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!
Essential 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.
Earthless 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.
Like 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.
50 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!
R n R
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 firstname.lastname@example.org – you can also visit their Facebook page for more information (time, cost etc.).
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 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).
Re-Draft is an annual writing competition for teenagers organised by the School for Young Writers in Christchurch, and it’s now on!
Entries close on the 30th of September, and the entry form for the competition is here. The best entries get published in the annual Re-Draft anthology (which gets named after one of the stories in the collection).
We have some previous years’ anthologies in the library.
This has nearly sold out; only a few places left. Hurry, hurry.
Dets: Saturday 13th August, 10-12pm, Wellington Central Library (mezzanine room, near Clarkes Cafe), $30.
To book: 04 387 3905 or email@example.com
Wellington City Libraries, The Children’s Bookshop and MacMillan Publishers announce
A Writing Master Class for Teenagers with John Marsden.
Best-selling Australian author and teacher John Marsden (author of the Tomorrow when the War Began series) will be presenting a writing class for young writers as a fund raiser for Christchurch.
Saturday 13th August 10am to 12pm, Wellington City Library, Victoria St. (Mezzanine Floor), for 13-18yr olds.
Cost $30 -at the request of John Marsden all proceeds will go to the Red Cross Christchurch Earthquake Appeal.
Strictly limited to the first 30 people on a first come/first served basis- to book please contact the Children’s Bookshop, Shop 26, Kilbirnie Plaza, Kilbirnie, Wellington.
t: 04 3873905
f: 04 3873288
Fancy yourself as a bit of a writer?
Register now for a place at the Creative Writing Workshop, places are limited, so be quick about it.
28th July at Karori Library, 10 am – 3 pm, $40. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to book. For 13-18 year olds.
There is a Young Writer’s award for secondary school students (prize is $1,500, plus the kudos of winning your school a further $2,000).
Entries for the Young Writer’s award close on 31 May 2011.
Most interesting (from a teen blog perspective) is the Short Short Story competition they are running this year. Here at the teen blog we love short short stories, so we approve of this addition. The short short story competition runs from 25 April to 16 May and must be submitted through Facebook – note the closing date is different for this award, and don’t miss out! 150 words: no problem.
For more information, and to enter your story, visit the BNZ Facebook page (if you like them they’ll also send you alerts and updates about the competition).
Figment is “a community where you can share your writing, connect with other readers, and discover new stories and authors. Whatever you’re into, from sonnets to mysteries, from sci-fi stories to cell phone novels”, you can find it all at Figment – it’s like a social network for those that love to write or read original stories. Check out the contests, forums or blog while you’re there, or just oggle at how cool the webpage looks.
You never know… you could be discovered as the next Stephenie Meyer.
(Us folk here at Teen Blog are alway happy to receive your writing anytime too!)
The 4th annual Wellington Zinefest is on this Saturday 20th of November from 12-5pm at Mighty Mighty (104 Cuba Street). Zinefest is a market day where you can peruse and purchase heaps of local, national and international zines and self published music.
We will be bringing zines from our collection of over 1,000 to join in the fun at Zinefest and creating a comfy reading area for you to relax and recover from all the DIY excitement.
Come along! Wellington Zinefest is proudly sponsored by Wellington City Libraries.
What’s a Zine?
The word zine (an abbreviation of the equally elusive word fanzine) has come to describe DIY magazines of an independent nature. Fanzines don’t have the same commercial ambitions or restraints as magazines. Fanzines are often a labour of love. Some are collaborative, others are created by just one person. Some are comics, some cover obscure local bands, others pay homage to the hugely famous (though in a creepy stalker kind of way), some are art objects in their own right. This year Wellington Zinefest has also invited participation from those creating DIY music (records, CDs and tapes).
If you’re interested in crafting a zine then have a look at Whatcha mean, what’s a zine? by Mark Todd (a different Mark Todd to the one of Olympics fame).