Cancellation of Northwrite 2020

It is with heavy hearts that the NorthWrite committee has decided the NorthWrite 2020: Workshop Series will no longer proceed either online or face-to-face. We held our Blogging for Writers webinar on Saturday 16 May to an appreciative audience but the remaining workshops will not run. If you are keen to see NorthWrite continue and would like to be part of the committee organising these events, please send an email to northlandauthors[at]
It is possible that NZSA Northland will hold a NZ Book Week event in October. This will not be under the NorthWrite umbrella, but if it proceeds we will be sure to give you all the details here as well as on our sister website

May Workshop: Blogging for Writers

The first workshop in the NorthWrite 2020 series is Blogging for Writers presented by Wendy Wickens. It will be hosted online using the Zoom platform on 16 May from 1.00 – 3.30pm. Full instructions for using Zoom will be given to all participants prior to the event. Recordings of the event will be available for all participants attending live and will also be available to purchase if you can’t make the live event. Registrations for both the live event and the purchase of the recording close on 15 May. The fee is $20 for NZSA members and $25 for non-NZSA members.

About Wendy

Wendy is a non-fiction writer and land surveyor. She has published a self-help eBook, The Little Bullying Book, and is a regular contributor to the Kiwi Gardener Magazine. (She has also written under the name Wendy Megget and now writes as Wendy Morgan.)

Her blog has over 200 followers after a year of very leisurely blogging. Check out her website and blog at

About Blogging for Writers

Blogging is just one tool available for writers to boost their online discoverability. It can also help improve your writing confidence and create friendships all around the globe.

Wendy will work with you on various aspects of blogging. This will include:

  • How to create a genuine author profile
  • Tips for writing great content
  • Ways to increase your engagement level
  • How to link to your social media accounts
  • Ways to utilise statistics effectively
  • Information on how to increase your understanding of some of the basic technical points

Whether you already have a blog or have been thinking about starting one, this workshop will give you the direction and focus to build a blogging platform that is not a burden, but a source of real joy.

NorthWrite 2020: Workshop Series

All of us at NorthWrite hope that you and your bubble are doing well in these strange times. We had a programme for NorthWrite 2020 all ready to launch at Tūhono Kerikeri! in March but given the current situation we have had to revise it somewhat. We have been working hard behind the scenes to do that and are thrilled with the line up we have for you.

The NZ Society of Authors, Northland Branch is pleased to announce the programme for the NorthWrite 2020: Workshop Series. We are offering four workshops in May, July, August and November, as well as an event in October to be run in conjunction with Book Week. Given the current situation and the remote nature of Northland and its writers, the intention is to run most if not all workshops using the online Zoom platform to enable as many Northland writers as possible to attend. The October event may take a different format and we will keep you informed of this as we get closer to the date. Registrations for the workshops will open shortly and the cost to attend each online workshop is $20pp (incl. GST). This cost could increase if we return to face-to-face workshops.

Note: Zoom is an easy to use video-conferencing platform and full instructions on how to use it will be given to those who register.

The workshop line-up:

16 May (1.00 – 3.30pm)
Presenter: Wendy Wickens
Topic: Blogging for Writers

18 July (1.00 – 3.30pm)
Presenter: Caroline Barron
Topic: Tell Your Story: How to Write Memoir

15 August (1.00 – 3.30pm)
Presenter: Lynn Jenner
Topic: The essay: exploring a wide canvas of possibilities

17 October (half or full day event – TBA)
Presenters: To be confirmed
Topic: This event will be run in conjunction with Book Week and may take a different format to the other workshops

21 November (1.00 – 3.30pm)
Presenter: Wendyl Nissen
Topic: Writing for Magazines

We will keep you informed of updates as they come to hand. Presenter bios and workshop descriptors will be added shortly.

