Wellington City Libraries

Te Matapihi Ki Te Ao Nui

Search options

Teen Blog

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

Category: Writing Page 2 of 4

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.

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).

Re-Draft 2012

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).

This year’s judges are Tessa Duder and James Norcliffe, who are, we are told, really looking forward to seeing what this year’s entrants have to offer.

We have some previous years’ anthologies in the library.

Looking for Inspiration

If you’re reading a Melina Marchetta book for NCEA/school (or just because), you might be interested to hear (read) that she’s guest featuring on the blog Between the Lines over the next few days. She’s posting about her thoughts on her books, providing some background and insights into the characters. So far she’s written about Saving Francesca, and Looking for Alibrandi, but there’s more to come, so keep checking in with her.

Also, Froi of the Exiles is due out soon.

On a slight tangent, there are lots of authors who blog regularly, sometimes including enlightening posts about what it means to write, like this one on writer’s block by Kristin Cashore for example.

(Thanks to Kym, my personal MM RSS reader.)

Reminder- Writing Class With John Marsden

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 childbkwgtn@xtra.co.nz

A Writing Master Class with John Marsden

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

e: childbkwgtn@xtra.co.nz

Creative Writing Workshop

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 juliafletcher113@hotmail.com to book. For 13-18 year olds.

The BNZ Literary Awards 2011

The BNZ Literary Awards are possibly New Zealand’s most famous awards for short story writing. Previous winners include such luminaries as CK Stead, Frank Sargeson, Maurice Shadbolt and Keri Hulme.

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).

Thumbscribes

ThumbScribes is a platform for creating collaborative content. Co+Create haiku, poems, short stories, flash fiction, novellas, exquisite corpse and songs, real time or asynchronously with your computer, tablet, cell phone or even IM.’ It’s currently in beta, but you can join up and co-create (or ‘co+create’!) anything, really. See? What can it meeean?

No longer a Figment of your imagination

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!)

Figment Pic

About an Author: Sarah Dessen

We recently-ish did a post about a Top 100 YA fiction list, in which Sarah Dessen featured strongly. So what about Sarah Dessen then? Who is she and why is she so popular? Here’s a very brief summary.

Sarah Dessen is the writer of (currently) nine novels for young adults, all of them stand-alone (which is unusual, since it seems everyone thinks you have to write series to be popular). We have them all! She studied creative writing in college (lucky her) and her first book, That Summer, was completed while she was waitressing (good job for writers: write during the day, wait at night).

Sarah Dessen fans (wittily called dessenites) love her for her realism, her focus on interpersonal relationships (the catch-all subject for fiction), and, yes, her books are a little bit romantic. Of Just Listen, possibly her most critically well received novel, one reviewer wrote, “Annabel and Owen’s finely limned connection alone gives this novel staying power”.

If you’re wanting to make a serious study of Sarah Dessen’s works then the place to go is the Literature Resource Centre. This is one of the online databases you can get at through MyGateway.info. The Literature Resource Centre is a fantastic resource: there are reviews (separated into reviews and more highbrow literary criticism), biographical articles and interviews, plus much more. Great for your NCEA reading log.

Sarah Dessen on t’internet:
Website | TwitterBlog | Facebook

Re-Draft 2010

Re-Draft, an annual competition for teenage writers is on again. Your work could be selected for publication by judges Tessa Duder and James Norcliffe. Check in your school library for last year’s copy of the Re-Draft book ‘Fishing for Birds’ and you’ll find the entry form in the back. Good luck!

An Interview With Tamsyn Murray

tamsyn_murrayNoted author, Tamsyn Murray, recently agreed to an exclusive interview with Teen Blog, which was nice. Born and raised in the UK, she’s got one YA book to her credit, My So-Called Afterlife (a colleague describes it as “gripping”, so it’s very good) with another on the way very soon. We asked her about writing, reading and cricket …

At what age did you begin writing? And when did you know it was something wanted to get paid for doing?

I’ve always loved writing stories and can remember dreaming up characters and scenarios from a young age. English was definitely my favourite subject at school but I didn’t start to wonder if I could write professionally until 2008, when I read a how-to-write book and everything fell into place. So I like to think I spent the first thirty-five years of my life learning how to write. Either that or I wasted them!

What other YA authors do you read and enjoy?

I’m an enormous fan of Neil Gaiman, who writes across a range of ages, and I loved The Graveyard Book. Other YA books I’ve read recently include The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness, Wasted by Nicola Morgan and Girl, Aloud by Emily Gale – three very different books but all outstanding.

