The conversation stream provides opportunities for participants to engage in informal discussions on a range of topics pertinent to writers.
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 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 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 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 will be presenting a session about cultural considerations in writing. Eboni’s bio is here.