Wellington City Libraries

Te Matapihi Ki Te Ao Nui

Teen Blog

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

Category: Competition Page 1 of 11

Matariki Short Story Competition with Lingogo!

You said there was a writing competition?

Yes indeed! Fancy yourself a bit of a language aficionado? Our friends at Lingogo are running a Matariki Short Story Competition for rangatahi aged 13-18 around the country. The winner gets a $500 Prezzy card, plus gets published on the Lingogo app! Your story must be on the theme of Matariki, and be less than 500 words, and may be in English or te reo Māori, but other than that, all the creative stuff is down to you!

Start writing now for your chance to win — entries close at midnight on the 30th of June, but there’s still plenty of time to get in those submissions. In their words, “you could be flying into the Māori new year as a published author with some extra moolah in your pocket!” Check out all the deets, and submit your story, here. And if you’re in the mood for inspiration, check out some of our previous posts on the topic of creative writing here!

Wait, so what is Lingogo again?

We’re glad you asked! Lingogo is a library app developed in Aotearoa that provides access to a wide range of dual-language Māori and Pacific stories with audio. It’s awesome for beginner and intermediate language learners as well as fluent speakers. You can simply tap any sentence to listen to it spoken aloud and find its English translation, so it’s super easy and intuitive to use. It’s one of the best tools out there to get clued up about indigenous story and language, so get amongst!

Get started with Lingogo by visiting our eLibrary page here, or you can find the app on the Google Play Store or Apple App Store. We reckon Lingogo is pretty awesome, so we’re keen for you to give it a go!

Tūhono — We Want Your Poems!

We are excited to announce that Wellington City Libraries is launching its very own poetry journal for kids and teens — Tūhono! All throughout the month of November, we will be accepting submissions of poetry from young writers aged 5 – 18 in Wellington City. 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 itself — the collection of poetry from young people all over Wellington — will be published as an eBook on OverDrive, so that everyone with a library card can borrow it and bask in your talent and glory!

Let your poetic thoughts take wing!

Here is all the information you need to submit a poem for inclusion in Tūhono 2020:


  • Submissions will be open from 1 – 30 November 2020.
  • The journal will be published and available to borrow from the library in December 2020.


  • Submissions for Tūhono have now closed.


  • Everyone between the ages of 5 and 18 who lives in the Wellington region may participate.


  • Theme: We want you to write a poem on the theme of “Tūhono — Connection.” Exactly what this means to you is up to you — you could write about your family; friends; your connection with history or your place in the world; disconnection during lockdown — anything at all. We can’t wait to see what you create!
  • LengthYour poem should not be longer than one A4 page typed, with size 12 font and 1.5 line spacing. Only one poem per person will be accepted.
  • Language: Your poem may be written in English or te reo Māori.


  • We want to give all young people in Wellington the opportunity to have their work published in an accessible platform. We think everyone deserves a platform and the chance to see something they created be part of the library’s collection, alongside all the great authors and poets represented on our shelves. We hope that Tūhono grows into a uniquely Wellington collection of writing, capturing the thoughts and emotions of kids and teens from all over the city and region across time. We are so excited to see what you come up with!

Throughout the month of November, we will be posting regular updates providing inspiration for your writing — so keep your eyes peeled! If you would like more information about Tūhono, you are more than welcome to contact the editors here. Happy writing, everyone!

Out On The Shelves: Rainbow Stories at Your Library

It is now officially the 2020 Out On The Shelves campaign week! All around the country, libraries, bookstores, schools and other organisations are putting on displays and events to celebrate LGBTQIA+ stories, and to help connect rainbow people to those stories and to each other.

Rejoice, for this year Campaign Week is not one week, but two, from 17 — 30 August. And there’s all kinds of things you can do! You can participate in the Rainbow Writing Competition — your writing could be featured in the Rainbow Zine, and you could be in to win some sweet book voucher prizes, courtesy of the Women’s Book Shop! You could head into one of our libraries, enjoy one of our Out On The Shelves displays, and pick yourself up some excellent reading material from our collection. If you’re more e-inclined, or not super keen on leaving the house, you could visit our LGBTQIA+ Reading Room on OverDrive, or learn about your rainbow history in the Archives of Sexuality and Gender, which WCL was the first public library in the world to provide full access to. Once you’ve done all that, don’t forget to tell us what you think of what you’ve read by writing a review and submitting it to the good folks at Out On The Shelves.

