Wellington City Libraries

Te Matapihi Ki Te Ao Nui

Teen Blog

Reading, Wellington, and whatever else – teenblog@wcl.govt.nz

Category: Writing Page 1 of 6

Got A Month? Get Writing with CampNaNo!

Today is the first day of April. That means a lot of things for a lot of people: pleas for no pranks, people ignoring those pleas, and the sixth day of lockdown here in New Zealand.

For many around the world, though, it is also the start of CampNaNoWriMo, which itself is a spin-off of the November National Novel Writing Month – NaNoWriMo for short. Unlike the classic NaNoWriMo, where the goal is 50,000 words of a new draft, CampNaNo is far more flexible. You can continue a project, write multiple short stories, do editing and rewrites, and set your own goal for the whole thing. Think 50,000 words is far too much, and just want to get a solid start on that novel? 20,000 is grand. Struggling through that finale? If you’re sure it’s just 10,000 between you and typing ‘the end’, set that for your goal.

Best of all, you don’t have to go it alone. Unique to CampNaNo is the cabin feature – writing groups where you can discuss your project and cheer each other on. So why not gather up a group of your friends and get writing socially even when you are distanced physically? There’s plenty of resources available for teens as well, from workbooks to pep talks from famous novelists.

Whether you’re the next teen author like Hannah Moskowitz or Kody Keplinger, or feeling a little like teenage Mary Shelley when she created Frankenstein and the Monster during the Year Without A Summer, each novel begins with an idea and putting words on the page.

We’ve also set up a WCL Teen Writers classroom group if you want to join us on our month-long writing journey – we will be writing as well, so you won’t be alone. If you are interested, either Facebook message or email us with your details (if you’re a WCL member, include your card number — if not, let us know which library you belong to), and once confirmed we will send out an invitation. We look forward to hearing from you!

New books!

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsDescendant of the crane, Joan He

When her father is murdered, Princess Hesina of Yan is thrust into power, suddenly the queen of an unstable kingdom. Determined to find her father’s killer, Hesina engages the aid of a soothsayer. It is a treasonous act, punishable by death, because in Yan, magic was outlawed centuries ago. Using the information provided, Hesina turns to Akira, an investigator who’s also a convicted criminal with secrets of his own. With the future of her kingdom at stake, can Hesina find justice for her father? Or will the cost be too high? (Publisher summary)

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsToffee, Sarah Crossan

Allison has run away from home and with nowhere to live finds herself hiding out in the shed of what she thinks is an abandoned house. But the house isn’t empty. An elderly woman named Marla, with dementia, lives there — and she mistakes Allison for an old friend from her past called Toffee. Allison is used to hiding who she really is, and trying to be what other people want her to be. And so, Toffee is who she becomes. After all, it means she has a place to stay. There are worse places she could be. But as their bond grows, and Allison discovers how much Marla needs a real friend, she begins to ask herself – where is home? What is a family? And most importantly, who am I, really? (Publisher summary)

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsWe hunt the flame, Hafsah Faizal

Zafira is the Hunter, disguising herself as a man when she braves the cursed forest of the Arz to feed her people. Nasir is the Prince of Death, assassinating those foolish enough to defy his autocratic father, the king. Both are legends in the kingdom of Arawiya– but neither wants to be. When Zafira embarks on a quest to uncover a lost artifact that can restore magic to her suffering world and stop the Arz, Nasir is sent by the king on a similar mission: retrieve the artifact and kill the Hunter. (Publisher summary)

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsA curse so dark and lonely, Brigid Kemmerer

Prince Rhen, the heir to Emberfall, was cursed to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year; he could only be saved if a girl fell for him. But at the end of each autumn he turned into a vicious beast hell-bent on destruction… and destroyed his castle, his family, and every last shred of hope. Washington, D.C. native Harper Lacy’s father is long gone, her mother is dying, and her brother constantly underestimates her because of her cerebral palsy. When she is sucked into Rhen’s cursed world, Harper doesn’t know where she is or what to believe. As Rhen regains hope, they learn it will take more than a broken curse to save Harper, Rhen, and his people from utter ruin. (Publisher summary)

