Chairperson – Justine Payen

justine payen

After completing a semester on NorthTec’s Diploma of Applied Writing in 2010 Justine sent her picture book assessment to HarperCollins, who published it and released Tea With Miss Tilly illustrated by Phillip Webb in March 2012. On 20th August 2011 she also had a profile piece on country singer Carleen Still published in The Northern Advocate.

Having completed Level  5, 6 and the advanced Applied Writing Diploma Level 7 at the end of 2012, Justine is continuing to write a Young Adult fantasy based in Whangarei about shape shifters, angels and creatures of nightmares. She continues to study part-time while waiting for NorthTec’s Applied Writing Degree programme to start.

Justine lives with her fiancé, four kids (thankfully two of which come and go), dog, cat, cockatiels and a budgie which keep her busy, while still renovating (on a shoestring) nine years after buying a house advertised as Nightmare on George Street.

Vice Chairperson – Lesley Marshall

Lesley Marshall is a freelance editor, who also teaches on the NorthTec Applied Writing diploma, occasionally relief-teaches at a primary school, works as a mentor and assessor for the Society of Authors, and is occasionally hired by publishers as a publishers’ editor. She isn’t a writer, though she used to compile crossword puzzles for magazines, has had a couple of stories on the radio, and has recently had a few articles in the Heritage Rose Journal. She also currently writes an article on PEN issues for each edition of NZSA’s magazine The Author as part of her role of NZ coordinator for PEN.

She has been married to Rex for over forty years, and they have four biological children, and various others that they have helped parent over the years. Some of these are still available for house-painting working bees, which is a huge plus! Lesley has lived in the same house in Maungatapere for the past 40-odd years (some very odd!) and can’t move out because there’s too much accumulated junk/ valuable stuff.  The children are all developing anxiety disorders at the realisation that clearing it all out will be their job after Rex and she cark it.

Secretary/ Newsletter Editor – Patricia Fenton

Trish is a late-comer to the world of fiction writing. Following a career in education, firstly in New Zealand and then in various international locations, she returned to her home town of Whangarei with the aim of fulfilling her dream of writing a novel.

In 2018, she completed a Diploma in Advanced Applied Writing (NorthTec). Her major project involved writing a coming-of-age saga: Beyond the Rimu Grove, published in 2019.

When the spirit moves her, she occasionally writes articles, some of which have been published in the Northern Advocate. (The Bountiful Life of a Baby Boomer, More to progressing literacy development than phonics.)

She hopes to have her second novel – the first of a two-part series – published in 2022.

Treasurer – Kathy Derrick

Kathy 2

Kathy Derrick writes mainly for children and young adults.  Most of her published works are with Learning Media.  Her latest projects include tidying up a junior fantasy novel, and reviewing New Zealand children’s books and interviewing their authors at: NZ Children’s Book Reviews.  Kathy is a trained tertiary teacher, and tutors on the NorthTec Applied Writing Diploma.

Publicity – Piet Nieuwland

PietPiet Nieuwland is a poet who enjoys live poetry readings. He first appeared in the Globe Tapes (Auckland 1985) and has since read poetry in a wide variety of gatherings and forums throughout the country including Pechakucha evenings. His poems have been published in many places including Landfall, Live Lines, Mattoid, Takahe, Snafu, Take Flight, Tongue in your ear, Poetry NZ, online and the mural on the tunnel walkway in Whangarei. His most recent poetry booklet is Tzarinas Equinoctal. He also plays around with flash fiction. He is currently involved in Poets Exposed poetry readings in Whangarei and has just released a chapbook compilation of Northland poetry titled Fast Fibres Poetry.

He has worked as a forester for the NZ Forest Service and as a strategic management planner for the Department of Conservation and enjoys sailing, planting trees, vegetable gardening and the countryside.

Websites: Take FlightTe Ao Kikokiko


Heather Whelan

Karen Phillips

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