Friday, April 12, 2019

Latest from The Bookseller

W H Smith Travel
W H Smith plans to cull its backlist and build areas of growth such as children's and lighter readers with a "forensic store by store focus on space management to optimise the returns from core categories".
Helena Morrisey
Dame Helena Morrissey challenged trade leaders over key aspects of their diversity strategies, as the Publishers Association's new president Peter Phillips laid out his aims for the year.
David Cameron
HarperCollins insists it will publish David Cameron's memoir this autumn as planned, amid reports the former prime minister is pushing back publication due to a promise he made to Theresa May.
High Street
A record number of shops closed in Britain last year with 16 stores closing a day, but bookshops are bucking the trend. 
Jeanette Winterson
The "boomerang" nature of time was discussed at the Vintage for Change evening, along with teen revolution and the sensibilities of sexbots, as Jeanette Winterson and six other authors considered the “turbulent times” of present day.
Cambridge University Press has entered into a three-year transformative agreement with the University of California (UC), in what is said to be UC's first such partnership with a major publisher.

Bertelsmann plans to close its Nuremberg printing site by April 2021, and has begun immediate talks with employee representatives, with around 670 permanent staffers and 250 contract workers affected.
Grazia has run its last dedicated books page, 'Shelf Life', under books editor Alexandra Heminsley, after a redesign.
Jasmine Richards
Jasmine Richards, formerly a publisher at Oxford University Press (OUP), has launched a fiction development company to create inclusive stories for children.
Katie Price
The Roald Dahl Story Company has hired Katie Price, currently director of licensing at Hachette Children’s Group, as its new head of books.
Gavin Thurston
Seven Dials has scooped the “extraordinary” memoir of veteran "Our Planet" and "Blue Planet 2" filmmaker Gavin Thurston, with a foreword by Sir David Attenborough.

Headline Home has snapped-up a cookbook by chef and YouTuber Ian Haste at auction, featuring recipes based on weekly shopping lists.

The 7 Day Basket

New series by NZ writer Ged Maybury

Once described as “our county's leading writer in this field”*, Christchurch sci-fi writer Ged Maybury effectively disappeared after 15 years and 12 successful children's books – two of which made the finals of the NZ Children's Book of the Year Awards (1994, 2001).

Now he is back with his most ambitious project to date: a six-book / 800,000-word Steampunk series set upon a bizarre “alt-Earth” where Britain is a vast mat of hovering “skylands”, America is still a British colony, and steamships have more in common with flying saucers than anything else.

Drawing upon a long apprenticeship of producing well-polished best-sellers for Scholastic, Harper Collins and Cape Catley, he now turns up the steam (and the adult content) on a multitude of delightfully detailed fantasy/steampunk settings riddled with mad scientists, villains, dangerous and/or attractive antagonists and a sad series of intense (sometimes steamy) love affairs.

'Across the Stonewind Sky' is the series title and each book advances our straight-laced British hero deeper into various kinds of steaming do-do the moment he flies into a curious zone called The Storm's Domain – where airships rule, and Britain doesn't. It's the Victorian era writ large, but it's not just a man's world. Rodney is constantly thrown into the company of a series of competent purposeful women, some of them … how to say this: 'are on the villain spectrum'. Maybury has already earned praise for his female characters.


The first two books; 'Across the Stonewind Sky'** & 'Into the Heart of Varste' are now available at:

As an re-introductory offer, he has priced Book One at $0.00. Book Two at the normal price of $2.99. Book Three: “Hoverrim the Hunted” is due out in early June. A digital edition only.

Books 4, 5 & 6 should all be out by the end of 2019 with a second series planned.


* “He is our county's leading writer in this field, and with 'The Triggerstone' he's at his best”

     – William Taylor, cira 1994.

** Originally released 2014 as “Into the Storm's Domain” by now-defunct Satalyte Books. Print-edition paperbacks can still be found. Already a rare book.


