‘How To Get Published’ event: Getting to know the panel

XYZ of Happiness book cover

How To Get Published

Join us on Saturday December 1st, 1:30pm at the Central Library for a public talk and Q&A session on “How to get published”. There is a great panel for this exciting event made up of top industry experts from New Zealand’s publishing industry.

Getting to know the panel

As a precursor to our “How To Get Published” event, we are going to do a weekly feature blog on the members of the panel and their specialist areas of interest in the publishing world.

Get to know this weeks featured panelist: Mary McCallum.

Mary McCallum is the publishing director of two Wellington presses – established Mākaro Press and new The Cuba Press. The two presses cover fiction, poetry, non-fiction, memoir and children’s books through a variety of imprints, but she has a particular passion for publishing and editing NZ literary fiction and poetry as she is a novelist and poet herself.

Syndetics book coverThe blue / Mary McCallum.
“Lilian lives in an isolated island community at the mouth of Tory Channel trying to make the best of a life that has at its core a secret grief. It is 1938 and for three months of every year the men take to the sea to hunt whales with fast boats and explosive harpoons. This year, the whales aren’t the only ones returning – Lilian’s troubled son Micky has come home too. In this rugged, unsettled world, things are not always what they seem.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

 

XYZ of happiness / McCallum, Mary
“Poems of happiness… as it comes, when it’s missing and when it is hoped for.”  (Catalogue)

 

 

 

‘How To Get Published’ event with local experts!

Have you ever wanted to get published?
Do you have ambitions of being the next J.K. Rowling or New Zealand Poet Laureate? Have you written something that you just feel a wider audience would like and should be available?
Then our ‘How To Get Published’ event is the perfect introduction for you.

Join us at the Central Library, Saturday December 1st at 1:30pm for a public talk and Question & Answer session.

Don’t miss this great panel of top industry experts from New Zealand’s publishing community, who will share with you all their tips, experiences and advice on how to get published. The panel comprises of:

Mary McCallum, publishing director of two Wellington presses – established Mākaro Press and new The Cuba Press. The two presses cover fiction, poetry, non-fiction, memoir and children’s books through a variety of imprints, but she has a particular passion for publishing and editing NZ literary fiction and poetry as she is a novelist and poet herself.

Catherine Robertson’s five novels have all been No.1 New Zealand bestsellers. Her fourth novel, The Hiding Places, won the 2015 Nelson Libraries Award for NZ Fiction. In 2015, she completed the MA in Creative Writing at the International Institute of Modern Letters, Victoria University. Catherine reviews contemporary fiction for The New Zealand Listener, is a regular guest on both RNZ’s The Panel, and Jesse Mulligan’s ‘Book Critic’ slot. She has appeared and chaired at numerous writers festivals, and is on the board of LitCrawl and on the Book Awards Trust. Catherine’s latest novel Gabriel’s Bay (Black Swan) is currently available with its sequel What You Wish For being released in January 2019.

Fergus Barrowman has been the Publisher of Victoria University Press since 1985. In 1988 he founded the literary magazine Sport, which he continues to edit and publish. He was awarded an MNZM in the 2014 Queen’s Birthday Honours. Throughout his publishing career, Fergus has contributed to the teaching and assessment of New Zealand leading creative writing programme, Victoria University of Wellington’s International institute of Modern Letters.

Odessa Owens has worked in publishing for over a decade, making award-winning books for Te Papa Press until 2015, when she began to run the Whitireia Publishing programme. In 2016 she was the convening judge of the PANZ Book Design Awards.

This event will be held in the Young Adults area, ground floor of Central Library and will tie in with the end of LitCrawl and NaNoWriMo month.

NaNoWriMo: Librarians’ recommendations & resources

To help out all of our budding author’s this National Novel Writing Month, we asked all of our librarians across the city for some of their best recommendations of books, online resources and more:

Paul and Zoe recommend Syndetics book coverBird by bird : some instructions on writing and life / Anne Lamott.
“If you have ever wondered what it takes to be a writer, what it means to be a writer, what the contents of your school lunches said about what your parents were really like, this books for you. From faith, love, and grace to pain, jealousy, and fear, Lamott insists that you keep your eves open, and then shows you how to survive. And always, from the life of the artist she turns to the art of life.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBoth Fiona and Debbie suggested  The exercise book : creative writing exercises from Victoria University’s Institute of Modern Letters / edited by Bill Manhire … [et al.].
“Writers of all skill levels can give their minds a work-out with this extensive book of writing prompts and exercises. Brimming with stimulating trigger ideas, the exercises help readers explore the nuts and bolts of the craft, from poetry and short fiction to scriptwriting, while helping to find inspiration everywhere.” (Syndetics summary) So obviously this one must be good!

