NorthWrite 2019 Programme

Food at NorthWrite

Morning and afternoon teas and lunches are provided for participants who are registered for the full conference. Barista-made coffee can be purchased. Soda Creek Kitchen (formerly Food at Wharepuke) are the caterers. Please indicate any special dietary requirements when you book.

5.30pm Friday 30 August

Conference mihi and meet-and-greet

Doors open at 5pm. At this welcome you will have the opportunity to meet with presenters and connect with other conference participants. Finger food will be provided and a bar will sell soft drinks, wine and beer. This event is free to participants who register for the full conference. For catering purposes we ask that you indicate your planned attendance when booking.

8.30am Saturday 31 August


Doors open at 8am. The conference starts at 9am. Please be seated by then.

9.15am Saturday 31 August

Keynote Address

Kate De Goldi will open NorthWrite 2019, with her introductory address, Expanding Horizons.

10.30am Saturday 31 August

Top 10 Publishing trends (Smashwords webinar)Jim Azevedo

Jim Azevedo of Smashwords will discuss 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.

Boundary riding: Different forms for young readersKate 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.

Masterclass 1: EditingSimon Minto

Qualified and experienced editors are eligible for this masterclass. 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 and continues at 1pm Saturday.

Using fiction and poetry techniques to craft flash and micro fictionVivian 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!

1pm Saturday 30 August

Pre-publication steps for publishing your ebookLeeanna 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.

Senses and setting – 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.

Masterclass 1: EditingSimon Minto

This is a continuation of the editing masterclass. If you book to attend Masterclass 1: Editing, you must book to attend both sessions.

Adventures in transmutation: A conversation about poetryPiet 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.

3pm Saturday 30 August

Publication steps for publishing your ebookLeeanna 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.

Creative non-fiction: People and placeHarry Ricketts

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

Masterclass 2: NovelCatherine Chidgey

Check eligibility for this masterclass on this page. 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: When you register for this masterclass, you will be sent an email detailing how to submit an extract (1500 words maximum) from a current novel-in-progress, 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 the other participants’ 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 and continues at 10am on Sunday.

Creating voices in fiction and poetryBriar 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.

6.30pm Saturday 31 August

Conference Dinner

Doors open at 6pm. The NorthWrite 2019 conference dinner is a two-course, sit-down meal. Soft drinks, wine and beer can be purchased from the bar. Entertainment will be provided by Improv Mob, a Northland theatre sports group.

9am Sunday 1 September

Morning tea and networking

Doors open at 8.30am. This is an opportunity to strengthen connections with other writers and build your support network.

10am Sunday 1 September

Creating your print book using online print on demand (POD) servicesLeeanna Morgan

If publishing your book in a hardcover or paperback format 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.

Self-editing and revision for writersSimon 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.

Masterclass 2: NovelCatherine Chidgey

This is a continuation of the novel masterclass. If you book to attend Masterclass 2: Novel, you must book to attend both sessions.

Cultural considerations in writingEboni Waitere

The telling of Māori history has been fiercely debated – what happened, what to tell and who should tell it. The debate regarding Māori intellectual property rights has largely ignored the many ethical and moral issues that are of concern to Māori. This conversation is not for the faint-hearted. Join me to chew over the real cultural considerations in writing.

11.30am Sunday 1 September

Traditional publishing: Getting through the doorEboni Waitere

So, you have slaved over your manuscript, and it’s been years in the making. You have put your heart and soul into the pages. Now what? Learn about the publishing process and what publishers look for when considering a manuscript for publication.

The young eye: Voice and perspectiveKate 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.

Masterclass 3: PoetryHarry Ricketts

Published poets are eligible for this masterclass. 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 to allow Harry to tailor the masterclass to his audience. This masterclass is limited to 15 participants and continues at 2pm on Sunday.

Pursuing the CraftZana 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.

2pm Sunday 1 September

Publishing panel convened by Simon Minto

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

Plotting for a great storyLeeanna 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.

Masterclass 3: PoetryHarry Ricketts

This is a continuation of the poetry masterclass. If you book to attend Masterclass 3: Poetry, you must book to attend both sessions.