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsThe missing of Clairdelune, Christelle Dabos ; translated from the French by Hildegarde Serle

When Ophelia is promoted to Vice-storyteller by Farouk, the ancestral Spirit of Pole, she finds herself unexpectedly thrust into the public spotlight. Her gift–the ability to read the secret history of objects–is now known by all, and there can be no greater threat to the nefarious denizens of her icy adopted home than this. Beneath the golden rafters of Pole’s capitol, she discovers that the only person she may be able to trust is Thorn, her enigmatic and emotionally distant fiancé́. As one influential courtier after another disappears, Ophelia again finds herself unintentionally implicated in an investigation that will lead her to see beyond Pole’s many illusions to the heart of a formidable truth. (Publisher summary)

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsWhat I lost, Alexandra Ballard

What sixteen-year-old Elizabeth has lost so far: forty pounds, four jean sizes, a boyfriend, and her peace of mind. As a result, she’s finally a size zero. She’s also the newest resident at Wallingfield, a treatment center for girls like her–girls with eating disorders. Elizabeth is determined to endure the program so she can go back home, where she plans to start restricting her food intake again. She’s pretty sure her mom, who has her own size-zero obsession, needs treatment as much as she does. Maybe even more. Then Elizabeth begins receiving mysterious packages. Are they from her ex-boyfriend, a secret admirer, or someone playing a cruel trick? (Publisher summary)

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsSomewhere only we know, Maurene Goo

9:00 p.m.: Lucky is the biggest Korean pop star on the scene, and tomorrow is her debut on The Tonight Show, hopefully a breakout performance for her career. She’s in her fancy hotel, and her feet are killing her. She’s dying for a hamburger. 10:00 p.m.: Jack is sneaking into a fancy hotel, on assignment for his tabloid reporter job that he keeps secret from his high-profile journalist father. On his way out, he runs into a girl wearing hotel slippers who is determined to find a hamburger. She looks familiar. She’s kind of cute. He’s really curious. 12:00 a.m.: Nothing will ever be the same. (Publisher summary)

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsCold day in the sun, by Sara Biren

Holland Delviss wants to be known for her talent as a hockey player, not a hockey player who happens to be a girl. But when her school team is selected to be featured and televised as part of HockeyFest, her status as the only girl on the boys’ team makes her the lead story. Not everyone is thrilled with Holland’s new fame, but there’s one person who fiercely supports her, and it’s the last person she expects (and definitely the last person she should be falling for): her bossy team captain, Wes. (Publisher summary)

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsWicked fox, Kat Cho

Gu Miyoung is a gumiho, a nine-tailed fox who must devour the energy of men in order to survive. The modern city of Seoul is the perfect place to hide and hunt. After feeding one full moon, Miyoung crosses paths with Jihoon, a human boy, being attacked by a goblin deep in the forest. She violates the rules of survival to rescue the boy, losing her fox bead– her gumiho soul– in the process. Jihoon saw her nine tails, but he’s drawn to her anyway. Their a tenuous friendship blossoms into something more… until a young shaman tries to reunite Miyoung with her bead. Now Miyoung must choose between her immortal life– and Jihoon’s. (Publisher summary).