Keep an eye out for more Out On The Shelves content hitting this blog and your local library. Soon we’ll be posting some gorgeous photos of our libraries getting dressed up all fancy and colourful to celebrate Out On The Shelves along with you — sometimes our shelves can be quite bashful; not so during Campaign Week! For now, though, here are some of our favourite rainbow titles from our collections to whet your appetite:

Sometimes we tell the truth : a novel / Zarins, Kim
{reps: intersex}
{content warnings: sexual assault, ptsd}

Look, we’re suckers for contemporary re-imaginings of classic literature. Some might say it’s the reason we got into this business. So this re-telling of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales is as fun as it is compelling and moving. It’s the kind of book that gets you to think about the stories we tell, not just to others, but even to ourselves, and the ways in which those stories themselves can sometimes assume the structure of a fiction. At the moment, we only hold this book in our vast Central collection at the Te Pātaka Collection Distribution Warehouse, so reserve it now to get sent to the branch of your choosing!

Every day / Levithan, David
{reps: non-binary}
{content warnings: violence, substance abuse, dysmorphia}

Surely every queer person remembers what it was like the first time they read a David Levithan novel. His works (including Two Boys Kissing, Boy Meets Boy, Will Grayson, Will Grayson) are now so central to the LGBTQIA+ canon that it’s hard to imagine the landscape of contemporary fiction without him. Every Day is one of his most interesting stories. You’ll meet A, a mysterious being that each day inhabits a new body, a new life. Every day they need to become accustomed to a new way of living, a new set of relationships, learning and re-learning over and over again how to be. A’s conception of their own gender identity, sexuality, and indeed personhood is mutable, changeable, flexible as it needs to be. Strong though they are, it is truly their inner voice that is most compelling and relatable as they play through all of the narratives of confusion, defiance, frustration, love, dysmorphia, terror, and acceptance that will be so familiar to so many in our rainbow community. Trust us, and give this a read — you won’t regret it.

Aristotle and Dante discover the secrets of the universe / Sáenz, Benjamin Alire
{reps: gay}
{content warnings: discrimination, violence}

We know, we know, this isn’t the first time we’ve highlighted this gem of a novel on this very platform. We’re sorry, but we can’t help but trumpet the importance of this book every time we have the opportunity! Sáenz’s extremely spare, almost poetic, prose sets out in pointillistic detail the agony and anticipation of leaving childhood behind and moving on to somewhere new. At times surreal, but always searing straight through to the heart (yours, mine, the characters’), this story picks you up and never lets you go until what we would class as one of the most perfect endings to a YA novel in recent memory. Even then, it doesn’t truly let you go. Ever. He has a way of setting out the most expansive ideas in the most devastatingly simple of words. Read a segment below to get a sense of what we mean:

There was a tear running down his cheek. It seemed like a river in the light of the setting sun.

I wondered what it was like, to be the kind of guy that cried over the death of a bird.

I waved bye. He waved bye back.

As I walked home, I thought about birds and the meaning of their existence. Dante had an answer. I didn’t. I didn’t have any idea as to why birds existed. I’d never even asked myself the question.

Dante’s answer made sense to me. If we studied birds, maybe we could learn to be free. I think that’s what he was saying. I had a philosopher’s name. What was my answer? Why didn’t I have an answer?

And why was it that some guys had tears in them and some had no tears at all? Different boys lived by different rules.

When I got home, I sat on my front porch.

I watched the sun set.

— Benjamin Alire Sáenz, Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe. Simon and Schuster (2012).

All out: the no-longer-secret stories of queer teens throughout the ages / Mitchell, Saundra (ed.)
{reps: lesbian, trans*, asexual, gay}
content warnings: violence, discrimination}

This gorgeous collection of historical short stories is like the perfect fiction companion to Sarah Prager’s biography collection Queer, there, and everywhere: 23 people who changed the world. Oftentimes historical fiction containing LGBTQIA+ representations focusses on the difficulties of life for queer people ‘back in the day,’ or worse, just contains tokenistic references to queer people. This collection is not that. The stories, while they are mostly* accurate portrayals of their respective eras, feel more authentic, the depictions of the characters and their surroundings crystallised through the patented queer lens. The characters are without exception deftly sketched, their circumstances relatable, their relationships real, and their experiences — adventures, first loves, heartbreaks, self-discoveries — speak to a broad universality in queer experience while acknowledging the singularity of each individual’s lived reality. The stories collectively stand and say “Hey, we were here too! We were real, and we lived and loved and ate and cried and went to work and participated in history, just as everyone else did!” And that, friends, is exactly what good fiction should do.