Thursday, April 11, 2019



PO Box 36652, Northcote, Auckland, 0748

Press Release 5 April 2019

Renowned Professor to judge $1000 poetry prize
International Writers' Workshop NZ Inc (IWW) is delighted to announce that

Professor Bryan Walpert, who teaches English and Creative Writing at Massey

University in Auckland and was a co-judge of the 2019 Ockham New Zealand Book

Awards Poetry Award, will judge The Kathleen Grattan Prize for a Sequence of Poems

later this year.

The prize of $1000, which is made possible due to an ongoing bequest from the

Jocelyn Grattan Charitable Trust, is for a cycle or sequence of unpublished poems

that has a common link or theme.

This is the eleventh year IWW has had the honour of organising the Prize.

Previous winners are Heather Bauchop (2018), Janet Newman (2017), Michael

Giacon (2016) Maris O’Rourke (2015), Julie Ryan (2014), Belinda Diepenheim

(2013), James Norcliffe (2012), Jillian Sullivan (2011) Janet Charman and Rosetta

Allan (joint winners 2010) and Alice Hooton (2009).

The Kathleen Grattan Prize for a Sequence of Poems is sometimes referred to as the

'Little Grattan' as the Jocelyn Grattan Charitable Trust also funds the biennial

Kathleen Grattan Award, run by Landfall / Otago University Press.

The competition is free for IWW members to enter but it is very easy for aspiring

poets and writers to join IWW to be eligible to enter their poetry into the Prize.

About the Judge

Professor Walpert is the author of three

collections of poetry, Etymology (Cinnamon

Press), A History of Glass (Stephen F. Austin

State UP), and most recently Native Bird

(Makaro Press); a collection of short fiction,

Ephraim’s Eyes; and two scholarly books: Poetry

and Mindfulness: Interruption to a Journey

(Palgrave 2017) and Resistance to Science in

Contemporary American Poetry (Routledge 2011).

His work has appeared in many countries and

has been recognised by the Montreal

International Poetry Award, the New Zealand

International Poetry Competition and the James

Wright Poetry Award (U.S.).

His website is

Preparatory Workshop

Professor Walpert will conduct a workshop on Writing Poetry Sequences at IWW’s

meeting venue, the Lindisfarne Room under St Aidans Church, 97 Onewa Road,

Northcote, Auckland on Tuesday 21 May. Doors open at 10 am and the workshop

runs from 10.30 am to 12.30 pm.

While the competition is restricted to IWW members, visitors are welcome to attend

the workshop for a $10 visitor fee. Any visitor who attends the workshop and joins

IWW by the third Tuesday in June will be eligible to enter The Kathleen Grattan

Prize for a Sequence of Poems and will have the visitor fee deducted from their

joining fee.

About the Competition and about IWW

The rules for the competition, details of how to join IWW, meeting times and other

activities of the workshop, which meets on the first and third Tuesdays of the

month from February to November and runs several competitions a year, are

available from the IWW website:

Key Dates for The Kathleen Grattan Prize for a Sequence of Poems in 2019

21 May: Workshop with Professor Bryan Walpert on writing poetry sequences.

18 June: Last day for new members to join IWW to be eligible to enter this year’s


1 October: Closing date for entries.

19 November: Announcement of the 2019 winner of The Kathleen Grattan Prize for

a Sequence of Poems.


For further information about the Prize or about IWW in general, contact Sue

Courtney, email or check out our website

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Kuwi's Rowdy Crowd by Kat Merewether