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsThe candle and the flame, by Nafiza Azad

Fatima lives in the city of Noor, on the Silk Road, which is currently protected by the Ifrit, djinn of order and reason, from attacks by the violent and ruthless Shayateen djinn–but Fatima was infused with the fire of the Ifrit who died saving her when she was four years old, and when one of the most important Ifrit dies she finds herself drawn into the intrigues of the court, the affairs of the djinn, and the very real dangers of a magical battlefield. (Publisher summary)

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsThere’s something about Sweetie, Sandhya Menon

Ashish Patel didn’t know love could be so… sucky. After being dumped by his ex-girlfriend, his mojo goes AWOL. Even worse, his parents are annoyingly, smugly confident they could find him a better match. So, in a moment of weakness, Ash challenges them to set him up. The Patels insist that Ashish date an Indian-American girl — under contract. Per subclause 1(a), he’ll be taking his date on “fun” excursions like visiting the Hindu temple and his eccentric Gita Auntie. Kill him now. How is this ever going to work? Sweetie Nair is many things: a formidable track athlete who can outrun most people in California, a loyal friend, a shower-singing champion. Oh, and she’s also fat. To Sweetie’s traditional parents, this last detail is the kiss of death. Sweetie loves her parents, but she’s so tired of being told she’s lacking because she’s fat. She decides it’s time to kick off the Sassy Sweetie Project, where she’ll show the world (and herself) what she’s really made of. Ashish and Sweetie both have something to prove. But with each date they realize there’s an unexpected magic growing between them. Can they find their true selves without losing each other? (Publisher summary(

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsDear Ally, how do you write a book? Ally Carter

Have you always wanted to write a book, but don’t know where to start? Or maybe you’re really great at writing the first few chapters . . . but you never quite make it to the end? Or do you finally have a finished manuscript, but you’re not sure what to do next? Fear not — if you have writing-related questions, this book has answers! Whether you’re writing for fun or to build a career, bestselling author Ally Carter is ready to help you make your work shine. With honesty, encouragement, and humor, Ally’s ready here to answer the questions that writers struggle with the most. Filled with practical tips and helpful advice, Dear Ally is a treasure for aspiring writers at any stage of their careers. It offers a behind-the-scenes look at how books get made, from idea to publication, and gives you insight into the writing processes of some of the biggest and most talented YA authors writing today. (Amazon summary).

Summer Scribes at Karori Library

Do you ever look outside during these idyllic summer months and think to yourself, “What a perfect opportunity to go to the library and hone my writing skills?” Many of us at the library (especially this librarian, who promptly burns to a crisp upon setting foot outside between the months of December and March) sympathise — so during the month of January, we’ve arranged the perfect programme for you.

Summer Scribes — following on from the immensely popular Winter Writers series of workshops held last year — is a series of writing workshops for teens designed to help you develop your individual voice in writing, whether in prose, poetry, or any other writing style you please. Check the details below:

What? Summer Scribes
Where? Karori Library, 1st floor nonfiction area
When? Every Tuesday in January, 3:00pm

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?

I’ll leave you with the aptly-titled — and, as you’ll see, totally gorgeous — poem by the late Tom Leonard (it helps if you read it with a strong Scottish accent):

A Summer’s Day

yir eyes ur
eh
a mean yir

pirrit this wey
ah thingk yir
byewtifl like ehm

fact
fact a thingk yir
ach a luvyi thahts

thahts
jist thi wey it is like
thahts ehm
aw ther iz ti say

(© Tom Leonard, 1996)

(Disclaimer: We promise not to make you write in Scots. (Well, maybe a little. (Trust me, it’s so much fun to read out loud!)))

Winter Writers at Karori Library

Looking for a way to stave off those winter blues? Come and get your writerly juices flowing at Winter Writers, a new creative writing programme for teens starting up at Karori Library next week! Learn about everything from short fiction and poetry to scriptwriting and more at these fortnightly meet-ups during the winter months. Check the details below:

Where: Karori Library, 243 Karori Road, Karori
When: Every second Thursday, 4:00-5:00, from the 31st of May to the 26th of July
What: Creative writing workshops for teenagers, focussed on developing your command of language, ability to evaluate and critique your own writing, and — most importantly — create whole new worlds with a stroke of your pen.

Registrations are not required. If you’d like more information, call Karori Library on 476 8413, or talk to your local librarian.

Hark, what worlds from yonder pencil spring?

