Absolutely Positively Wellington Short Story Competition

This summer, young scribes and aspiring writers around the city are invited to enter the The Mayor and Deputy Mayors Absolutely Positively Wellington Short Story Competition!

The theme for this year is ‘The City of Wind.’ Mayor Andy Foster adds that “Wellington is famous for its iconic wind – and whether you love it or hate it – it shapes our lives.”

You can write your story in Te Reo Māori or English and/or a combination.

Deputy Mayor Sarah Free says: “We are looking for fact or fiction stories that explore the love hate relationship people have with this force of nature. Serious or fun, futuristic, or based on a historical chapter in Wellington’s history, now is the moment to unsheathe your pen, sharpen your pencil and fire up your word processor.”

There are some exciting prizes up for grabs, including a $200 book voucher, a lunch with the Mayor and Deputy Mayor and a creative development session with the competition judge, and award-winning writer Lauren Keenan.

Categories:

  • Best Story: 9-12 year old, up to 1500 words
  • Best Story 13-18 year olds, up to 3000 words
  • Best Title of a Story
  • Best Premise of a Story
  • Most Imaginative Story

The competition closes at 11:59pm on 25 February 2022. We look forward to reading all your stories!

Find more details and the online entry form here.

Books to check out!

Unleash your creative monster : a children’s guide to writing / Jones, Andy
“A side-splitting and informative guide to creative writing by author/illustrator comedic duo Andy and Olaf, jam-packed with lashings of monster-inspired fun. Unleash your creative monster and write stories to inspire, amaze and awe your friends. With top tips on getting your story started, learn essential skills for storytellers in this brilliant guide to writing. Give your descriptions claws, add a little bite to your writing and feed your monster inspiration with over 50 writing prompts and exercises”–Publisher’s description.” (Catalogue)

How to be a young #writer / Edge, Christopher
“This is an authoritative book from the word experts at Oxford to get budding writers crafting brilliant stories. It will help you think about how to develop an idea into a gripping and powerful story, with examples and tips from the best known authors to show you how it’s done. For children aged 11 and over, it covers all the key elements of plot, characterization, building a believable world, thinking about tone and style, weaving description into stories, through to endings and editing your work. Practical tips will get any struggling writer to beat the fear of the blank page and inspirational advice will help young authors to achieve their creative writing goals. It includes information on sharing stories and how to get people reading your work.” (Catalogue)

Kid authors : true tales of childhood from famous writers / Stabler, David
“Presents stories featuring authors when they were children, including Roald Dahl, J.K. Rowling, and Zora Neale Hurston.” (Catalogue)

Before they were authors : famous writers as kids / Haidle, Elizabeth
“This exciting debut in graphic novel format tells the childhood stories of literary legends including Maya Angelou, Roald Dahl, and Sandra Cisneros. Perfect for fans of Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls and Brazen: Rebel Ladies Who Rocked the World.” (Catalogue)

Tūhono Returns This October

We have some exciting news to share with you — this October and November, we will again be inviting Wellington poets aged 5-18 to submit poems to our journal, Tūhono. Next week we will be sharing more details with you, including the new theme, the submission deadline, and other cool stuff — so why not take the time now to get inspired by checking out Tūhono 2020 on OverDrive?

Tūhono is Wellington City Libraries’ very own poetry journal for young poets aged 5-18. Unlike some other poetry journals, having your work accepted in Tūhono is not a competition — as long as you follow the rules of submission, every piece of work that gets submitted will be published. Tūhono first came into being last year, and was a roaring success, with nearly 200 of you submitting poetry on the theme of ‘connection’ during the month of November and being published in the inaugural volume. We can’t wait to see what you create this time.

Once you’ve checked out the original Tūhono, why not check out some of our other poetry eBooks for Kids? We’ve added some of our favourites below!

Overdrive cover Tūhono 2020, Wellington City Libraries (ebook)

Tūhono : connection. This is the theme that binds together all 197 poems you are about to read, which were contributed by young Wellington writers aged 5-18 and collected by Wellington City Libraries throughout the month of November 2020. The year 2020 was challenging for many people. Some had to spend time apart from their friends and the people they love. Some had to find ways to live with uncertainty and the sense that everything might not be okay in the world. But taken together, these poems represent a constellation of thoughts, ideas, worries, anxieties, hopes, loves, and dreams about how we find ways to connect, even in the face of adversity. (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover When We Were Very Young, A. A. Milne (ebook)