​Kuwi's Rowdy Crowd
by Kat Merewether

The storyline is easy for youngsters to follow. And throughout this delightful book you will find the most glorious artwork! Vivid and uncluttered. 
    All Kuwi the Kiwi wants is to sit down with a quiet cup of tea.
    But wherever she goes someone turns up to shatter the peace...
    When Kuwi heads upstairs for a bubble bath, taking her hot cuppa with her, hovering Huwi follows her. A flock of whio are already frolicking in Kuwi's bath full of bubbles. 
    Huwi finds them most entertaining so Kuwi retreats with her now warm cup of tea to her quiet kitchen. 
    But Huwi soon tracks her down bringing with him a couple of karate kicking kokako. What a performance and what a noise!
    So Kuwi silently scurries along to the spare room, where she sips her heated up cup of tea.
    But this spare room is not to be her peaceful place. Huwi rolls in with a rowdy rapping ruru. 
    So off goes ever-patient Kuwi again seeking a quiet space outside on her tranquil terrace. And there she begins to sip her lukewarm cuppa.
    But before long, the noisy Huwi has found her again and sets about tap-dancing with a troupe of tap-dancing tomtits... 
    Will Kuwi ever find a peaceful spot to drink her cup of tea? No, even in the stillness and silence of the swamp Huwi stampedes in with a singing swarm of cicadas.
    Finally the ever patient Kuwi has had enough. 
"Quiet!" she cries.
    And it is. 
    But is this new silence what she really wants – now she has it. 
    This is a great story book for reading and interacting with youngsters. They can chime in at any stage and try to guess what Huwi will produce next in the way of his rowdy crowd. 
    And hopefully children will also realise that sometimes all mum wants is five minutes to drink her cup of tea in peace.
    Well done, Kat Merewether. 

Review by Susan Tarr
Title: Kuwi's Rowdy Crowd
Author: Kat Merewether
Publisher: Illustrated Publishing
ISBN: 9780994136459
RRP: $19.99
Available: bookshops 

Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day

Kia ora organisers, poets, librarians, teachers, book clubs, creatives and lovers of poetry.

It is with heavy hearts we contact you in the wake of such terrible events. We can only hope you are determined, like us, to promote and rejoice in ALL New Zealand voices, louder than ever. As poet, Paula Green says, “poetry connects us to human experience, to how we live and love and mourn. It is a window, it is a balm and it is an eye-opener. This is a time to reach out and make connections, to listen.”

Welcome to Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day, 23 August 2019. Registrations are open.

Returning 2018 organisers: Last year was huge – let’s do it again!

To those returning after a break: Welcome back.

To the newcomers: Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day is an annual celebration of the power of poetry – in all its manifestations. Open to all ages, it is a chance to make poetry accessible, inclusive, and to showcase how extraordinary it can be. Events, activities or competitions can be large or small, from handing out free poems, making a Poet-Tree, or chalking on pavements, to larger-scale events such as workshops, readings with guest poets and book launches. At every level, Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day is a chance to make poetry soar.

Registrations and applications for seed-funding remain open until 5pm, Wednesday 22 May 2019.

Visit our website for more information on how to register and/or apply for seed-funding, how to run an event, and for general guidelines and templates here.

Or you can follow this link straight to our …

We look forward to unleashing the power of poetry across Aotearoa and beyond on Friday, 23 August 2019.


If you have any queries, reply on a separate thread to: National Administrator | Jacqui Hammond | Otherwise we look forward to receiving your registration!



If you’d like to read the (full) poignant poem Paula Green was compelled to write in the wake of the events of 15.3.19, you can find it on her NZ Poetry Shelf blog here.


Sarah Thornton

Thornton Communications Ltd

PO Box 31954, Milford, Auckland 0741

M: 021 753 744

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

NZ Booklovers Awards Winners Announced

18 March 2019
NZ Booklovers Awards 2019 Winners Announced
Fiona Kidman, Jo Seagar and Kimberly Andrews are winners in the inaugural NZ Booklovers Awards announced today.

‘These are books that all families in New Zealand will enjoy,’ says NZ Booklovers Director Karen McMillan. ‘Between the three winners, there is a novel that is an excellent piece of storytelling that takes the reader back in time to New Zealand in the 1950s, a lifestyle book that will be used repeatedly for family celebrations, and a children’s book that is likely to become a favourite and foster a love of reading.’

This Mortal Boy by Fiona wins the NZ Booklovers Award for Best Adult Fiction Book 2019.