NorthWrite 2020

The NorthWrite 2020 programme will be launched on Saturday 21 March in Kerikeri at the Tūhono Kerikeri Festival Day. We will be operating from a tent at the Kororipo Heritage Park from 10am to 5pm and inviting the general public to take part in magnetic fridge poetry. We’ll have everything needed, including magnetic words (in English and Māori), to create short poems or creative sentences for others to enjoy. A bookstall will showcase and sell books written by Northland authors (or those with Northland connections). We will shortly be providing information for anyone interested in selling books at the event.

Sentence and Short Poetry Competition

During February, NZSA Northland is hosting a sentence and short poetry competition. We invite all Northlanders to submit a short sentence or poem (25 words max) and will use these to create a word list for our fridge poetry event at the Tūhono Kerikeri Festival Day. You can enter up to five sentences or poems – please include them all in one document. We need a variety of words in English and Māori, so feel free to submit sentences and poems ranging from the super simple to the highly creative. All those who submit will go into the draw for a $50 book voucher. Closing date 29 February 2020. How to enter:

  • Email your sentences and poems in an attached document (Word or RTF files only please, NO pdfs) to northlandauthors[at]
  • Include in the document your name, email address, phone number and the Northland area you associate with.
  • NZSA Northland branch reserves the right to freely use any submitted sentences and poems (with attribution to the author) during the Tūhono Kerikeri celebrations in March and April 2020.
  • Entry into the competition constitutes agreement to the potential use of your work as stated. You will retain copyright to copy, publish, publicly perform, transmit and adapt your work.

NorthWrite 2019: Expanding Horizons

Conference Overview

NorthWrite 2019 will be held at Barge Showgrounds Events Centre, Whangarei. It will open with a mihi and meet-and-greet event on Friday 30 August. The conference will take place on Saturday 31 August and Sunday 1 September.

Initial registrations are for the full conference only. Day tickets will become available from 1 August. If places are still available for individual sessions towards the end of August, we will announce this shortly before registrations close.

Tickets for the conference dinner on the Saturday evening are discounted if purchased with a full conference ticket. They can be also purchased separately at the full price.

NorthWrite 2019 has been organised into parallel streams, designed to reflect the interests of our writing community. Participants may choose to attend sessions within or across streams when they book for the conference. Presentations, other than masterclasses, are scheduled in 1.5 hour sessions. Masterclasses are 3 hours long, covered over 2 sessions.

NorthWrite 2019 streams

  • Publishing – this stream focuses on information about publishing, with ebook publishing covered on Saturday and print publishing on Sunday.
  • Writing techniques – this stream caters for a range of writers. There are sessions on writing for children, non-fiction, fiction writing and self-editing.
  • Masterclasses – this stream is designed for experienced fiction writers, poets and editors. They have been planned to give experienced writers, poets and editors opportunities to engage in in-depth discussions about their craft. The masterclasses are restricted to a limited number of participants to ensure a high level of engagement.
  • Conversations – this stream provides opportunities for participants to engage in informal discussions on a range of topics pertinent to writers.


Masterclass 1: Editing. This masterclass is limited to 15 participants. It is open to qualified and experienced freelance or in-house editors. This masterclass will be presented by Simon Minto.

Masterclass 2: Novel. This masterclass is limited to 10–12 participants. It is open to writers who are currently working on a novel AND have at least three years of writing study (for example, a Bachelor in Creative Writing or a three-year diploma programme) OR a Masters in Creative Writing OR at least one completed book length work of fiction. Participants’ writing will be workshopped. Full instructions for submitting your sample of your novel will be sent when you book. This masterclass is presented by Catherine Chidgey.

Masterclass 3: Poetry. This masterclass is limited to 15 participants. It is open to writers currently working on poetry who have been published in at least one forum for poetry or short lyrical fiction (such as flash fiction). This masterclass is presented by Harry Ricketts.

Presenter bios are published on here.

Please read the full programme details prior to booking.