Composed of dozens of poems by the author who has delighted generations of children and adults alike with characters such as Winnie-the-Pooh, Christopher Robin, Piglet, and Eeyore, When We Were Very Young is a warm, whimsical journey through childhood that includes such classic verses as “Halfway Down,” “Teddy Bear” (which introduced Pooh to the world), “At the Zoo,” “The King’s Breakfast,” “Shoes and Stockings,” and “Buckingham Palace,” plus many more. (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Poems Aloud, Joseph Coelho (ebook)

Poems are made to read OUT LOUD! Perfect for confident children and shy readers alike, this book teaches all sorts of clever ways to performing poetry. Children will learn 20 techniques for reading aloud by trying out 20 funny and thoughtful original poems by the much-loved and award-winning performance poet, Joseph Coelho. There are tongue twisters, poems to project, poems to whisper, poems to make you laugh. There are poems to perform to a whole class and others to whisper in somebody’s ear. Richly textured, warm and stylish illustration by Daniel Gray-Barnett bring each page to life. (Adapted from Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Is This a Poem?, Roger Stevens (ebook)

Do you like poems? Are you sure you know what one is?!
Join popular poet Roger Stevens for a trip through the different types of poetry: from advertising jingles to football chants, and from free verse to rap. Then, why not have a go at writing a poem of your own? (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, T. S. Eliot (ebook)

Cats! Some are sane, some are mad and some are good and some are bad.

Meet magical Mr Mistoffelees, sleepy Old Deuteronomy and curious Rum Tum Tugger. But you’ll be lucky to meet Macavity because Macavity’s not there! In 1925 T.S. Eliot became co-director of Faber & Faber, who remain his publishers to this day. Throughout the 1930s he composed the now famous poems about Macavity, Old Deuteronomy, Mr Mistoffelees and many other cats, under the name of ‘Old Possum’. In 1981 Eliot’s poems were set to music by Andrew Lloyd Webber as Cats which went on to become the longest-running Broadway musical in history. (Adapted from Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover The Further Adventures of the Owl and the Pussy-cat, Julia Donaldson (Audiobook)

Gruffalo author Julia Donaldson revisits Edward Lear’s favourite rhyme in this wonderful audio edition of a new story set in a nonsensical land full of adventure. When their beautiful golden ring is stolen, the Owl and the Pussy-cat must travel far from the safety of the Bong-tree glade as their search for the thief leads them across the Sea, to the Chankly Bore and beyond…This lovely audio download features a reading of the poem by Julia Donaldson and a performance of the poem set to music, written and performed by Julia Donaldson (vocals) and Malcolm Donaldson (guitar). (Overdrive description)

Need Help Writing Your Poem for Tūhono?

Kia ora! We have loved receiving all of your entries so far for Tūhono, our brand new poetry journal for young Wellington writers! If you need a refresher on what Tūhono is, feel free to check out our first blog post about it.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be posting some useful tips and tricks on writing poetry on this blog, to help you with your submission! We thought we would start by recommending some really good books you can borrow from our libraries that are all about how to write poetry, and what poetry is all about. Big thanks to Stephanie, the wonderful librarian who buys all of our books for children and teenagers, for putting this list together for us!

How to write poems / Coelho, Joseph
Our first books is packed with exciting activities and starting points to get you creating your own poetic masterpieces! This book is really great for beginners as well as more experienced poets. There are many different types of poetry covered in this comprehensive ‘how to’ guide. If you want to reserve it, you can click on the book’s title, and then the orange “Place Reserve” button — then just choose which library you would like to collect the book from!

What is poetry? : the essential guide to reading & writing poems / Rosen, Michael
Michael Rosen is a well-known and popular British poet. In this book, he draws on his many years of experience to share information and tips on how you can become a poet too. What makes this book especially interesting is that he takes the time to walk you through a number of his own poems, explaining how and why he wrote them. Understanding the ‘why’ and ‘how’ of poetry is really important if you want to write your own some day!

Jabberwalking / Herrera, Juan Felipe
What exactly is ‘Jabberwalking’? The author Juan Felipe Herrera (a well-known American poet) explains that jabberwalking poets aim to create something that’s not like a typical poem. To be a jabberwalking poet you must move and write at the same time! You must write everything that comes into your head — things you see, things you hear, and things you feel. The challenge then is to interpret all your scribbles and turn them into a poem. This is an incredibly creative and unusual way to craft a weird, wild poem — just the kind of poetry we’d love to see in Tūhono.

The Usborne creative writer’s handbook / Daynes, Katie
This super useful handbook covers many different forms of creative writing, including a useful section on poetry. You will find though that much of the advice you can find throughout this books is relevant to crafting poems — for example, coming up with ideas, planning, grammar, and punctuation. With this book in your poetic toolbelt, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a super successful writer!

Write stories — win prizes — it’s Fabo Story!

