PenNorth June 2019


books stack old antique

It’s Flash Fiction month! It also seems to be a month for sharing – short stories on social media (#100NZStories100days), a piece of creative writing for use at NorthWrite, or some Flash Fiction at our Kawakawa celebrations. So wrap up in your winter woollies, light the fire, and let’s get writing…

Next Meeting

The next meeting will be held at 11am on Sunday 23 June, before the Northland annual Flash Fiction Day celebrations at Kings Theatre Creative, Kawakawa (see below).

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Date: Sunday 23 June 2019 
Time: 1–4pm
Location: King’s Theatre Creative, 62 Gillies Street, Kawakawa
The event will start with a workshop, followed by afternoon tea and a public reading of flash fiction, including the NFFD winning entries and Northland’s winning entry.
This year our annual flash-fiction workshop will be presented by Northland writer, Michael Botur. Michael is the author of five short-story collections. He was placed second in the 2019 North & South Short Short Story Competition and is a past winner of the Whangarei Libraries Flash Fiction Competition.
Participants are asked to bring a prepared draft of their story on a laptop if possible. During the workshop, writers will identify the anchor, heart, or core of the message in one flash story. They’ll also condense their story into an ‘elevator pitch’ that will help keep the story focused on what matters and sharpen the significance of each of the chosen 300 words.

NationalFlashFiction-Poster-Final - reduced

CUZ by Liz van der Laarse (OneTree-House) 2018

CUZ front coverCUZ is a fast-paced adventure story written for 10-14-year-olds. It tells the story of two cousins, Huia and River, who are shipwrecked on Fiordland’s coastline.
Huia has been brought up among whanau. Tikanga Maori is central to who she is.
River not so. He’s embarrassed about his lack of understanding – and he’s defensive.
But to survive they must work together, using Huia’s traditional knowledge of trapping, hunting and gathering kai. As they struggle to find a way back, River becomes increasingly drawn to tikanga Maori and its place in his life.
CUZ has been warmly reviewed in Magpies, the NZ Book Council School Journal, the Sapling, Backcountry, kidsbooksnz and Goodreads. CUZ is a Storylines Notable NZ Children’s Book (Junior Fiction) 2019 and is available through independent booksellers.
Teachers’ notes for CUZ can be downloaded for no charge from the publisher’s website.
Also check out the author’s Facebook page.

100 NZ Stories, 100 Days: Short Story Campaign

closeup photo of person s face

Northland author Michael Botur has launched a programme of publishing short stories every day for 100 days on social media and is encouraging other Kiwi writers to do the same. The intention is to keep short fiction writing in the public consciousness every day by using social media.
Botur hopes that the campaign will encourage fiction writers to publish ‘snackable’, shortish writing online. “It will help us find new readers and it will remind the public that short fiction needs to be valued as an art form.” The published stories don’t necessarily need to be new – writers are encouraged to post links to flash fiction and short prose already published in literary magazines and blogs.
Botur says, “Short-fiction writers need to reclaim their place in daily media. Literature is an art form that generates meaningful discussion about cultural experiences. It’s deeply therapeutic for everyone, whether writing or reading – plus reading a lot of this material is completely free.”
Authors are urged to publish their 100 pieces on any consecutive days across autumn to spring (30 April to 9 August) and use the hashtag #100NZStories100days to support one another.

NorthWrite 2019: Expanding Horizons

30 August–1 September 2019 Barge Showgrounds Event Centre, Whangarei
Attention writers and editors!
NorthWrite 2019 is organised into fours streams: publishing, writing techniques, master classes and conversations. Presenters include Kate de Goldi, Catherine Chidgey, Simon Minto, Harry Ricketts, Leeanna Morgan, Eboni Waitere from Huia, Jim Azavedo from Smashwords (by webinar), Zana Bell, Piet Nieuwland and Vivian Thonger.
Registration opens 1 July. The programme will be published on

Like to share your writing at NorthWrite 2019?

The NorthWrite Committee would like to include writing by Northlanders on the fronts of bags provided to conference participants. We are using paper carrier bags and we hope to decorate each of these with a piece of local creative writing.
If you would like a piece or pieces of your writing to be included, please either:

  • bring to the NZSA branch meetings in June or July
  • give to a committee member – Di, Justine, Kathy, Lesley or Margaret
  • post to Kathy Derrick, PO Box 841, Kerikeri 0245 in an A4 envelope.


  • One piece of writing only on each sheet.
  • The writing must be a completed work – a poem, flash fiction, short story or equivalent.
  • The writer’s name should be included.
  • The writing must be as easily readable as possible – written in at least a 12-point font, 1.5-spaced and if on a coloured background, the print should be black.
  • Printed on one A4-sized sheet of paper or thin card in portrait orientation – please don’t fold.
  • You can submit as many pieces as you like. We’ll use as many as possible.

Any questions can be emailed to margareta.cahill[at]gmail[dot]com.

Northland Noteworthies:

  • Yvonne Dion has produced her first book – The Wizard’s Key.
  • Trish Fenton is launching Beyond the Rimu Grove in July at the Whangarei Library.
  • Piet Nieuwland has several poems coming out, including one written when he was a scrutineer in the last elections. “The variety of human voting” in PRIDE 7 Deadly Sins Vol.7 Pure Slush Books and “The possibility of existence” in Theme: The Wave, Winter 2019, A Fine Line, The Magazine of the New Zealand Poetry Society.

What’s On?

rectangular white color painting palette beside eyeglasses

Poetry Events

  • Poets at ONEONESIX at 116 Bank Street, Whangarei: Thurs 20 June at 5pm (gold coin entry).
  • Deadline for submissions to Fast Fibres Poetry Six: 14 June (see below).

A full list of Northland writing events, opportunities and writers’ groups can be found on the Northland Authors website.

Competitions and Opportunities

Fast Fibres Poetry 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, 23 August 2019.
Poets with a strong connection to Northland are invited to submit 3 poems, each preferably no longer than 20 lines. Please also include a two-line biographical statement.
Deadline: June 14
Email: fastfibres[at]

Sargeson Prize Short Story Competition

WaikatoThe University of Waikato is proud to sponsor this country’s richest short story prize, named for celebrated New Zealand writer Frank Sargeson.
Two divisions: Open and Secondary Schools.
Judge for 2019: Catherine Chidgey
Entries will be open from 1 April – 30 June 2019, with the winners announced at the Frank Sargeson Memorial Lecture in October. All New Zealand writers, published and unpublished, are eligible to enter.
Visit the University of Waikato website or the Sargeson Prize Facebook page for more information.

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

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


Wanted 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 contributors’ guidelines for requirements.

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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