Where did the idea for My So Called Afterlife come from? I assume the title is a nod to Clare Danes…

The idea for My So-Called Afterlife came when I was wondering what would happen if the building a ghost haunted got knocked down and something else got built on top – would the ghost haunt the new building? What if was something like a toilet? Then the character of Lucy appeared in my head, stamping her Ugg boots and demanding I tell her story. The title arrived after the book was finished and, yes, I was a fan of My So-Called Life.

A lot of the readers on this blog are aspiring writers, and judging by the short story competition entries we receive, they are also very talented, give them some tips on getting that first book published.

The best thing I ever did was find my literary agent. She made suggestions on where I could improve the book and knew which publishers to send it to once it was ready. It’s thanks to her that my novel found a home so I’d recommend aspiring writers try to find an agent on the same wavelength. They might take a percentage of your earnings but without mine, I’d be earning a lot less!

My So Called Haunting is due to be released soon, what can we expect from novel number two?

A different main character, for a start! My So-Called Haunting introduces Skye, a fourteen year old psychic who moves to London to stay with her aunt, Celestine. As Skye struggles to settle into her new life, she’s also developing a crush on the most unattainable boy in the school, Nico.

When her aunt asks for her help with a troubled teen ghost called Dontay, she’s glad of the distraction. But then Nico starts paying her attention, and she’s soon facing a battle to keep her love life and her psychic life separate.

As things get ever more complicated, it looks as though Dontay’s past might cost Skye her future.

We enjoy haiku and you enjoy cricket, write us a cricket themed haiku.

Erm, ok. This is my first ever haiku and I suspect it’s not very good! But here goes:

Bowler sights pale stumps
a crack of ball on willow
summer is a game

*      *      *      *      *      *

my so-called lifeMy So-Called Afterlife is available for issue on our catalogue, click on the title to place a reserve. For more Tamsyn Murray news, go to her website where she has all the details of her work, along with a link to her frequently updated and very interesting blog.

New Books

Only a few new books this week.

The Splendour Falls, by Rosemary Clement-Moore (220 pages) – Sylvie is a ballerina. She broke a leg, her father died, and her mother remarried! Also, she might be losing her mind (or it might be ghosts). To cheer her up her mother moves her from an Manhattan apartment to a haunted Alabama mansion, where she meets the mysterious yet attractive Rhys.

First line: ‘For months, I relived the pas de deux in my dreams, in that multisensory Technicolor of a memory I’d much rather forget.

The Polar Bear Ward, edited by Tessa Duder and James Norcliffe (118 pages) -This is the seventh Re-Draft anthology, which we finally have (it came out in 2008!) It collects works by young NZ writers and poets.

The 13 Curses, by Michelle Harrison (454 pages) – This is the sequel to 13 Treasures. Rowan Fox makes a deal with the fairy court; she will find the cursed charms from a bracelet in exchange for her brother, who was stolen by the fairies. And there’s no guarantee the fairies will keep their side of the bargain – they have a secret up their little fairy sleeves.

First line: ‘As midnight approached in Hangman’s Wood two girls fled through the forest, desperately searching for a way out.

The Phoenix Files : Contact, by Chris Morphew (309 pages) – This is the second book in a series. It is part sci-fi, part thiller, part conspiracy theory paranioa, and it’s all leading up to the end of the world. Great stuff! There’s a website here.

First line: ‘Someone’s phone was ringing.

The Medusa Project : The Hostage, by Sophie McKenzie (244 pages) – This is also the second book in a series. It also has a website! This series is about four teens, who all exhibit psychic abilities. They are brought together to secretly fight crime – with their minds.

First line: ‘Like I didn’t have enough problems?

Winter’s End, by Jean-Claude Mourlevat (trans. Anthea Bell) (415 page) – This is originally French, and it’s also been released as Winter Song. It made one of our Top 10 lists (Books in Which Winter Stars) under that title, and you can read about it there.

First line: ‘At a sign from the supervisor, a girl in the front row rose to her feet and went over to press the metal switch.

About a Girl, by Joanne Horniman (188 pages)
Raven Summer, by David Almond (198 pages)

2009 Short short story comp PRIZES

We announced this year’s Short Short Story Competition (maybe it will be an annual thing!) yesterday. There are some great prizes and here are some photos of them.
These are the books:

ssscprizes3
ssscprizes1
And inside them is … Darren Shan’s signature! I want them but I can’t as one of you guys will get to win them.

Only authors are allowed to write in books! And sometimes librarians.

And as well as the books there is a t-shirt and a bunch of movie passes to see Cirque Du Freak : The Vampire’s Assistant when it opens on January 7th 2010.

ssscprizes2Here’s a photo of the lot! Thanks, Paramount!

All this could be yours! Only if you enter the competition. All the details are here.

 

[Ed: some of the bunch of movie passes will go to excellent short stories that weren’t the winner but were fabulous anyway]

Page 2 of 4