All ticket prices include GST. Additional booking fees may apply at the time of registration. If you are registering as a student or NZSA member you must have your id number available when booking.

Early Bird from 1 July

Student Conference only $150
Student Conference plus dinner         $200
NZSA member Conference only         $175
NZSA member Conference plus dinner      $225
Non-member Conference only          $200
Non-member Conference plus dinner        $250
Dinner only              $ 75

Full Price from 1 August

Student Conference only                     $175
Student Conference plus dinner       $225
NZSA member Conference only         $200
NZSA member Conference plus dinner        $250
Non-member Conference only         $220
Non-member Conference plus dinner             $270
Saturday day ticket$150
Sunday day ticket $130
Dinner only           $75

Please check this page for FAQ.

NorthWrite 2019 is presented with the support of Creative New Zealand.

Conversation Descriptors

Using fiction and poetry techniques to craft flash and micro fiction

10.30am Saturday 30 August
Vivian Thonger

Explore flash and micro fiction by grafting and meshing literary techniques usually associated with poetry and longer fiction. Vivian will lead an open conversation about how poetry and prose styles and devices can be applied to short-short fiction.  She’ll show lots of examples and share exercises for inspiration. Expect to join in!

Adventures in Transmutation: A conversation about poetry

1pm Saturday 30 August
Piet Nieuwland

Participants will explore what it is to create poetry in present-day Aotearoa. We will explore what it is to make poetry and how we make it, taking into account our post-colonial heritage, ballooning cultural diversity, and new communication tools. Participants will also be guided through a poetry writing process where they will create a draft of a poem and get inspiration and ideas for further creation.

Creating Voices in Fiction and Poetry

3pm Saturday 30 August
Briar Wood

Writing guides sometimes use the phrase ‘finding your voice’, and then go on to explain that writing involves the expression of many points of view. How do we express ideas and produce characters that do justice to the multiple voices in our heads? How can we generate speakers who are credible and also articulate some of our own ideas? Which genres should we choose to carry these thoughts?  This session will be about finding ways to create as many voices as possible in your writing.

Cultural Considerations in Writing

10am Sunday 1 September
Eboni Waitere

Content to be confirmed

Pursuing the Craft

11.30am Sunday 1 September
Zana Bell

There’s nothing to beat that burning-bright moment when inspiration strikes. Words flow, time vanishes. But when the muse abandons us, writing becomes hard work – darned hard work. Craft and graft then come into play as we slog it out over months, over years. We’ll talk about writing practices and share approaches and routines that help get us into ‘flow’ – into the zone. Perhaps most importantly, we’ll discuss what drives us to write in the first place.

Writing Technique Descriptors

Boundary Riding: Different Forms for Young Readers

10.30am Saturday 30 August
Kate De Goldi

Writing and publishing for children most often settles around familiar forms – stories, novels, poetry, educational non-fiction, and comics. But what about the personal essay, flash non-fiction, multi-modal narratives, personal art responses, narrative board games, language adventures that are not quite poetry or prose? This workshop will explore the imaginative extension possible for both writer and young reader when traditional forms are pushed, prodded, and sometimes abandoned…

Senses and Setting

1pm Saturday 30 August
Catherine Chidgey

Drawing on the senses can be a powerful means of both building a believable narrator and evoking a three-dimensional setting. Novelist Catherine Chidgey shares some examples of short stories that demonstrate this skill, before leading a series of bespoke exercises for beginner to intermediate level writers. Participants will leave with a wealth of new material to be shaped into a short story – or even a piece of creative non-fiction.

Creative Non-fiction: People and Place

3pm Saturday 30 August
Harry Ricketts

We all have people and places that are special to us, that preoccupy us, lift us, puzzle us, haunt us. This class encourages you to write about people and places special to you through a combination of discussion, short exercises and workshopping.

Self-editing and Revision for Writers

10am Sunday 1 September
Simon Minto

This session looks at ways to polish writing and identify and remove empty text. Using a published story, it will explore ways to keep sentences active and make the language sparkle in the mind of the reader.