Syndetics book coverMonty’s suggested you check out On writing / Charles Bukowski ; edited by Abel Debritto.
“Sharp and moving reflections and ruminations on the artistry and craft of writing from one of our most iconoclastic, riveting, and celebrated masters. In this collection of correspondence, letters to publishers, editors, friends, and fellow writers-the writer shares his insights on the art of creation. On Writing reveals an artist brutally frank about the drudgery of work and canny and uncompromising about the absurdities of life, and of art.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Jess & Celeste, both Stephen King fans suggested Syndetics book coverOn writing : a memoir of the craft / by Stephen King
“Immensely helpful and illuminating to any aspiring writer, Stephen King’s critically lauded, classic bestseller shares the experiences, habits, and convictions that have shaped him and his work. Part memoir, part master class by one of the bestselling authors of all time, this superb volume is a revealing and practical view of the writer’s craft, comprising the basic tools of the trade every writer must have.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Celeste also rated the Goodreads list ‘Best Books on Writing’ which (suprise suprise) has Stephen King’s memoir as number 1!

Max from Karori loves Pinterest! You can search for writing hints, tips, tricks or images to help inspire you, and follow the WCL boards for recent picks.

If you’re like Jess and eBooks are your thing, make sure you check out the collection of Writings on Writings that she put together for you. Just download the Libby App or visit the Overdrive webpage to get started.

Prefer magazines? Fiona suggests you check out Mslexia: for women who write. as well as Writing Magazine. Both excellent resources for creative writers!

Paul had a bunch of suggestions for you, take a look at:

Syndetics book coverThe writer’s journey : mythic structure for writers / Christopher Vogler.
“The updated and revised third edition provides new insights and observations from Vogler’s ongoing work on mythology’s influence on stories, movies, and man himself. The previous two editons of this book have sold over 180,000 units, making this book a ‘classic’ for screenwriters, writers, and novelists.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAnd Zen in the art of writing / Ray Bradbury.
“Bradbury, all charged up, drunk on life, joyous with writing, puts together nine past essays on writing and creativity and discharges every ounce of zest and gusto in him.” — Kirkus Reviews. “Zen and the Art of Writing is purely and simply Bradbury’s love song to his craft.” — Los Angeles Times” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAnd The Paris review : interviews, I / with an introduction by Philip Gourevitch.
“How do great writers it? The Paris Review has elicited some of the most revelatory and revealing thoughts from the literary masters of our age. For more than half a century, the magazine has spoken with most of our leading novelists, poets, and playwrights, and the interviews themselves have come to be recognized as classic works of literature, an essential and definitive record of the writing life.” (Syndetics summary)

And Tim, a former NaNoWriMo survivor swears by writemonkey.com. It’s a minimalist text editor which goes full screen so you don’t have any distractions. He used it for all his incredible poetry and clever short stories. His other recommendation for would be to throw one’s phone down the back of the couch.

Best of luck! and make sure you check out wcl.govt.nz/nanowrimo and follow us on Facebook, and Instagram and Twitter @wcl_library for more survival tips and tricks.

NaNoWriMo wrap-up for 2017

Did you know that during NaNoWriMo this year Wellington City Libraries hosted a Come Write In, where writers could gather each weekend to work on their goal of 50,000 words? Below we have some profiles of these future authors, and if you’d like to join them next year, just sign up to NaNoWriMo. Thanks so much to everyone who came along!

Gabrielle

Story: A woman running from her past finds a key hidden behind a picture frame in a hotel room, but what does it unlock?

How have you found NaNoWriMo this year? This year has been a challenge. I got 3,000 words into the novel I was planning to write, then got frustrated with the story, and started a new story from scratch. I may not finish this year, but I’m happy with the plot of the new novel.

Will you do NaNoWriMo again next year? Absolutely. I’ll try to not end up moving house and jobs next November, and see if that means I have more energy to write.

Leon

Story: Liz is a newspaper reporter who gets in over her head when she investigates a sunken ship and gets involved with a group of musicians and their ambitions.

How have you found NaNoWriMo this year? It’s flowed well. It’s been very social, which is nice.

Will you do NaNoWriMo again next year? Yes. I might use a similar process of making a plan and then abandoning it, but we’ll see closer to the time.

Jack

Story: American Idol but there are robotic scorpions and the world is a capitalist hellscape.

How have you found NaNoWriMo this year? I really love the Wellington writing group (I’ve written in the Dunedin and Christchurch groups for NaNo as well and those are great too). Writing with a bunch of other writers around is fantastic for creativity if not for productivity.

