Welcome to Northwrite 2015. This year we are organising a one-day event focusing on self-publishing and exploring the steps involved in producing a successful publication. We are planning two workshop streams, one for those interested in writing for their families and/or local communities (whānau publishing), and another for writers planning to publish for the commercial market. These will be held at Maungatapere School (10 minutes west of Whangarei) on 18 April 2015 from 9am to 4.30pm. Our member and guest presenters will share their experiences of self-publishing and provide practical and relevant information. The two workshop streams will ensure that those writing for the trade and those writing for their families or community will receive tuition targeted to their needs. We plan that NorthWrite 2015 will benefit both writers and a more general audience that includes historians, genealogists, and people who support those nearing the end of their lives to record their experiences and their memoirs. The event will open with a panel discussion where Northland branch members will discuss their self-publishing experiences. This has been designed as an opportunity to share practical information and we hope that their experiences will generate further discussion during the day about the work and practice of being an “indie” writer.
After the panel discussion the commercial stream will offer presentations on:
writing and editing
pricing and distribution
Our guest presenters are:
Gay Hay and Brenda Martin of Page Break. They 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 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 book for teachers, which has been a commercial success.
Marie Low, an Auckland designer, who will discuss the contribution that good design makes to a publication. Marie has been shortlisted for the PANZ Book Design Awards on a number of occasions. She won the Pearson Award for best Educational Book in 2009 with Esther Chua.
Gillian Hughes, an experienced public relations specialist, who will cover marketing issues. Gillian worked in the advertising industry in New Zealand and overseas, before joining New Holland Publishers in 2002. She then moved to Allen & Unwin Publishers as Senior Publicist, working on a huge list of international authors. In 2009, Gillian set up her own PR business. She works for publishing houses and with self-published authors. Gillian recently joined Lighthouse PR.
Annemarie Florian who has published a number of children’s book including the award-winning Kiwi: The Real Story. She is the owner of Storytime Books in Whangarei. Annemarie has extensive knowledge and experience in the New Zealand book trade. She will give us the lowdown on the current distribution options available in this country.
The whānau stream will offer presentations on:
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
contracts with editors and printers.
The whānau programme will be presented by Northland writers Di Menefy and Kath Wynn, and freelance editor Lesley Marshall. Between them, they have a wealth of experience producing local histories and memoirs. Marie Low will talk about design, and an ebook session will be available for those interested.
NorthWrite 2014 held in May this year was a great success. Our guest speaker and workshop presenter, Janice Galloway, was an engaging and inspiring speaker whose ideas were insightful and entertaining.
Diana Menefy and Pippa Werry’s presentations on The Truth and the Dead and War Stories for Children were well received. Participants found the overarching guidelines helpful and the content stimulating, while the notion of what children and young adults can actually cope with in terms of historical accuracy was fascinating and raised questions about how war is portrayed and sanitised for differing purposes.
Our Sunday workshops were also popular with one of the attendees telling us the Japanese poetry session (presented by Maureen Sudlow) was one of the best workshops she’d ever been to. Trish Nicholson’s workshop Finding Deep Character was excellent with lots of practical tips. This was a prototype workshop that Trish then took to Europe. If you are interested in her workshop tour read about it in her blog here. As with any workshop from the wonderful editing wizard, Lesley Marshall, participants were left hungry for more and enjoyed the combination of “broad brush” techniques as well as the “nitty gritty”. Zana Bell’s presentation, From Universes to Laundry Lists: World-building across the genres, was “unexpectedly applicable” according to one participant and provided useful advice for expanding any world, even contemporary ones. Rae Roadley’s Creative Non-fiction workshop inspired at least one attendee to start writing again, while others found the content interesting and thought provoking. The Digital Process presented by Kathy Derrick was also well received and provided excellent, practical information for loading e-books onto Amazon.
With NorthWrite 2014 behind us, it is time to look ahead to NorthWrite 2015. We are organising a one-day event focusing on various forms of indie/self-publishing and exploring the steps involved in producing a successful publication. There will be two workshop streams, one for those interested in writing for their families and/or local communities, and another for writers planning to publish for the commercial market. This will be held just outside Whangarei on 18 April 2015. We are putting the programme together now and will keep you informed on the NorthWrite site.