 

Creative Writing Workshops with Anna Mackenzie

Is there something you’ve always wanted to say, but you’re not quite sure how to say it? Or perhaps you know how to say it, but you’d like to learn how to say it better? Maybe you like how you say things, but you’re searching for ideas on what to talk about?

Well, you’re in luck. The wonderful Anna Mackenzie is coming to Wellington City Libraries to run two creative writing workshops for all you creative folks out there!

Dates and Times:

Karori Library, Thursday May 3, 4:00-6:00pm
Johnsonville Library, Friday May 4, 4:00-6:00pm

You can register either in person at the Libraries where the workshops are taking place, or by calling Karori Library on 476 8413, or Johnsonville Library on 477 6151.

Anna Mackenzie

Creative writing workshops this week!

Got something to say but you can’t quite work out how to say it? Join renowned poet and educator Jo Morris for two creative writing workshops at your libraries this week, and learn how to tame the written word with a stroke of your pen.

We have two sessions on offer:

Karori Library — Thursday 20th July, 4:00pm

This session is targeted at writers aged 13+, and will focus on essential writing skills and honing your creative ideas and your ability to express them. Spaces are limited, so register your interest at Karori Library by coming up to the help desk on the ground floor, giving us a call on 476 8413, or emailing enquiries@wcl.govt.nz to secure your place.

Central Library — Friday 21st July, 2:00pm

This session is targeted at writers aged 13+, and will specifically explore LGBTQI+ issues through the act of writing. No registration is required for this event — we would love to see you all there! 🙂

These events are part of our Beyond the Page literary festival for children and youth. For more information, visit http://beyondthepage.nz.

Creative Writing with Jo Morris

Māori Language Week writing competition – Win stuff!

Mawhai Tuhituhi 1

Māwhai Tuhituhi online Te Reo writing competition for Te Wiki O Te Reo Māori

Hei whakanui i Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori 2015, kei te mahi pakiwaitara tuhituhi ā-ipurangi Te Matapihi ki te Ao Nui, ā, ka taea e koe e tō kura rānei he taonga te wini.

Kua oti kē i te kaituhi rongonui haere nei a Paora Tibble, te whiti tuatahi te tuhituhi, ā, māu e āpiti atu ō tuhituhi ki te pakiwaitara ia rā, hei te 27-31 o Hūrae.

Ka whiriwhirihia kotahi te whiti ia rā (tae atu ki te 200 kupu), mai i ia reanga, ka mutu hoki ngā pakiwaitara hei te ahiahi o te Paraire te 31 o Hūrae.

Ko ngā Reanga: (Kura Tuarua) te Tau 9-13

Ka whiwhi  taonga te toa kaituhi, ā, mō te kura e nui ana te takiuru mai  : he haki hei hoko pukapuka

Kia whai wāhi koe ki te wini, tūhono mai ā-ipurangi ka tuhituhi mai rā: wcl.govt.nz/mawhaituhi

 

mawhai tuhituhi 2

To celebrate Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori 2015, Wellington City Libraries are weaving an online story, with the chance for you and your school to win a cool prize.

Well-known author, Paora Tibble, will write the first paragraph but we need you to continue the story each day, from 27-31 July.

A paragraph (up to 200 words) will be selected each day to continue the story, and the stories will finish on Friday afternoon, 31 July.

Age Group is: Year 9-13 high school students

A prize will be awarded to an overall winner, (Samsung 7” lite tablet) and book vouchers ( worth $250.00) for the school with the most entries.

For your chance to win, join us online and weave your story: wcl.govt.nz/mawhaituhi

Māwhai Tuhituhi online Te Reo writing competition for Te Wiki O Te Reo Māori

Hei whakanui i Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori 2014, kei te mahi pakiwaitara tuhituhi ā-ipurangi Te Matapihi ki te Ao Nui, ā, ka taea e koe e tō kura rānei ētahi taonga te wini.

