NorthWrite Competition Closes Tuesday 31 July

A reminder that out short story competition closes Tuesday 31 July 2018. We have had some entry fees paid into our bank account but no subsequent short story has been emailed to us. We acknowledge all entries. If you think you have sent your entry but it hasn’t been acknowledged please urgently email us at northlandauthors[at] Replace [at] with @. Full competition details here.


NorthWrite 2018 Mini: Springing Out of Winter

Write away your winter blues by entering the Northland branch of the NZ Society of Authors national short story competition. The competition is open now and closes on 31 July 2018. The winners will be announced on 1st September 2018. Previously unpublished stories on any theme and up to 1500 words can be submitted as an rtf or docx file by email to northlandauthors[at] The cost per story is $15 and you can enter as many times as you like. Stories will be judged anonymously so please do not put your name on your story. Judges are Diana Menefy and Justine Payen and the prizes are as follows:

  • First prize – $300 plus publication on the NorthWrite website
  • Second prize – Editing of a short story of up to 3000 words
  • Third prize – $50 book token

The Conditions of Entry state all entry criteria and should be read prior to any submissions being made. If submissions do not follow the guidelines your entry will be disqualified.


NorthWrite 2018: Moving your Writing Forward

NorthWrite 2018 Registration Form (download) Registrations remain open until the day.

NorthWrite 2018 Presenters (link)

Workshop Descriptions (link)

The NorthWrite 2018 programme has been planned to give participants renewed energy and drive for their writing. Our presenters are all well-known within the New Zealand writing scene and we know you will learn much from their diverse talents, points of view and experiences.

NorthWrite runs from Saturday evening, 10 March, and through Sunday, 11 March. The Saturday night panel will be held at the NorthTec Apprentice Restaurant on the Ruamanga campus in Whangarei. Use Gate 3 (see map).  The workshops on Sunday will be held at the NorthTec Interactive Learning Centre, also on the Ruamanga campus. Use Gate 1.

NorthTec Map

The costs are as follows:

Saturday night panel:
All attendees $25

Sunday workshops:
NZSA members $75
Non-members $90

Registration opens 1 February. Lunch pre-orders will be available on the registration form. NorthWrite 2018 Registration Form

Presenter bios are here and workshop blurbs here.

The Programme











Literary August in Northland, New Zealand

While not part of the NorthWrite schedule there are some exciting literary events happening around Northland this month. If you are in the north we hope you will have the opportunity to check out and support our local and visiting writers, poets and illustrators.


(Please scroll down for full details)

CE-Whangarei Fiction Course



Fiction is perhaps the dominant form of writing in the world. Behind every film, comic, production, script, book, TV show and great speech lies narrative text. Narrative also underscores news reporting, academic writing and oral storytelling. By arranging words and stories in a certain order with a certain voice, we make the ordinary into something extraordinary. If you are interested in fiction writing then this introductory couMichael Botur-235rse, taught by an experienced and much-published writer, will introduce you to cliche, point of view, narrative structure, dialogue, editing, conflict, genre and poetic prose.  At the end of the course you will publish a book with your fellow students.
Tutor: Michael Botur
ID: C260
Date: starts Wednesday 5 August 2015
Length: 8 weeks
Time:  6-8pm
Course Price: $80
Enrol here:

Film & Literature Sunday Sessions at Kings Theatre in Kawakawa

Talented local authors and poets from the New Zealand Society of Authors will showcase their work and provide inspiration and guidance on how to turn creative ideas into published books.

The author events run from 1–4pm at the Kings Theatre, 80 Gillies St, Kawakawa, with a complimentary cup of tea from 12.30pm. There is a koha/donation/entry fee of $2, $5, or $10. The events are whānau friendly and tamariki are welcome.


On Sunday 9 August the guest authors include creative non-fiction writer and author of Millennium A Memoir, Peri Hoskins; biography and memoir writer, Kathleen Wynn; personal development writer Gwendolyn Needham; and award-winning writer of young adult fiction and local histories, Diana Menefy. Diana’s novel for young adults set during World War 1, 1915 Wounds of War, was published earlier this year. Her local history, Hukerenui in the beginning is a popular Northland read.