Will you do NaNoWriMo again next year? I do NaNo every year (this is my 8th).

Fiona

Story: The cheesiest romance novel you could possibly imagine – with all the traps!

How have you found NaNoWriMo this year? I’ve been so busy there’s no way I’m going to make 50K! But the meetups have been great and it’s a great group this year. I’ve still got more words than I started with!

Will you do NaNoWriMo again next year? Hopefully! And I’ll make sure November is less busy so I can write more words.

Quillbert the Literary Hedgehog

Story: My protagonist is a hedgehog vigilante called ‘The Urchin.’ He is trying to bring down two rival criminal organisations – the Owls and the Foxes – who bring death to the streets and corruption to parliament.

How have you found NaNoWriMo this year? Exhilarating and exhausting. Without the support of your peers, it is easy to burn out in the first week. Like a hedgepig caught in a bonfire.

Will you do NaNoWriMo again next year? I shall. Next year I shall write my memoirs. This is technically referred to as being a “NaNoWriMo Rebel” as it will not be a novel. I embrace the title.

Tim’s NaNoWriMo Tips

Starting your first NaNoWriMo can be a daunting experience, but never fear! Our resident NaNoWriMo veteran Tim will give you the low-down on what to expect during your thirty day writing epic – including tips and tricks to help you through those more challenging times at the keyboard!

Did you do much planning before your first NaNoWriMo?

The planning I did on my first NaNoWriMo really made things difficult because I had a story I wanted to tell – and when it wasn’t working I just stopped. This was failed attempt #1. The trick is to remember the goal of this challenge: to hit the word count. What I learned from that experience was the planning caused me to have an additional goal which got in the way of the first. If you are able to get away with writing a complete novel you’ve had planned out in one month – good oh! But it seems like everybody I talk to who has tried the challenge learned to loosen up on the planning and allow the story to carry its own momentum.

What were your thoughts after your first day’s writing? How did this change throughout the month?

Every year I try NaNoWriMo I feel very disheartened after my first day. It’s like going for a jog for the first time in ages. It sucks! But the trick is not minding that it sucks. That’s why the whole online community is so great. There are subreddits and hashtags you can latch onto and remember you aren’t alone. In recent years, NaNoWriMo has become rather big on YouTube – so you can actually *see* you aren’t alone too! Real life face-to-face meet ups organized by communities – like the group that meets up in the Central library – are a really good way to get accountable. It wasn’t until after my second attempt at the challenge that I realized I couldn’t write this many words while alone on my laptop in my bed after a full day’s work. It was too tempting to just watch a TV show instead.

Did the intensity of NaNoWriMo help or change your writing in unexpected ways?

The intensity of NaNoWriMo forced me to shed a lot of silly stylistic rituals and habits I’d picked up from years of trying to be a ‘serious writer’. There are days when you just want to blab the words out onto your text editor and go to sleep. Or get on with your day. This is a Good Thing. Because when you stop being so self-conscious with your writing it’s always way better. I think there is a weird doubt we all have that if each sentence isn’t clever then readers will think we aren’t worth reading. But this is a fallacy. Just write.

Do you have any tips or tricks for getting through those harder moments?

Gripe! Gripe to your friends and to your flatmates and to your partner and to your pet. This way, everyone can know how interesting and creative you are for attempting to write a novel in a month. I also sincerely recommend showers. Just go stand in the shower and give yourself a pep talk. Pump some beats. Yeah, you got this. You are a writer. The novel might end up a bit shabby but by gosh you are actually writing!

How did it feel to complete 50,000 words?

I don’t know. I’ve never completed 50,000 words. I think it probably feels like sending off a university assignment when you close all the tabs of research. Or maybe it feels like when your bus has all green lights in the morning and you actually get to work on time. Or perhaps like a cool lemon lime bitters with like one ice in it and you’re part of the first wave of humans exploring intergalactic space. Who knows! Some do.

What happened to the non-writing areas of your life during NaNoWriMo, and do you have any advice in regards to this?

To be honest, if you aren’t a very organized person you are going to fail NaNoWriMo. Most likely. Because unless you already have up to an hour of every day carved out for ‘creative activities’ then something will suffer. And it would be great if it was your mindless internet browsing time but let’s be honest – that usually isn’t what is sacrificed. Just remember to shower. Also, it should be noted that having the free time to do NaNoWriMo is quite a privilege. Many people in New Zealand and the rest of the world DO NOT have a spare second to do something so silly and awesome.

What happened to your NaNoWriMo writing after November?