The Young Eye: Voice and Perspective

11.30am Sunday 1 September
Kate De Goldi

‘Children are new, though we are not,’ wrote the legendary children’s publisher, Ursula Nordstrum, and much of the great children’s fiction has at its heart a watchful child, scoping the wonder, puzzle, and absurdity of the new – adult driven – world they find themselves in. This workshop will explore the fictional child’s point-of-view and the business of ‘voice’, a mysterious alchemy of subject matter, point-of-view, tone, rhythm, and language.

Plotting for a Great Story

2pm Sunday 1 September
Leeanna Morgan

Do you have an awesome idea but don’t know how to transform it into a great story? Join Leeanna Morgan as she combines Michael Hauge’s six-stage plot structure with a grid board and sticky notes to create the perfect visual journey of where your story is going. Suitable for all levels and forms of writing.

Publishing Descriptors

Top 10 Publishing Trends (webinar)

10.30am Saturday 30 August
Jim Azevedo of Smashwords

Jim Azevedo of Smashwords discusses book publishing trends and contemporary issues transforming the future of authorship. You’ll learn how the playing field isn’t just level – it’s tilted to the indie (aka self-published) author’s advantage.  You’ll understand why the former stigma of being a self-published author is evaporating and being replaced with growing pride and professionalism. Delivered from the perspective of ebook self-publishing, this programme will provide writers with the knowledge to confront challenges and take advantage of the opportunities in book publishing today.

Pre-publication steps for publishing your ebook

1pm Saturday 30 August
Leeanna Morgan

Have you written the next Jack Reacher novel and don’t know what to do next? Leeanna Morgan will demystify the world of self-publishing and show you how to share your book with the world. In this workshop you will learn about formatting, branding, covers, metadata, and the importance of awesome front and back matter. This workshop is valuable for writers publishing their book in ebook and/or print formats.

Publication steps for publishing your ebook

3pm Saturday 30 August
Leeanna Morgan

In this workshop, Leeanna Morgan will show you how to create your author account and upload your ebook to online retailers. We will also discuss pre-orders, websites, newsletters, advertising, and social media marketing. This workshop is valuable for writers publishing their book in ebook and/or print formats.

Creating your print book using online print on demand (POD) services.

10am Sunday 1 September
Leeanna Morgan

If publishing your book in hardcover or paperback formats seems daunting, this is the workshop for you! Leeanna will guide you through the process of creating your book using Amazon’s POD service and discuss the differences between IngramSpark, Draft 2 Digital and other POD services. Topics covered include formatting, pricing, covers, distribution, and set-up costs.

Traditional Publishing: Getting through the door

11.30am Sunday 1 September
Eboni Waitere

Content to be confirmed.

Publishing Panel

2pm Sunday 1 September
Convened by Simon Minto

A panel discussion with representatives from Annual Ink, HUIA Publishers, One Tree House and Magpie Pulp, answering the questions you wish you’d thought to ask.

Masterclass Descriptors

Masterclass 1: Editing

10.30am – 12pm & 1 2.30pm Saturday 31 August
Simon Minto

This class will examine ideas around why people read and how stories work. It will look at different kinds of editing, from structural editing through to copyediting and proofreading, and will include an analysis of editing for structure, focusing on narrative arc, character changes, and flow. It will also look at effective and helpful ways of working with authors. Brief exercises will reinforce the ideas. This masterclass is limited to 15 participants.

Masterclass 2: Novel

3pm – 4.30pm Saturday 31 August & 10am – 11.30am Sunday 1 September
Catherine Chidgey

Bring out your tricky bits! In this masterclass, participants will explore how to turn a perceived problem or sticking point in their work into a strength. Catherine Chidgey will share some examples from her novel The Wish Child as well as from her current work-in-progress, and we will then workshop your own ‘tricky bits’ with a view to finding a powerful solution.

