PenNorth March 2019

still-life-teddy-white-readThe writing year is off with a roar – readings, poetry from all directions, a new writer’s group, and of course the annual Flash Fiction competition. Gather your laptop and join in the fun…

Next Meeting

The next meeting (AGM) will be on 16th March 2019 in Kohukohu.
Paula Browning from Copyright Licensing Ltd has been (re)confirmed for the May meeting.

Latest News

Book Inn hosts Cloud Ink Press Writers

cloud-ink.jpgOn 2 March, the Kamo Book Inn hosted a series of readings from four Cloud Ink Press writers: James George, Helen McNeil, Thalia Henry and Lauren Roche. James and Helen are also part of the organising team for Cloud Ink .
Helen’s second book, A Striking Truth, is based around the strikes at Kawerau, where she grew up.
James’ Ocean Roads, (published by Huia), is about the effect war has on people – namely the Nagasaki atom bomb and the Vietnam war.
James teaches the Masters writing course at AUT, and Thalia’s book, Beneath Pale Water, was written during her studies under him, and was edited by our Lesley Marshall.
Lauren, who is currently studying through NorthTec’s online Applied Writing course, read from her current work in progress.

Duo Barrie Allen and Kim Hayes treated the audience to some wonderful music, and Barrie also gave a bonus reading from his book about his ancestor Thomas Kendall, an early missionary who was the organiser of Hongi Hika’s trip to England.
Cloud Ink Press is now publishing more New Zealand fiction than many of the big mainstream publishers.

Northland Noteworthies:

  • Jac Jenkins has poems coming up in Geometry and Room magazines, and another in an anthology of poems from the Waikato (Ngā Kupu Waikato).
  • Piet has had lots of poems published – a few that have just come out, and several others in the pipeline. He’s created a new website featuring his work and more. Some of the publications that are publishing his poems are 7 Deadly Sins Vols 2, 4 & 5 (Australia), Bonsai (Christchurch), Sky Island Journal #6 (New Mexico), NZ Poetry Shelf (Auckland), Sonic Boom #13 (India), Mojave River Review Fall 2018 (California) and Otoliths.
  • Kath Wynn has completed a 250,000-word biography for Hospice, a shorter paid one, and is now working on two new ones, plus her own.
  • Justine Payen is off to attend the writers’ conference in San Francisco, after two years of trying to get there.

What’s On?

Poetry Events

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

See below for information about submissions to the next Fast Fibres!

Whangarei Writers’ Workshop

A friendly group of writers who meet every second Friday at the Kamo Club 10.00am-12.30pm to critique work and support other writers.
March meetings are on the 15th and 29th.
Check out their Facebook page or contact Heather Whelan.

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


Proof-editing Services – Barbara Unkovic

In today’s publishing world proof-editing is increasingly superseding copy-editing and proofreading. Have you finished writing your novel or collection of short fiction? Does it need proofreading and polishing before you submit it for publication?
The author of seven published books and the recipient of more than thirty writing awards, Barbara holds a Master of Creative Writing (Honours) from Auckland University, a certification from the NZ Writer’s College in copy-editing and proofreading, and a certification in fiction editing from the Society of Editors and Publishers in the UK.
Barbara uses UK English, the New Oxford Style Manual, the Concise Oxford Dictionary and she prefers to work in Microsoft Word.
She offers discounts to NZ Society of Authors members and to clients referred by contacts in the writing world.
Contact: barbaraunkovic[at]     Website:

‘I employed the services of Barbara Unkovic to edit my book series titled SHARPNESS. I found Barbara to be very approachable and open to discussion about matters relating to my story. She is very thorough in her work and takes the time to point out the reasons for her comments and alterations. Barbara applies herself to her work in a business-like manner, while at the same time keeping an aura of friendliness. I look forward to working with Barbara on my future manuscripts.’

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

Fast Fibres Six – Call for Submissions

Fast Fibres Poetry Collective is producing a sixth collection to display the talents of Northland poets. It will be launched in print and online on National Poetry Day, August 23, 2019.
We invite poets with a strong connection to Northland to submit 3 poems, each preferably no longer than 20 lines, plus a two-line biographical statement.
Deadline: June 14
Email: fastfibres[at]

New Zealand National Flash Fiction Day – 22 June 2019

Competition runs February 15-April 15. Send your best 300 words for cash prizes! Adult and youth categories.
For more information, see National Flash Fiction Day 2019 Competition page.

Aesthetica Creative Writing Award

AestheticaCelebrating excellence in Poetry & Short Fiction, the Award is hosted by the international art and culture publication Aesthetica Magazine. Supporting new writing talent, it presents a fantastic chance for writers to further their involvement in the literary world.
There are two entry categories: Poetry and Short Fiction. Works previously published are accepted and there are no limitations on themes. Submissions close 31 August.
Prizes include:

  • £1,000 for each winner (Poetry and Short Fiction)
  • Publication in the Aesthetica Creative Writing Anthology
  • Consultation with Redhammer (Short Fiction Winner)
  • Full Membership to The Poetry Society (Poetry Winner)
  • Granta subscription and books courtesy of Vintage and Bloodaxe

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.


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