Dungeons and Dragons!

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsStranger Things really brought Dungeons and Dragons into the mainstream and in a post-MCU world, can we really say that all things geek aren’t cool? Created by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson in 1974, the game’s grown in popularity since then – now we’ve got an amazing collection of D&D books – not just the rules sets- that will help you create amazing fantasy worlds of your own.

There are plenty of versions of the Dungeons and Dragons rulesets – all our books are the 5th edition version, which are the latest edition. If it’s your first time running a game, you might want to use a prewritten adventure. Luckily, we have those too.

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsRules and reference:

Dungeon Master’s guide: everything you need to help you run a game.
Player’s Handbook : everything you need to play.
Monster manual: all the monsters you need to know.

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsSupplements:

Xanathar’s guide to everything: more monsters, more character classes, more lore.
Dungeons & dragons player’s handbook 2: an expansion on the original setting.

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsCampaign settings and pre-written adventures:

Waterdeep dragon heist : urban medieval fantasy.
Ghosts of Saltmarsh: adventures on the seas.
Curse of Strahd:square off against an evil vampire.
The Rise of Tiamat : Fight evil dragons.

We also have a graphic novelon Gary Gygax himself.

Have fun and good luck with your dice rolls!

Comicfest 2017!

I hope you’ve heard about our amazing event Comicfest! It’s now a yearly event that celebrates free comic book day and puts the spotlight on some of our amazing local talent. There’s competitions, talks from said local talent, and of course, free comic books!

Check out the Comicfest 2017 Facebook page for details.

Te rārangi toa. Anō te pai!!

Tēnā koutou ki a koutou ngā kaituhituhi o te motu nei.  Pārekareka ana te pakiwaitara o te whakataetae Maiwahtuhituhi  ki a mātou??

Ngā mihi nui ki Te Rauhina kei Te Kura Kāreti Kōtiro o Te Whanganui-a-Tara.  Ko Te Rauhina te toa matua o te whakataetae katoa

Kua riro i a ia tētahi rorohiko pōnaho, (Samsung 7” lite tablet),  Mīharo kē!

Ka mihi hoki ki Te Kura Kaupapa Maori O Te Ara Hou, kua riro i a

koutou he haki hei hoko pukapuka ( $250.00) te mea nei rua tekau ma rima ngā takiuru  i tuku mai ki te whakataetae nei.

Kua riro i a Waimirirangi te paraihe angitu a te kaiwhakawā, he haki hei hoko pukapuka, he rawe tānā tuhituhi i te Rāmere!!

Ākuanei ka tuku imera ki a koutou ngā toa.

Ngā mihi ki a koutou katoa kua tuku whiti hei hapai i te kaupapa Māwhaituhituhi!!

Ka mau te wehi!!






Kātahi kua oti te paki, kei te āta whiriwhiri māua i te toa!

Kua oti te paki – engari kei te whakaaro tonu mātou kō wai te toa o te whakataetae! Nau mai anō ki tēnei whārangi ki te pānui i te pakiwaitara katoa, ā hei te Rāapa ka whakapuaki te toa rangatira ki kō nei hoki. Ākuanei, e hoa mā!

Mā whero mā pango ka oti ai te mahi!

Ka mihi mātou ki a koutou ngā tauira i tautokohia te kaupapa o Māwhai Tuhituhi.  Nā koutou te ia o te paki, nā koutou te kaupapa pai.

Kei te tika te whakataukī, mā whero mā pango ka oti ai te mahi. Ko tērā te hua o te Māwahi Tuhituhi, mā tēnā mā tēnā ka oti ai te pakiwaitara!!

A te Rāhina ka whakapāhotia te whiti whakamutunga, ā, ngā ingoa o ngā whakaihuwaka matua o te whakataetae Māwhai Tuhituhi.

Hei te Rāhina koutou





Te reka o te reo!