The judges say, ‘This novel is a portrayal of a real event in New Zealand, one of the last times the death penalty was invoked. Set in the 1950s, the social climate of the time is beautifully portrayed – conservative, prejudiced against immigrants, and suffering from an upsurge in juvenile delinquency. It is very easy to engage with the characters, especially the central figure, Arthur Black. In 1950s Auckland Arthur’s unfortunate liaisons lead him to a situation which gets out of control. Is he a victim of prejudice and a miscarriage of justice? A well-crafted story that perfectly fits our brief of a book that celebrates the best in storytelling, a book we couldn’t put down.’

Better than a Bought One by Jo Seagar wins the NZ Booklovers Award for Best Lifestyle Book 2019.

The judges say, ‘Better than a Bought One is not a regular recipe book – it is a valuable addition to any Kiwi home! This is New Zealand’s beloved cook Jo Seagar’s best book yet. Sharing her love of entertaining, Jo inspires readers to celebrate life’s milestones at home. Her focus is on easy, economical ideas to mark everything from birthdays, backyard weddings, baby showers and other life celebrations to Matariki and a casual Kiwi Christmas. Jo deftly shows readers how to create special occasions with minimal effort and maximum impact. Jo’s trademark writing is accompanied by intoxicating photography that ensures readers will repeatedly refer to the book for memorable ideas. A highly pleasurable read that hits our criteria of a book that enriches people’s everyday lives.’

Puffin the Architect by Kimberly Andrews wins the NZ Booklovers Award for Best Children’s Book 2019.

The judges say, ‘As Puffin the Architect leads her difficult-to-please clients through her past designs – the homes she has planned for Platypus the Baker, Painter Goose and Pilot Moose, amongst others – they see and hear about her wonderful creations, but none are right for them. What is required is a cottage specifically designed for puffins, and “a home built by the sea” is underway. A detail with special appeal that comes at the end of the story is that the architect is their mum. Cleverly written in verse and with wonderfully detailed illustrations, this is a great read-aloud book and one that children will also enjoy reading alone for both the intricacies of the drawings and the ideas of planning a “custom-built” house. A picture book which can be read over many times and used as a creative discussion point for children’s own choices about house designs, Puffin the Architect has a richness, depth and complexity of concepts that will appeal to kids over a wide range of ages.’
Entries for the NZ Booklovers Awards 2020 are already open at
‘We are passionate about supporting the many talented authors we have in New Zealand, so we are delighted to be offering the NZ Booklovers Awards for a second year,’ says Karen McMillan. ‘We welcome traditionally published authors and self-published authors to submit their books throughout the year. This year we were delighted to see a mix of well-known names and new talent and trust we will see a similar variety for the 2020 Awards.’

The Best Adult Fiction Book Award is judged by writer and literary editor Marcus Hobson, publishing professional Rachel White, and NZ Booklovers Director and author Karen McMillan.

The Best Lifestyle Book Award is judged by journalist and author Andrea Molloy, NZ Booklovers Director and author Karen McMillan, and publisher, home renovator and foodie Iain McKenzie.

The Best Children’s Book Award is judged by author and creative writing teacher Paddy Richardson, editor and writer Heidi North, and early childhood kaiako and journalist Rebekah Fraser.

About NZ Booklovers
NZ Booklovers is an online home for books and for those who enjoy reading them. It is a bookworms’ hub, dedicated to bringing New Zealanders everything they need to know about reading and the world of literature. Working alongside publishers, NZ Booklovers showcases both New Zealand and international titles. It provides a platform for sharing articles, author interviews, reviews, and book-related stories, as well as book news, competitions, and reading and writing advice.

Director Karen McMillan heads up a talented team of contributors and reviewers, fellow readers and writers who are passionate about books and who believe books inspire and enhance people’s lives. The NZ Booklovers Awards are the brainchild of Karen McMillan, with the aim of supporting the local publishing community and New Zealand authors.








For more information, interviews or book covers, please contact NZ Booklovers Director Karen McMillan, 027 693 9044,,