Masterclass Presenters

What is a masterclass?

NorthWrite’s masterclasses 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.

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 in fiction. Participants’ writing will be workshopped. On registration, you must submit 1500 words of a novel in progress, which will be distributed to Catherine and the other participants. These writing samples should be read by all participants prior to the event. 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.

Simon Minto

Simon Minto is an editor and writer, and he teaches publishing students at Whitireia Polytechnic. He’s edited countless novels, short stories, and works of non-fiction for all ages. While he wrangles words and grammar every day, he still delights in reading and discovering new writers. Simon will be presenting Masterclass 1: Editing, as well as a writing technique session on self-editing. He will also convene a panel discussion with publishers.

Catherine Chidgey

Photo credit: Helen Mayall

Catherine Chidgey is a multiple award-winner whose novels have attracted international acclaim. In a Fishbone Church, her debut, won Best First Book at both the New Zealand book awards and the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize (South-East Asia and South Pacific region). It also won the Betty Trask Award (UK), and was longlisted for the Orange Prize. Her second novel, Golden Deeds, was a 2002 Best Book in the LA Times Book Review and a 2002 Notable Book in the New York Times Book Review. Her novel The Wish Child won the 2017 Acorn Foundation Fiction Prize – the country’s richest writing prize. Radio New Zealand called it ‘a brilliant, brilliant novel…a masterpiece’, and The Times (UK) ‘a remarkable book with a stunningly original twist’. Other honours include the Katherine Mansfield Short Story Award, the $60,000 Prize in Modern Letters and the Janet Frame Fiction Prize. Catherine teaches creative writing at the University of Waikato and is currently completing her sixth novel. Later this year she will release her first children’s book, Jiffy, Cat Detective. She lives in Ngāruawāhia with her husband, daughter and odd-eyed cats. Catherine will be presenting Masterclass 2: Novel, as well as a writing technique session on senses and setting.

Harry Ricketts

Harry Ricketts teaches English Literature and creative non-fiction at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. He has published around 30 books. These include eleven collections of poems (most recently Winter Eyes, 2018), literary biographies ‒ The Unforgiving Minute: A Life of Rudyard Kipling (1999) and Strange Meetings: The Poets of the Great War (2010) ‒ and a number of co-edited anthologies of New Zealand poetry. Harry will be presenting Masterclass 3: Poetry, as well as a writing technique session on creative nonfiction.

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