NZSA Northland News August 2022


NZSA Northland Branch Meeting

Thursday 11 August 2022 at 6.30 pm, by Zoom

Secretary, Trish Fenton, will send the Zoom link with the agenda.


Thursday 18 August, 2022, 5.00 pm – 8.00 pm, 116 Bank Street, Whangārei

Please keep your mask on unless reading your poems, and maintain 2m distancing.

Special event – the launch of Fast Fibres 9.

Venue: Whangārei: Railway Station, Railway Road.



is the theme for this year’s National Short Story Competition run by NZSA Northland. Submissions close on 1 September 2022

Check out last year’s winners here:

See details on Homepage

Poetry Competition

Competitions – takahē

The Monica Taylor Poetry Prize 2022 opens for entries on 1 June 2022, and closes on 31 August 2022.

First Prize: $300, Second Prize: $150

The judge for this year is Airini Beautrais.

Airini Beautrais is a poet, writer and educator who grew up in Auckland and Whanganui.

Note: All competition entries must be made through Submittable. If you’re not already familiar with Submittable there is a link to the entry form on the Takahe website.

Professional Services

In response to requests for writing services, we are compiling a register of professional services our members are able to provide. (Ghost writing, developmental editing, proof reading, scripting formal documents, mentoring etc). If you would like your name and service/s to be included, please contact:


Organising Committee – Inaugural Labour Weekend Writing Event

Nova Scotia Junction (Old National Bank), Waipu

Lindy Davis (author, journalist and creative writer) is proposing an annual Labour Weekend Writer’s Festival, starting with 2022 in Waipu. It would include:

  • readings
  •  Q & A panel
  •  author engagement with workshops
  • book sales
  • and possibly a wine/cheese evening that creates an opportunity for writers in the Northland region to come together.

If you’d like to contribute to the organising committee for this inaugural event, please contact:



Congratulations, Lauren Roche!

Announcing the publication of NZSA Northland member, Lauren Roche’s Mila and the Bone Man.

“From the best-selling New Zealand author of two memoirs comes a beautifully written and tender debut novel about guilt, forgiveness and finding your way home.”

Published by Quentin Wilson Publishing.

RRP $37.99

Congratulations, Anna Williams!

Anna has published her beautiful children’s picture book.

Magpie and the Morning Light Is a fantasy tale about a selfish magpie who loves to steal anything bright and shiny that catches his eye. However, his thieving habit causes trouble in the forest, where he lives with all the other birds, and they decide to teach him a lesson. What do they do? The story sends a strong message that selfishness won’t be tolerated in society and others will fight back. The illustrations are by a local Whangarei artist and are rich and colourful. Although this book is aimed at around 5-8-year-olds, even a very young child would enjoy the pictures. Cost: $20.00 plus P&P. Available from

Congratulations, Donna Blaber!

Donna has published her latest children’s chapter book: The stone is back, and someone new has found it. Becky, a young teen from the UK always loved visiting her dad in New Zealand until she returns during the pandemic. Now he’s got a baby with her new step mum and everything has changed. Worse still, her windsurfer hasn’t arrived yet, so there’s nothing for her to do but wait for Mum who is stuck overseas. Then Becky finds a strange stone at Whale Bay and her luck changes. She makes new friends, joins an environmental group, borrows a windsurfer, and has several close encounters with a bottlenose dolphin who simply won’t leave her alone. But what is wrong with the dolphin? Is it trying to tell her something? Is it sick? And who are the people poaching fish from the marine reserve? How is it all connected? Becky must find a way to solve it all.

Available from bookshops nationwide, or order online at the Kiwi Kids Bookstore: 

Book Launch Report

NZSA Northland member, Heather Whelan, reports on the launch of her recently published children’s book: “Lost”

I recently had a book launch in the children’s section of Whangarei Central Library, for my children’s novel: Lost. Because it was an event for children I had to put some time and effort into providing activities. There was ‘gold panning’ with lollies hidden in rice, dressing up in Victorian-era clothes, boat making, and colouring in. I read some excerpts from Lost and talked briefly about life for children in the 1800s. Choosing which container might give them a lucky strike of gold/lollies broke the ice, and the children began to engage happily; even one of the mums got into the swing of things and dressed up too.

As writers for children our main market is schools, libraries and parents/grandparents: adults who buy for children. But events like the book launch, and an author visit I did at a school recently, get the children interested. After all, they are our audience, and it was great that at both these events children (as well as adults) bought books – or asked their parents to buy them.

Sharing NZSA Northland Branch News and events:

– Share with us on our Facebook Pages for NZSA Northland 

Facebook page (public) and Facebook group (private).

– Submit your news, including events, awards, recent publications and book launches to: northlandauthors[at] for inclusion in our monthly newsletter.

Free for financial members. 50 cents per word for non-members.

(Note: we use [at] when providing email addresses in the newsletter, to avoid SPAM)

 “It’s such a confidence trick, writing a novel. The main person you have to trick into confidence is yourself. This is hard to do alone.”

Zadie Smith 

Published by Patricia Fenton

“The way we were” I began my teaching career in New Zealand and later worked in international schools around the globe before being appointed to the International Baccalaureate with responsibility for authoring curriculum and professional development publications. In recent times, I’ve combined my passion for writing and education to produce my first novel, Beyond the Rimu Grove. My aim was to capture and communicate “The way we were.” I’m now working on my second novel entitled War Bride. It’s a fictionalized account of the life of my late mother-in-law, Pru Fenton who met and married her Kiwi soldier in Cirencester, England in 1942.

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