Kua oti kē i te kaituhi rongonui haere nei a Paora Tibble te whiti tuatahi te tuhituhi, ā, māu e āpiti atu ō tuhituhi ki te pakiwaitara ia rā, hei te 21-25 o Hūrae.

Ka whiriwhirihia kotahi te whiti ia rā (tae atu ki te 200 kupu), mai i ia reanga, ka mutu hoki ngā pakiwaitara hei te ahiahi o te Paraire te 25 o Hūrae.

Ko ngā Reanga: (Kura) Tau 1-8, me te Tau 9-13

Ko ngā taonga ia rā he pēke whare pukapuka, he kāri koha, he haki pukapuka hoki.

Ko ngā taonga mā ngā toa tuhituhi kotahi iPapa mō ia reanga, ā, he haki e $250 hei hoko pukapuka mō ngā kura o ngā toa tuhituhi.

Ko te kura hoki he tokomaha rawa ana kaituhi ka wini hoki i te haki pukapuka e $250!

Kia whai wāhi koe ki te wini, tūhono mai ā-ipurangi ka tuhituhi mai rā: wcl.govt.nz/mawhaituhi

 

To celebrate Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori 2014, Wellington City Libraries are weaving an online story, with the chance for you and your school to win some cool prizes.

Well-known author, Paora Tibble, has written the first paragraph but we need you to continue the story each day, from 21-25 July.

A paragraph (up to 200 words) will be selected, daily, from each age group, and the stories will finish on Friday afternoon, 25 July.

Age Groups are: (School) Year 1-8, and Year 9-13

Daily prizes include library bags, concession cards and book vouchers.

The prizes for overall winners include an iPad for each age group winner, plus $250 of book vouchers for the winners’ schools.

The school with the most contributors will also win $250 of book vouchers!

For your chance to win, join us online and weave your story: wcl.govt.nz/mawhaituhi

Winging Your Way Through The Weekend, 13-14 June

This weeks weekend is all about the stars, every pun intended. It’s official Matariki celebrations have started and as a continuation from last weekend there are a host of events about the town to keep us all entertained.

Like any good New Year shindig Matariki’s all about reflecting on the year that has past and ushering in, hopefully, an even better one. While looking back and forward can mean a whole lot of different things to all of us the spirit of the season is to come together, share and celebrate. So with that in mind here’s a run down of Matariki inspired events to get us out and about with our municipal kinfolk.

As usual our shiny waterfront centrepiece Te Papa has a plethora of things on. They’re putting on a concert series with some great artists appearing Friday night including; Whirimako Black, Mihirangi and J & his geeks for all you NZ’s Got Talent fans. A clebration of the last year in New Zealand film making will happen on Sunday under the moniker of Matariki Film Festival: Whanau Shorts 2013. A Matariki craft village will also pop up on Saturday in the foyer to showcase a wide range of crafts for all you bohemian folk. This year there is an emphasis on navigation and it could be a great time for all you young adventurers to scrub up on South Pacific exploration.

Just outside Te Papa there will also be waka tours on Saturday.

One of our other swell museums, the Museum of Wellington: City & Sea is currently running an exhibition celebrating the creativity of us all here at Te Upoko o Te Ika a Maui (the head of Maui’s fish).

If you’d prefer something a bit more literary and find yourself over the age of 15 Patricia Grace’s Tu has been adapted by Hone Kouka and is running at Circa Theatre.

Want to hang with stars in another way? Author Mal Peet will be popping into the Central Library on Sunday to run a special one off creative writing course for young writers.

In sport the local roller derby girls meet again in TSB for a bout between Smash Malice & Brutal Pageant.

If you’ve tuned in to find something for your playlist this week why not try Portugal. The Man. Off of their new album Evil Friends here’s ‘Atomic Man’. Happy weekend!

How is a book made?

Ever wondered what goes into producing a book? Lauren Oliver, author of the bestselling Delirium trilogy, explains all about it in this series of videos, from coming up with an idea to printing and promoting.

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