As well as talking about their own writing processes and books published, the authors will form a panel and invite questions from the audience, and there will also be an opportunity to meet and greet the authors and get books signed.

Peri Hoskins

Peri HoskinsOf Ngapuhi and Anglo-Celtic descent, lawyer and writer Peri spent most of his childhood in Whangarei. His first published book, Millennium A memoir is a novella-length piece of creative non-fiction based on a diary he kept during a trip to Tonga at the turn of this century. The underlying theme is the quality of time, and Peri draws on ancient Hindu teachings to reflect the slice of life travelogue. He is currently working on an autobiographical novel, East, based on the five months he spent travelling around Australia in 1994.

Diana Menefy

DiDiana’s writing career began with stories and articles in the New Zealand Farmer and School Journal in the late 1970s and early 1980s. After five years as a part-time feature writer for the local paper, she went freelance to work on commissioned histories. In 2001 her first junior novel River Crossing was published, as well as her sixth commissioned non-fiction book, The Centenary of Whangarei Hospital. Other books followed, including Pounamu New Zealand Jade and her next junior novel, Shadow of the Boyd, which won the LIANZA Esther Glen Medal in 2011 and was shortlisted for the New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards that year. Her latest historical fiction young adult novel, 1915 Wounds of War, was released in April this year, as well as a new edition of Hukerenui… in the beginning. She is now working on Chasing Silver, about the old silver mines at Puhipuhi in the early 1890s. Diana co-ordinates the NorthTec writing course.

Gwendolyn Needham

GwendolynGwendolyn is a freelance community social educator, leading workshops and writing books in order to inspire and empower people to take charge of their lives. She started writing when she was a priest and saw a need for more basic, non-academic texts on personal development. She has written High Roads: Keys to personal power and business success, Lasting Relationships in Life, Love and Marriage, and Dear Young Adult New Zealanders.

Kathleen Wynn

Kathleen’s first magazine article was published in 1971. She has been writing material for and with students since the 1980s (including plays, which the students performed). In the last 10 years she has focused on writing biography, and has completed or ghost written about 25 biographies and memoirs, many of them for hospice patients. She has also edited two collections of student writing, Find Your Voice, and Speak Out. She tutors on the NorthTec writing course.


The featured authors on Sunday 16 August are award-winning author of a mystical thriller based on the events of 9/11, The Brotherhood of Purity, Connie Atkinson; journalist and author of Love at the End of the Road: Finding my Heart in the Country, Rae Roadley; and fantasy writer Derin Attwood, author of The Token Bearers trilogy.

As well as  talking about their books, these authors will be joined by other NZSA authors and editors to form break-out groups offering tips on getting started, editing, writing memoirs and traditional and non-traditional approaches to getting published. There will also be a chance to meet and greet the authors and purchase signed copies of their books.

Connie D. Atkinson

ConnieOriginally from the USA, Connie Di Carlo-Atkinson is a writer and lecturer. Her latest novel, The Brotherhood of Purity, is a mystical thriller that explores whether it is possible to see a terrorist other than with hate. The novel has won two literary awards. Since the launch of her book, Connie has been actively advocating for alternative means of peaceful resolution to the crises we face in a complex and diverse world.

Derin Attwood

DerinWhangarei fantasy writer Derin Attwood started writing a short story for her children in 2005 that turned into a novel. It became the first book in The Token Bearers trilogy: The Caves of Kirym, The Fortress of Faltryn and The Trail to ChurnygThe Caves of Kirym was shortlisted for the Sir Julius Vogel awards.

Rae Roadley

Rae RoadleyRae Roadley worked in publishing, public relations and journalism before moving to her hometown Whangarei to report for the daily newspaper. She soon fell for a farmer and moved to his farm on a Kaipara Harbour peninsula where she began freelance writing. After being charged by a couple of bulls, she started writing newspaper columns about rural life for The Northern Advocate. Feedback from readers inspired her to write Love at the End of the Road which tells of her life and includes stories about the area’s pioneer past and present. Rae is a writing tutor at NorthTec.


On Sunday 23 August, poets from Whangarei and the Far North will share their love of words in an impromptu ‘open mic’ live performance. Promising energy, passion and humour, all poets are invited to join in the performance on the day.


The final Sunday Session on 30 August will feature local films (details to be advised).