Important: after you have registered for the masterclass, you will be sent an email detailing how to submit an extract from a current novel-in-progress (1500 words maximum), along with a brief paragraph summarising the particular issue you are facing. You must submit this within five days of registration. You will also need to read everyone else’s work in advance (it will be emailed to you). We will not be reading submissions aloud in the workshop, so it’s vital everyone is familiar with the material. This masterclass is limited to 10–12 participants.

Masterclass 3: Poetry

11.30am – 1pm & 2 3.30pm Sunday 1 September
Harry Ricketts

Poems sometimes seem to come effortlessly, almost to write themselves. More often, we soon get stuck or find it hard even to get going. How might we kickstart a stalled poem? Alternatively, if we have been writing for some time, we can become used to certain ways of making poems, used to our own poems sounding and behaving in a particular way: how might we surprise ourselves, tap into other possibilities? Participants will be asked to submit in advance a single poem so that Harry can tailor the masterclass to the audience. This masterclass is limited to 15 participants.

Conversation Facilitators

The conversation stream provides opportunities for participants to engage in informal discussions on a range of topics pertinent to writers.

Vivian Thonger

Vivian Thonger of Kerikeri is a writer, poet and performer with degrees in psychology and creative writing. She moved to New Zealand in 2014, having previously lived in London, Cornwall, the Netherlands and Washington DC. A master moderator, interviewer and qualitative research professional for 30 years, Vivian has conducted hundreds of creativity sessions and trainings. She has twice been resident poet/wordsmith at CollaboratioNZ.  She is co-founder of the Bay of Islands Writing Group and member of Poetry Posse performance poets collective. Vivian’s flash fiction has been published in Bonsai: Best Small Stories from Aotearoa New Zealand (2018), Flash Frontier, Micro Madness and Flash Flood. Her poetry has appeared in Fast Fibres and Offshoots. She is twice winner of Northland’s Best Short Story prize. Vivian will facilitate a conversation about flash and micro fiction.

Piet Nieuwland

Piet Nieuwland lives near Whangarei. He has worked as a forester and as a conservation strategist. His poems and flash fiction have been published in numerous international print and online journals, including Landfall, Sonic Boom, Sky Island Journal, Otoliths, Atlanta Review, Pure Slush and Geometry. He is commissioning editor of Fast Fibres Poetry, performs poetry regularly, and sometimes writes poetry reviews. Piet will facilitate a conversation about poetry.

Briar Wood

Briar Wood grew up in South Auckland. Until 2012, she lived in London, where she published poetry, fiction and essays while working as a university lecturer. Her Welcome Beltane (Palores Press, 2012) made poetic links between family histories and contemporary places. Briar’s recent collection, Rāwāhi focuses on her return to Northland, the place of her Te Hikutū ki Hokianga, Ngāpuhi Nui whakapapa. Rāwāhi was shortlisted for the Poetry Award at the 2018 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards. Briar has a PhD in Literature and tutors students in NorthTec’s Diploma of Creative Writing. Briar will facilitate a conversation about creating voices in fiction and poetry.

Zana Bell

Photo credit: John Stone

Zana Bell grew up in Zimbabwe. When she immigrated to New Zealand she began teaching while writing on the side – just to see if she could. This led to the international publication of six novels in various genres. Her articles and short stories have appeared in Landfall, New Zealand Geographic, History Scotland, Next and on National Radio. She is interested in all things historical, but women’s stories are her particular interest. Her writing has gained several awards including Single Titles Ten Best Books of the Year and the RWNZ Koru Award for Long Fiction. Zana has a PhD in Creative Writing and tutors students in NorthTec’s Diploma of Creative Writing. Zana will facilitate a conversation about pursuing the craft of writing.

Eboni Waitere

Eboni Waitere will be presenting a session about cultural considerations in writing. Eboni’s bio is here.