He mihi ki a koutou, ngā kaituhi katoa! I noho wahangū māua i te whare pukapuka i tēnei ata, kōhimuhimu ana “te rawe hoki o ngā whiti i tēnei ata! Me pēhea e whiriwhiri tētahi anake?”

Engari kua kōwhiri maua i tētehi toa mō te Rāpare – ko koe TJ, kā wani kē!

Heoi anō, he reka te rere o te reo me ngā kupu whakahirahira I ngā whakaurunga katoa. I kata māua i te pānui mō Whataitai e noho whai tākiri i a ia, i āta whakaae ki te whakaaro me kumanu i ngā uri tangata ki te Whanga-nui-ā-Tara, I hiamo ki te tāwiriwiri a Ngake, ka whakaaro tonu… ME AHA INAIANEI?


Māwhai Tuhi, rā whakamutunga – Rāmere!

E ngā kaituhituhi o te motu nei kua tae te wā e hoa mā, te wā whakakapi i te pakiwaitara! Kei a koutou ngā kupu whakakapi, mai i ō koutou ihomatua, ō koutou pūkenga auaha. Aue!! Te maha o ngā tuhituhinga kua tae mai inanahi.  Ko te urupounamu tēnei, ko tēhea tā mātou whiringa mo tē rā tuawhā? Ko te whakautu rā, ko T.J. Tēnā koe e T.J.   Anana!!! ka hanga mahere a Nake rāua ko Whaitaitai, ka aha ngā tamariki??? Kei a koutou te mana… Ānei te paki i tēnei rā…

‘Tākiri mai te ata, tākiri mai te awatea …’ Kei te whakarongo ngā taringa, engari kua kapi ngā whatu. I oho mōata mātou kia tae mai ki konei. Engari, kei te hiamoe tonu au. Ka panaia tōku tuara, ka hongi tōku ihu i te papa. “E oho Mata, titiro!” Ka rangona te auē o ōku hoa, “Whuuuu …” Anga atu ana tōku kanohi ki waho ki te moana, “Ehara …” “Ehara tonu! He aha tērā?” tāku hāmama ki ōku hoa. “Tē aro i a au tērā ika nui.” te whakautu a tōku hoa. “Te āhua nei he marakihau, arā he taniwha. Tirohia ki ōna whatu muramura.” “Āe mārika! Ira tōna tāwiriwiri e tātā ana i te wai i Te Moana i Raukawakawa” “He parihau ōna? Pērā i te tarākona?” “Me te mea nei, āe!” “Whuuuu! Tērā pea ka hoki mai a Ngake e rapu ana i a … “Whataitai!!! Kātahi ka, rongo ngā tāngata o Te Whanga-nui-a-tara te papa e neke ana. Tērā pea, ko whataitai tērā e oho ana? Ka rongo a Ngake i tētahi rū, ka kaukau totika. Āe mārika!! Ko Whataitai tērā e oho ana. E kore rawa! He tino whitinga a Ngake, ā, ka noho ā…..” Ka kōhimuhimu atu a Ngake ki a Whātaitai, “E hoa, kua hoki mai ahau, tērā pea ka haere mai koe ki tōku taha ki te moana, tākaro ai, kaukau ai, ki te papamoana o Te Moana-tāpokopoko-a-Tāwhaki!”. Ka menemene a Ngake. Engari nā wai rā kua poururu mai tōna kanohi nā te kore whakautu a Whātaitai. “E hoa, kei te pai koe?” te kōrero a Ngake. “Āe mārika! Pārekareka ana tō whakaaro e hoa” te whakautu a Whātaitai. “Engari… ” kua powharu au ki te whenua nei” te körero a Whätaitai. “Uuuuu äe! Kei te tika koe e hoa. Me aha täua?” te körero a Ngake. “E hoa, me haere koe ki te kimi äwhina, ehara i te mea e ähei ana koe me tö kötahi ki te whakauru atu i ahau ki te wai anö” te whakautu a Whätaitai. “Kei te tika anö koe e hoa. Taihoa! I taku haerenga mai ki könei, i kite au tëtahi hunga tamariki ki te onepü o te moana, tërä pea ka äwhina rätou i a täua”. Nö reira ka kauhoe atu a Ngake ki te kimi i te hunga tamariki. I………

Tukuna mai tō whiti ki raro nei, kei te whārangi Māwhai Tuhi rānei. Karawhiua!

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