For more information check out

National Poetry Day – Friday 28 August at Mokaba Cafe, Whangarei

NPD-Mokaba-Cafe-Poetry-Poster-V2National Poetry Day will be celebrated in Whangarei with a performance poetry event at Mokaba Café, Town Basin, Whangarei, Friday 28 August, 5.30-9pm. Featuring the launch of Fast Fibres Poetry 2 with poets Piet Nieuwland, Maureen Sudlow, Victoria del la Varis-Woodcock, Michael Botur, and others.

Open Mic Poetry – all welcome.

Contact: mokabapd[at]

Facebook: mokaba café poetry  

Storylines Festival Northland Family Day – Saturday 29 August



Climb aboard the pages of a book and fly on in to the Storylines Family Day in Kerikeri!

Free entry but gold coin donation welcome.

Come and meet our guest authors and illustrators :  Stacy Gregg, Tessa Duder, Ruth Paul, Reading Warrior David Riley, and from Northland, meet
Terry Fitzgibbon, Catherine Foreman,  Mary Kelleher, Di Menefy,
Janine McVeagh,
and Kelly Wilson!

Come and hear storytellers Waikarere Gregory share Māori creation stories
and “The Gardener” Michael Joyce bring some picture books
to life with audience participation…

Listen to stories being read, authors and illustrators talking about their art and craft, create your own illustrations and learn techniques from artists, take part in book quizzes and cartooning workshops, design the next NRL jersey, make a book and book art, learn knots and cat’s cradle, tell your autobiography, have your face painted, learn about e-books from the FNDC Library team, fish for words, create your reading fingerprint AND MORE…

In the Plaza:

  • Stories and words, books and reading, art and craft, activities and fun for all ages.
  • Visit Paper Plus Kerikeri to buy books and get them personally signed.
  • Pop into the FNDC Libraries cave for stories and craft
  • Get your face painted
  • Play some book-ish games – memory challenge book covers, match the character and title, find the NZ setting on a map.
  • Come along in fancy dress as a book character, in your pjs for a story, as a pirate for a pirate parade or as a sporting hero – spot prizes for entries! Meet Spot and Clifford.

In the Writing Zone:

  • Greet authors and talk about being a writer, about reading and books. Guests include Tessa Duder, Stacy Gregg, Kelly Wilson (Kaimanawa Horses), Di Menefy, Janine McVeagh, and Mary Kelleher.
  • Enter the writing competition with a short story telling us about the places reading takes you – perhaps in your imagination through the pages of a book, or maybe real places you like to go to read.
  • Make a hand-made book and tell your own story – eg family event, biography, favourite things.
  • Fish for words to make a sentence, create some art work and small Violet Mackerel treasures out of old books, personalise your bookmarks, create your reading fingerprint and more.
  • Explore some facts and fiction around the sea, horses, and sports – learn how to read a chart, tie a bowline or half hitch, discover a horse’s age from its teeth.

In the Illustration Zone :

  • Meet more authors and illustrators in the illustration zone and be artists together.
  • Guests include Ruth Paul, David Riley, Catherine Foreman and Terry Fitzgibbon.
  • Enter the illustration competition – create an art work to illustrate one of our Storylines Day themes around boats, horses, flowers, dinosaurs or sport
  • Join in making a fabulous mural with artists Terry Fitzgibbon and Ruth Paul – under the sea, doing a dinosaur stomp.
  • Get designing with David Riley, telling a story with a rugby league jersey – create your own theme and colour scheme, or how about a unique take on a wrestler’s mask and outfit?
  • Create the Cat’s Pyjamas for out-of-this-world dreams with Catherine Foreman, and have a go at Stu Duval’s cartoon characters.

In the Storytelling Zone:

  • The Gardener, Michael Joyce, will bring some picture books to life – with the help of the audience!
  • Far North Storyteller Waikarere Gregory tells some Māori creation stories in English and te reo
  • Ruth Paul and Catherine Foreman share their own wonderful picture books with you.

In the Presentation Zone:

  • A quiet space for our guest authors and illustrators to talk to you about their writing and art and share their stories with you.

In the Book Chat / Book Signing area:

  • Come and have a chat one-on-one with our guest authors, and ask them to sign your books.

