PenNorth December 2019

photo-of-girl-sitting-near-christmas-tree-3303613.jpg“Dear Santa,
This year has been a very busy writing year for our Northland writers, and therefore I firmly believe they deserve to be on your ‘nice’ list. I ask that you bring them awesome pens, new laptops, fun Christmas reads, and (most importantly) lots of great words and ideas for the New Year!”

Next Meeting

The next meeting will be on Saturday 14 December (note the early date) at Di’s house in Tapuhi for a shared Christmas lunch. 

Latest News

Our Members’ Blogs

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Blogging is a wonderful way to stretch your legs as a writer and raise your profile. The feedback can give you confidence to find your voice, and the blogosphere can also be a very supportive place and a great way to make new friends.

See below for PenNorth’s new section, Blogaholics, featuring the latest blogs published by our Northland members. If you want your blog posts to be featured here, please email Wendy at northlandauthors[at] with your name and website address. This information will also appear on our website home page.

Te Puna Women’s Refuge – Critiquing Raffle

Once again it’s time for Lesley Marshall’s (Member NZAMA, NZSA, IPEd) annual refuge raffle. As she does every year, Lesley is offering a Christmas raffle for a critique (or the equivalent time in editing) in memory of her son, with funds to go to Te Puna Women’s Refuge.
To enter, simply send a cheque (made out to Te Puna) to Lesley at Editline, 20 Beverley Cres, RD 9 Whangarei 0179), and she’ll put you in the draw. Alternatively, you can direct debit money into Te Puna’s account (Account: 123101 0056429 00; name: Te Puna o Te Aroha Women’s Refuge) and let her know what you’ve paid them so she knows how many chances to give you. If an overseas writer wants to enter they can donate to their local refuge equivalent.adorable baby child cute

The draw will be made on 20 December. The critique is for a novel or any similar piece of work, and the winner can send it any time in the next year, either on paper or by email.
The costs for entries are:
One chance = $20; 3 chances $30; 6 chances $40; 10 chances $50; 15 chances $60.
The refuge gets very short of food during the festive season, although one year they used the money to create a children’s playground for the families there, and another year they bought clothes for the children. Whatever they use it for, rest assured you’re creating a lot of Christmas joy with your entries. These are people who have suffered hugely, and have often walked out of what should have been their safe, happy homes with only the clothes they stand up in. They really do need all our support. And Christmas is unfortunately the refuges’ busiest time.
Please let any of your writing contacts know about the raffle – the more entries the better! $985 for Te Puna was made last year, and Lesley would love a similar amount this year. She thanks you all in advance for your support.

Northland Noteworthies:

  • Corralie Betts’ entry, The Gathering, received an honourable mention in the More Stories We Loved section of the 2019 NZ Writers’ College Annual Short Story Award.
  • Kath Wynn has been commissioned to do a large, multi-generational family biography in addition to the three that she is working on at present.

What’s On?

FF6-front-no-bleed_option1bPoetry Events

  • Poets at ONEONESIX, Thursday 19 December, 5pm, 116 Bank Street, Whangarei.
  • Poets at ONEONESIX, Thursday 16 January 2020, 5pm, 116 Bank Street, Whangarei.

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

Competitions and Opportunities

#1 Flyer - Kerikeri

Call for Submissions – Pavlova Stories

pavlovaPavlova Press will shortly be calling for submissions of poetry, short prose (fiction or non-fiction) and images for an anthology focussing on our nation’s relationship with pavlova. We will be giving you all summer to work your magic and submissions will close on 31 March 2020. We will provide more details as they come to hand – in the meantime start thinking up various pavlova scenarios. For more details, go to the Pavlova Press website.  

Island Time Writing Retreat

Waiheke Island, 20-24 January and 7-10 July 2020.
Reconnect with the pleasures of writing at this five-day luxury retreat hosted by international writing expert, Dr Helen Sword, on beautiful Waiheke Island.
Whether you are a scholarly or professional writer trying to finish an article or book, a novelist, poet or nonfiction writer working on a manuscript, or simply a traveller looking for fresh inspiration, this immersive retreat will replenish your creative energies and provide you with strategies for getting your writing done.
Find out more on Helen’s Website.

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



Follow the links to read the latest blogs by our members…


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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