Wellington City Libraries

Te Matapihi Ki Te Ao Nui

Teen Blog

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

Tag: Writing Page 1 of 5

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 (including your library card number), and once confirmed we will send out an invitation. We look forward to hearing from you!

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

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

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.

Free Writing Workshop with Mal Peet

Mal Peet, award-winning author of Tamar, Exposure, and Life: An Unexploded Diagram is in Wellington this month, and he’ll be the guest star at a free, one-off workshop at the central library. The details are:

Sunday 16 June, 1 to 4pm
Wellington Central Library
To register, email sarah@bookcouncil.org.nz

“Most of us learn to write by stealing from other writers. This event is an invitation to aspiring writers to do some serious shoplifting.” (Mal Peet)

A short post about short stories

We promise, absolutely and completely, that this is our last post about New Zealand Book Month. For this year at least. We hope you’ve read something New Zealand related this month or better yet, been to an event! If you haven’t, never fear, there’s still time (and a long weekend) to do so. Why not check out some New Zealand short stories, it will take mere minutes and the library has some great collections!

book cover courtesy of SyndeticsEssential New Zealand Short Stories, edited by Owen Marshall

The contents page of this collection reads as a who’s who of New Zealand writing greats including Katherine Mansfield, Janet Frame, Patricia Grace, Joy Cowley, Maurice Gee, Frank Sargeson and many, many more. The collected works span 80 years which demonstrates the way short stories, as a genre, have changed over time (or not). In his introduction Owen Marshall says the reason short stories can be found right through New Zealand writing history is because “they form a resilient genre with its own idiosyncratic pulse of literary energy.” We have to agree! There’s a certain charming idiosyncrasy right through this collection and all the others as well.

book cover courtesy of SyndeticsEarthless Trees, edited by Pauline Frances

This collection features the work of several young refugees who came to New Zealand seeking security and freedom with their families. From an escape through mountains on an overloaded truck, to living through an explosion in urban Kabul, these stories touch on universal themes: survival, family, home and friends. We love that this collection gives a poignant and, at times, heartbreaking, insight into the lives of some of our refugees.

book cover courtesy of SyndeticsLike Wallpaper, edited by Barbara Else

The authors featured in this collection are a combination of established like David Hill or Fleur Beale and stunning newcomers like Natasha Lewis and Samantha Stanley. The settings are New Zealand homes and flats, local schools and roads, beaches, rivers, cities. There is a mixture of tone, voice, and form. Issues addressed in the stories range across aspects of peer pressure and friendship. Parents and family relationships feature as do young romance, sexuality, and death. All in all, it’s a capacious collection with several quirky stories you’re bound to love. Hopefully ponder as well.

book cover courtesy of Syndetics50 short short stories by young New Zealanders edited by Graeme Lay

Tandem Press invited New Zealanders aged 18 and under to submit a short story (no more than 500 words) for a writing competition. This collection is the 50 best entries they received. They provide a much broader overview than Earthless Trees of what being a teenager is like in New Zealand and over the course of fifty stories, the themes covered include all the joys and concerns of daily life: peer pressure, rivalry, first love, and questions of identity and belonging; of moving or subtle relationships with friends and family. These are great to read if you’re an aspiring writer yourself because they give an idea of the kind of style and content that one publishing house consider to be good.

Think you can do better? Then a list of writing competitions in New Zealand can be found here including details about the Re-Draft competition. The winners of that are published annually, several collections of which the library has here, here and here. However they don’t get a blurb of their own because they include poetry and because we promised a short post. So there you have it. Short stories are the best! They get to the point within the time of my attention span, they’re often strange and quirky and, best of all, they leave you wondering. And there we will end our very last post about New Zealand Book Month. May you now dazzle your friends and family with your knowledge of homegrown literary talent!

Happy Easter!

R n R

Writing Workshop with Fleur Beale

If you’re interested in creative writing, then read on!

The Children’s Bookshop in Kilbirnie is hosting an afternoon’s writing workshop for teenagers with the great Fleur Beale on Sunday the 28th of April. Places are very limited, so be in quick and email books@thechildrensbookshop.co.nz – you can also visit their Facebook page for more information (time, cost etc.).

More successful teen authors

It’s well known that it’s very hard to get your book published. Some writers slave away for years before their first success, while some fortunate and talented people get published as teens. A little while ago we did an investigation into the teen publishing phenomenon, the result being this Top 10 list.

The trend is still continuing, thanks to the success of Alexandra Adornetto (Halo), Kody Keplinger (The DUFF) and others, as are spotlighted in this YALSA article.

The article has also got some suggestions for websites for aspiring writers, so it’s well worth a read if you love writing.

Which reminds us, it’s just one month from Nanowrimo (“thirty days and nights of literary abandon”), where you get to attempt to write a novel in 30 days (while still keeping on top of NCEA).

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