Nothing. I always hide mine. They are so embarrassing! This is something I obviously need to work out in therapy. But if you want a good time, check out Twitter for silly first lines of NaNoWriMo novels. So when you are writing your great November Novel, just remember: that’s your bar. That’s your company. Now get out there and take a jump!

 

Come write in @ WCL for #NaNoWriMo

NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) is an international event where novelists from around the world pledge to write 50,000 words in the month of November. Anyone can take part, and you can write anything you want (it doesn’t even have to be a novel).

To help support all of our budding NaNoWriMo writers across the city, Wellington Central Library will be available as a ‘Come Write In’ venue and have special places reserved just for you to come into to the library, get together, get writing and smash that word count!

To really help kick things off with a bang, on the first Saturday of November (Nov 4th),  come along to the Central Library for ‘Let’s Get Writing – NaNoWriMo 2017′!

This event will be hosted by your Wellington Municipal Liaisons in the Mezzanine Room of the Central Library (upstairs on the same level as Clark’s Cafe) between 1-4pm.

So come along to get a massive head-start on your novel, meet some fellow writers, get some free stickers, and make it to 50,000 words!

So what about the rest of November?

After that first write-a-thon, NaNoWriMo writers can convene on the 1st floor of the Central Library every Saturday & Sunday in November between 1-4pm, where the computer books area (at the north end of the floor) will be reserved especially for you!

To help you organize you’re writing schedule, we’ve put together the handy table below:

Date Time Central Library Location
Saturday 4 Nov 1-4pm Mezzanine Room
Sunday 5 Nov 1-4pm 1st Floor – Computer Books Area
Saturday 11 Nov 1-4pm 1st Floor – Computer Books Area
Sunday 12 Nov 1-4pm 1st Floor – Computer Books Area
Saturday 18 Nov 1-4pm 1st Floor – Computer Books Area
Sunday 19 Nov 1-4pm 1st Floor – Computer Books Area
Saturday 25 Nov 1-4pm 1st Floor – Computer Books Area
Sunday 26 Nov 1-4pm 1st Floor – Computer Books Area

You will need to be registered at www.nanowrimo.org and have Wellington set as your Home Region to take part in NaNoWriMo. If you have any questions about the event you can post them in the Wellington Regional forum too.

Stay tuned for a special blog post with librarians’ resource recommendations, and happy writing!

Nanowrimo

Learn more about publishing your masterpiece at Central Library on Friday 9th Dec

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UPDATE: We are happy to announce that we will now be hosting this event at Central Library on FRIDAY 9th DECEMBER at 1PM. Thank you for your patience!

For all of us who are curious about the process of writing and want to know more about what comes next for writers and sometimes takes many years before we can find those labours of love on our library shelves, we have invited author and 2017 Burns Fellow Craig Cliff together with Mākaro Press publisher and author Mary McCallum to join us at the Central Library. They will be discussing how the editing and publishing process works drawing on their own experiences.

indexindexCraig Cliff, author of A Man Melting: Short stories and The Mannequin Makers will be the Robert Burns Fellow at Otago University in 2017. He hopes to be as prolific as he was in 2008, when he set himself the goal of writing a million words in a year (and blogged about it at www.yearofamillionwords.blogspot.com). He only wrote 800,767 words in the end, some of which can be found in his short story collection, A Man Melting, which won Best First Book in the 2011 Commonwealth Writer’s Prize. His novel, The Mannequin Makers (2013), has been translated into Romanian and will come out in the U.S. next year.

index3index2Mary McCallum is an author turned publisher. She started up Mākaro Press in Wellington over three years ago and has already published 50 titles, mainly poetry and fiction, and some non-fiction including memoirs. Six titles have already been shortlisted for major awards. Mary is also the author of the award-winning, The Blue (Penguin 2007), a children’s novel Dappled Annie and the Tigrish (Gecko 2014) and a chapbook of poetry The Tenderness of Light. Mary has reviewed books on National Radio for nearly 15 years, and has worked as a bookseller, creative writing tutor, broadcast journalist and TV presenter.

index4Eastbourne: 100 years was published in 2006 and includes one of McCallum’s essays.

 

 

 

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Learn more about Publishing your Masterpiece at the Central Library, 16 November 6pm – EVENT CANCELLED

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Due to the recent earthquakes that have affected the region, this event is now cancelled.

An alternative date will be announced in the next few days. Please keep checking our website for updated information. We apologise for the inconvenience and hope you can join us in a few weeks time. Thank you for your understanding.