In the Workshop / Competition Zone :

  • Take part in a Kiwi Kids Book Quiz – 3 levels : Years 1 – 3, Years 4 – 6, Years 7 – 9. Test your knowledge and recall of all our favourite kiwi authors / illustrators / titles and series.
  • Learn about quick-draw cartoons – follow Stu Duval’s simple instructions starting with a letter or a number to create fun faces or wacky critters.

Free entry but gold coin donation welcome.

Invitation to An Afternoon with Geckos on Friday 17 April

Northwrite presenters, Gay Hay and Brenda Martin invite children aged 4–8 years old to explore the world of geckos at the Whangarei Museum and Heritage Park (Kiwi North) on Friday afternoon from 2–3.30 pm. Gay will read her delightfully illustrated Go, Green Gecko! while the children make close-up observations of a live green gecko. After making their own green geckos from craft materials, children and parents will have the opportunity to visit the fascinating geckos that live at the park. There is a koha of $5 per child for this workshop, with all proceeds going to Kiwi North. Parents and caregivers do not need to be attending NorthWrite to come to this event. Gecko

New Presenter for NorthWrite

We are delighted to announce that Bryan Staff of Wordstaff will be running a session on contracts in both the commercial and whānau publishing workshops at NorthWrite.

BryanBryan Staff runs Wordstaff Ltd – a company catering to authors, publishers and editors in the book, magazine, radio and television fields. He has written books for Moa Beckett, Penguin, Sunshine Press, and generated his own book through Batemans on the history of records and record companies in New Zealand. As a photographer Bryan has supplied prints to New Zealand websites, magazines, and pictorial books as well as photographing for record companies. In 2013 he became editor-in-chief for DigiSync Books in New York, overseeing the transcription of English novels and Shakespearean plays into an electronic format for iPads. Last year Bryan edited and produced a book for a friend who wished to record her matriarchal lineage. He is also the subeditor and proof reader for the NZ Genealogical Magazine.

Information on all presenters is available on the presenters’ profile page.

Early Bird Specials Closing

Just a note to remind you that the early bird fee for NorthWrite 2015: Creating books to be proud of closes midnight tomorrow, Tuesday 31 March. Fees then increase by $15. Registrations close 16 April.

Early bird registrations (before 1 April 2015):

  • NZ Society of Authors members $75
  • Non-members $85

Registrations from 1 April 2015:

  • NZ Society of Authors members $85
  • Non-members $100

Download the registration form here: Registration Form

If you have any questions please use the Ask Us A Question page.

NorthWrite 2015 Presenters

After a panel discussion on self-publishing with panellists Maureen Sudlow (picture books and poetry), Diana Menefy (community histories), Peri Hoskins (creative non-fiction/memoir), Kathy Derrick (ebooks) and Derin Attwood (young adult fiction) the seminar will split into two workshop streams: one for those wishing to explore what’s involved in producing a successful publication for friends and family (whanau publishing), and one for those wishing to explore what’s involved in producing a successful publication for the commercial book trade (commercial publishing).

Whānau Publishing

This workshop stream will cover project types (memoir, poetry, photography, community history), research, writing, and editing, the choice and placement of photographs, maps, and other illustrations and images, design issues and publication formats, printing, and contracts with editors and printers. An ebook session will be available for those interested in publishing online. The presenters are:

Diana Menefy

Di MenefyDi Menefy’s first stories and articles were published in the New Zealand Farmer and School Journal in the late 1970s and early 1980s before she got sidetracked into journalism. Di spent five years as a part-time feature writer for local papers until she started writing commissioned histories as a freelance writer. Her first junior novel, River Crossing, was published by Reed in 2001. In 2010, Shadow of the Boyd was published by HarperCollins and won the Esther Glen medal. Her latest novel, Wounds of War published by Scholastic, will be launched at the Whangarei Museum from 5.30-7.30pm on Friday 17 April. NorthWrite participants are most welcome to come along to the launch on the evening before the workshops. Di has recently released an updated edition of one of her community histories, Hukerenui… in the beginning.