Love writing? Love winning? Well a group of New Zealand Authors have figured out a way to combine the two, and the result is Fabo Story.

 

Here’s how it works

Every fortnight there is a new story released on the website – but it’s only the first paragraph! Your job is to finish the story by writing the next paragraph.

At the end of the fortnight 2 winning stories will be picked. One winner from those aged 10 and under, and another for those aged 11-13 years. (The maximum age is 13). Previous winners have received books and chocolate – so you can eat the chocolate while you read the books. Awesome!

There are some really cool authors involved – Fifi Colston, Maureen Crisp, Elena De Roo, Tania Hutley, Johnanna Knox, Kyle Mewburn, Michele Powles, Melinda Szymanik, Kathy White

 

So get writing and get winning! But most importantly… have fun!

 

 

What’s on today? Monday 22nd April

The school holidays are here! These are the FREE and fun things you can do at libraries today:

Special Event: Author and Illustrator visit!

Lucas and Jutta Chisholm, Author and Illustrator of the awesome book ‘Meet Mr. Mr Sunny’, are visiting to run fun activities with you. Listen to this cool book being read aloud, find out all about how to write books and even draw and make your own book character. Cool!

Wellington Central Library, 11am. No bookings required, suitable for 5-12 year olds. Free.

 

Special Event: Kiwana!

Read and act out one of Margaret Mahy’s most popular books – Down the Back of the Chair and more fun-filled Kiwiana activities. The lovely librarians have some fun tricks up their sleeves for this one.

Johnsonville Library, 10.30am. No bookings required, suitable for 5-12 year olds. Free.

 

 

 

Storytimes:

Don’t forget our fun and popular storytimes during the school holidays.

Karori Library at 10.30am

Tawa Library at 10.30am

Kilbirnie Library at 10.30am

What would you do if you were a billionaire?

To celebrate the release of The Crystal Code, book four in Richard Newsome’s award-winning Billionaire series, Text Publishing is running a writing competition for students aged 10–13 years.

The winner’s school will receive a $1,000 credit voucher and the winning writer a $100 credit voucher to spend in one Australian or New Zealand bookshop, courtesy of Text Publishing.

To be part of the competition, you must write a story of no more than 500 words about what would happen if you inherited billions of dollars.

The competition opened 1 October 2012. A completed entry form must accompany each story, and entries must be received at Text Publishing by Friday 9 November 2012. You can download the entry form from their website.

Richard Newsome is a New Zealander who is living in Australia. He grew up in Wanganui.

 

Check out the other books in this awesome series:

Neil Gaiman’s 8 rules of writing

Neil Gaiman, successful and fantastic Author of great books like:

 

 

(both of which are a little bit scary – you have been warned), has offered his 8 rules for writing for those that like to grab a pen and paper and create stories. His rules are:

  1. Write
  2. Put one word after another. Find the right word, put it down.
  3. Finish what you’re writing. Whatever you have to do to finish it, finish it.
  4. Put it aside. Read it pretending you’ve never read it before. Show it to friends whose opinion you respect and who like the kind of thing that this is.
  5. Remember: when people tell you something’s wrong or doesn’t work for them, they are almost always right. When they tell you exactly what they think is wrong and how to fix it, they are almost always wrong.
  6. Fix it. Remember that, sooner or later, before it ever reaches perfection, you will have to let it go and move on and start to write the next thing. Perfection is like chasing the horizon. Keep moving.
  7. Laugh at your own jokes.
  8. The main rule of writing is that if you do it with enough assurance and confidence, you’re allowed to do whatever you like. (That may be a rule for life as well as for writing. But it’s definitely true for writing.) So write your story as it needs to be written. Write it ­honestly, and tell it as best you can. I’m not sure that there are any other rules. Not ones that matter.

There you go -no excuses now! Happy writing.

Creative Writing Workshop for 7-12 year olds

Don’t miss out on this! Karori Library is hosting a creative writing workshop during the school holidays. Learn how to write stories like a pro. Places are limited so make sure you book soon. Here’s the details:

Where: Karori Library

When: 10th July 1pm – 4pm

Who: 7-12 year olds – no experience required

How much: $30 – all proceeds go to the Wellington SPCA to keep the animals happy

Booking: Limited spaces. Email your details to brainbunny@hotmail.co.nz

Attention budding writers…

karori writing workshop October 11 small posterKarori Library’s popular creative writing workshops are back!

Helen and Mary’s workshops will help you build confidence, take pride in your work, develop creativity, improve literacy, increase general braininess and just a lot of fun.

Details:

For 8-12 year olds

18th october 1-4pm at Karori Library

Cost: $30

Places are limited and will fill up quickly.  Email brainbunny@hotmail.com to secure your place.