To celebrate the art of writing during this Novel Writing Month and to inspire those of us who are taking part in this year’s Nanowrimo challenge, but also all of us who are curious about the process of writing and want to know more about what comes next for writers and sometimes takes many years before we can find those labours of love on our library shelves, we have invited author and 2017 Burns Fellow Craig Cliff together with Mākaro Press publisher and author Mary McCallum to join us on Wednesday 16 November at 6pm at the Central Library. They will be discussing how the editing and publishing process works drawing on their own experiences.

indexindexCraig Cliff, author of A Man Melting: Short stories and The Mannequin Makers  will be the Robert Burns Fellow at Otago University in 2017. He hopes to be as prolific as he was in 2008, when he set himself the goal of writing a million words in a year (and blogged about it at www.yearofamillionwords.blogspot.com). He only wrote 800,767 words in the end, some of which can be found in his short story collection, A Man Melting, which won Best First Book in the 2011 Commonwealth Writer’s Prize. His novel, The Mannequin Makers (2013), has been translated into Romanian and will come out in the U.S. next year.

index3index2Mary McCallum is an author turned publisher. She started up Mākaro Press in Wellington over three years ago and has already published 50 titles, mainly poetry and fiction, and some non-fiction including memoirs. Six titles have already been shortlisted for major awards. Mary is also the author of the award-winning, The Blue (Penguin 2007), a children’s novel Dappled Annie and the Tigrish (Gecko 2014) and a chapbook of poetry The Tenderness of Light. Mary has reviewed books on National Radio for nearly 15 years, and has worked as a bookseller, creative writing tutor, broadcast journalist and TV presenter.

index4Eastbourne: 100 years was published in 2006 and includes one of McCallum’s essays.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Come and Write-In! It’s NaNoWriMo 2016

Nanowrimo 2016 bannerNovember is now well established as Nanowrimo, the National Novel Writing Month  at Wellington Libraries.

Due to popular and renewed demand from a creative and diverse community of budding and seasoned writers who are preparing for another 50,000 word novel challenge this November we are making space available again this year to foster the creative process and much needed peer support.
Those who took part the previous years, will find their familiar spaces on the ground floor and first floor of the Central Library.

For those new to this creative challenge, join a dedicated and welcoming group who will support you on the way to that 50,000 word goal!

And when you publish that book, be sure to tell us it was born here!

Saturdays 5-26 Nov, 1-4pm in the HQCBD rooms on the ground floor (under the escalators).

Note: On Saturday 26 November, extra space will be available in the Mezzanine room (Clarke’s café’s level)

Sundays 6-27 Nov, 1-4pm on the north west end of the first floor (click on map below)1ST FLOOR MAPa

 

 

Learn more about Publishing your Masterpiece – Central Library, 16 November 6pm

typewriter small
To celebrate the art of writing during this Writing Month and to inspire those of us who are taking part in this year’s Nanowrimo challenge, but also all of us who are curious about the process of writing and want to know more about what comes next for writers and sometimes takes many years before we can find those labours of love on our library shelves, we have invited author and 2017 Burns Fellow Craig Cliff together with Makaro Press publisher and author Mary McCallum to join us on Wednesday 16 November at 6pm at the Central Library. They will be discussing the editing and publishing process works and what it’s like as a writer to go through that process.

indexindexCraig Cliff, author of A Man Melting: Short stories and The Mannequin Makers  will be the Robert Burns Fellow at Otago University in 2017. He hopes to be as prolific as he was in 2008, when he set himself the goal of writing a million words in a year (and blogged about it at www.yearofamillionwords.blogspot.com). He only wrote 800,767 words in the end, some of which can be found in his short story collection, A Man Melting, which won Best First Book in the 2011 Commonwealth Writer’s Prize. His novel, The Mannequin Makers (2013), has been translated into Romanian and will come out in the U.S. next year.

index3index2Mary McCallum has worked as a freelance feature writer, book reviewer, broadcast journalist and television presenter. Her award-winning novel, The Blue, was published in 2007, reprinted twice in 2008 and translated into Hebrew in 2009. The Blue won the New Zealand Society of Authors Hubert Church Best First Book Award for Fiction, and the Readers’ Choice Award at the Montana New Zealand Book Awards. She has won and been nominated for key awards and bursaries, and has published fiction and poetry in literary journals. She has been a book reviewer for Radio New Zealand’s Nine to Noon programme since 2002, and for TVNZ’s Good Morning show in 2007. She has also worked as a news and current affairs journalist in New Zealand and Europe, and as the presenter for the television arts show The Edge (1994-5).

Her children’s novel, Dappled Annie and the Tigrish, illustrated by Annie Hayward, was published in 2014 by Gecko Press.

index4Eastbourne: 100 years was published in 2006 and includes one of McCallum’s essays.