Kathleen Wynn

SAMSUNGKath Wynn has taught secondary school students in Australia, England, Canada and New Zealand. She is currently tutoring in the applied writing course at NorthTec, Whangarei. In conjunction with a senior student, she has written a school production, Forward to the Past and she has produced and edited school magazines, school newspapers and two books of student writing. Her articles have been published in a range of magazines. Over the past few years Kath has focused on writing biographies and reflections for hospice patients. She has just completed her 22nd biography. She also works with English Language Partners and has recently completed, with a young Tibetan refugee mother, an autobiography of life and imprisonment in Tibet under Chinese rule.

Lesley Marshall

Lesley MarshallLesley Marshall is a freelance editor who also works as a mentor and assessor for the Society of Authors, teaches specialist writing classes for children, and periodically works as an assessor and mentor for Whitireia Polytechnic. She has created and teaches several specialist editing papers online through NorthTec. Lesley is a founding member of the invitation-only guild of New Zealand editors – the New Zealand Association of Manuscript Assessors – and has edited numerous memoirs, family histories and other self-published books.

Marie Low

Marie LowMarie Low is an Auckland freelance designer with significant industry experience. She has worked for over 19 years with the educational publishers Pearson. Marie has been a winner of the CLL (Copyright Licensing NZ) Educational Awards five times, most recently in 2014. Marie’s work won the PANZ Book Award for best educational book in 2008 and again in 2009, with Esther Chua. Her passion for good book design is ongoing. Marie will  discuss design options (including formats) with participants in the whānau publishing workshop.

Commercial Publishing

This workshop stream will cover project management, editing and assessment, design, ebooks, contracts, pricing and distribution, and marketing. The presenters are:

Gay Hay and Brenda Martin of Page Break:

Page Break 1Gay Hay and Brenda Martin have self-published three picture books. Their third is currently being printed and will be hot off the press in April and their fourth is currently being illustrated. Their books have been shortlisted for a LIANZA Award in 2012 and the New Zealand Post Book Awards in 2013. They have also published a non-fiction handbook for teachers, which has been a commercial success. Gay and Brenda will be presenting a session on project management and the steps required to produce a successful publication.

Margaret Cahill:

Margaret Cahill is a freelance editor. Her expertise includes assessing and editing books for children and young adults. She worked for many years as an editor at Learning Media Limited, where she had responsibility for editing a range of children’s series from the My Feelings series for Early Childhood Education to the Connected series on science, mathematics and technology. She also edited a broad range of materials for teachers. Margaret will discuss the contribution that an editor can make to your work.

Marie Low

Marie LowMarie Low is an Auckland freelance designer with significant industry experience. She has worked for over 19 years with the educational publishers, Pearson. Marie has been a winner of the CLL (Copyright Licensing NZ) Educational Awards five times, most recently in 2014. Marie’s work won the PANZ Book Award for best educational book in 2008 and again in 2009, with Esther Chua. Her passion for good book design is ongoing. Marie will present a session in the commercial publishing workshop, focusing on the contribution that good design makes to marketing.

Katharine Derrick:

Kathy 1Kathy Derrick writes mainly for children and young adults. She has completed a junior novel and is currently working on two young adult novels. Periodically she dips her toe into flash fiction. Kathy has five original fairytale ebooks published online through Amazon and Smashwords and she runs a number of blogs. She is also a trained tertiary teacher and tutors for the NorthTec Applied Writing Diploma. Kathy will be presenting a session on the process of creating an ebook.

Annemarie Florian:

Annemarie FlorianAnnemarie Florian has spent her adult life in the company of children’s books. She has spent many years as a librarian and is the owner of Storytime Books in Whangarei. Annemarie has published a number of children’s books, including the award-winning Kiwi: The Real Story. She has extensive knowledge and experience in the New Zealand book trade. Annemarie will be presenting a session on book distribution and she will give us the lowdown on the current distribution options available in this country.


Gillian Hughes:

Gillian HughesGillian Hughes is an experienced public relations specialist who worked in the advertising industry in New Zealand and overseas, before joining New Holland Publishers in 2002. She then moved to Allen & Unwin as a senior publicist, working on a huge list of international authors, including Margaret Attwood. Gillian has also worked for Lighthouse PR, and in 2009 she set up her own PR business, working for publishing houses and with self-published authors. Gillian will be presenting a workshop on self-marketing.