Women’s Refuge Critiquing Raffle Results

Each year Lesley Marshall runs a critiquing raffle in memory of her son, with money going to Te Puna Māori Women’s Refuge. This year the raffle raised $985, and over the past 16 years between everyone it has raised a total of $15,600. It’s a wonderful effort by all the writers who enter and the refuge is very grateful. This year the winner was Northland writer, Trish Fenton, and she kindly donated her prize to the NorthTec Applied Writing Course, where it will be used for all the students in the epublishing class to have their work edited before being published. There are a lot of lucky students who will thank her this semester. Anyone who wants to enter the raffle next year, contact Lesley to be added to the address list.

Northland Noteworthies:

  • Kathy Derrick was longlisted in the Flash 500 competition for the third quarter of 2018.

What’s On?

Poetry EventsFFP5 cover

  • Dirty Word Open Mic at Old Stone Butter Factory, Whangarei: Wed 13 February and Wed 13 March at 7pm.
  • Poets at ONEONESIX at 116 Bank Street, Whangarei: Thurs 21 February and Thurs 21 March at 5pm (gold coin entry).

Fast Fibres Poetry Five available from fastfibres[at]
$10 for one copy, $15 for two copies.

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


19_applied_writing reduced

theappleWanted to buy: The Apple by Benjamin Brown illustrated by Tracy Duncan. This is now out of print. I had a copy, and I own the original artwork of one of the illustrations, but my book copy disappeared and I really want to own one to go with my picture. Lesley Marshall editline[at]

Please send us any little bits and pieces that you think might be useful for our Northland members. This includes any writing services you offer, links to useful (or fun) websites that you want to share, writing jobs you hear about, or even a request for a copy of an out-of-print book. Priority will be given to fresh content. Please refer to the contributor’s guidelines for requirements.

Competitions and Opportunities

Page Blackmore Short Story Competition

pageblackmoreThe Top of the South branch of NZSA organises an annual short story competition which is jointly sponsored by Page & Blackmore and the branch, with prizes awarded in the form of both book vouchers and cash (First – $500; Second – $300; Third – $200).
Previously unpublished stories of up to 1500 words can be submitted electronically as well as by post. All entries receive feedback.
Entry fee – $20 per story.
Closing date – 1 April 2019.

Takahē Magazine Short Story Competition 2019

takaheMaximum length for each story submitted is 2,500 words.
First prize is $250 and second prize is $100.

Results and the winning story will be published online in takahē 96 (August 2019) and all entries will considered for publication.
Submissions must be received no later than 31 March 2019.
See takahē magazine website for more information.

StartWrite Writing Appraisal Service – subsidised for NZSA members

typewriter mentorshipAppraisals are available on a first come, first served basis. 
The NZSA Writing Sample and Synopsis Assessment Service is an excellent opportunity for writers to get an appraisal of up to 6000 words. This is a fast and efficient way to get you on track with your work – be it poetry,  short stories or an early draft of a longer manuscript.
Find out more.

2019 Wallace Foundation Short Fiction Contest

This is a contest only for LGBTQI writers, offering an incredible opportunity to upskill yourself and show your writing talent.

There are three prizes: $1000 for the winning story, $500 for the runner-up and $500 for the best writing from a promising young writer aged under 25.

The word limit is a maximum of 2000 words and should not be exceeded. Stories must exceed 1200 words. Entries will close Sunday 31 March 2019. Check it out…

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

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

Refer to our contributor guidelines.

Please note that email addresses in this newsletter are shown
using “[at]” rather than “@”.
This is to avoid spamming issues that have occurred in the past.
Please modify the email address prior to emailing the person.


One thought on “PenNorth February 2019

  1. Love this: The most important commitment you can make is to decide that this is your year and that nothing is going to stop you from achieving your dreams.
    This year, I’m doing just that. In preparation for publishing my first novel, I’m working through the final stages of layout with my designer. Sincere thanks to NorthTec and Full Circle Creative for getting me to this point. And to Mike Botur who has just told me I should be getting my message out there! Will post an update when Beyond the Rimu Grove goes to the printer.

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