Friday, December 15, 2006


This today from the Institute of Modern Letters of Victoria University of Wellington.

The 2006 issue of online literary journal Turbine ( ) is now live, featuring award-winning short fiction, a bestselling US novelist who struggles with being constantly compared to Sylvia Plath, an Irish physicist/poet’s encounter with a rather unusual Wellingtonian, and the usual host of established and emerging New Zealand literary talent.

Turbine 06 includes fiction by newly-announced Adam Foundation Prize winner Anna Horsley, plus the first publication of the winning entry in this year’s BNZ Katherine Mansfield Short Story Award for novice writers by Emma Gallagher. There’s also a story by the writer who was unofficial runner-up in the ‘published writer’ category, Sue Orr.

Work by three US writers who will be living, working, and giving public readings in Wellington during 2007 provides a foretaste of the literary year to come. US novelist Curtis Sittenfeld (author of the bestselling novels Prep and The Man of My Dreams, which are being translated into twenty-five languages) offers a piece titled ‘I was Sylvia Plath-ish’. Poets Zach Savich and Dora Malech complete the trio of imports – all of whom have passed through the famed Iowa Writers’ Workshop.

Victoria University’s 2006 Writer in Residence, Bernadette Hall, confesses all in an entertaining interview about Antarctica, her latest work – a gothic-romance – and the possibility of her ever becoming a nun. Turbine 06 also offers sneak-previews of soon-to-be published novels and poetry. Michele Amas and Angela Andrews have contributed new poems. Novelists Craig Cliff and Susan Pearce offer extracts from work in progress, and Abby Letteri’s extract is our first publication of work for younger readers. There’s also a digital poem from Brian Flaherty.

Many of the writers published in Turbine 06 have just completed the MA in Creative Writing at Victoria University. In some cases this is their first publication, but given the track record of previous graduates – who include writers such as Elizabeth Knox, Jenny Pattrick, Catherine Chidgey, Tim Corballis, Paula Morris, Jenny Bornholdt, William Brandt, Barbara Anderson and Tusiata Avia – you can be fairly sure you’ll be hearing more of them in the next few years.

We also delve into the engine-room of the course – and the mind of the emerging writer – in The Reading Room, which contains excerpts from the journals of the 2006 intake. These encompass ‘bouts of self-flagellation and grovelling promises’ (Tom Fitzsimons), gruelling battles with errant computers and existential angst (Craig Cliff) or with recalcitrant plots (Rebecca Lancashire), and first-hand encounters with published writers in the workshop room and at Writers and Readers Week 06.

Turbine 06 ( ) is published by the International Institute of Modern Letters, hosted by the New Zealand Electronic Text Centre, and edited by Amy Brown and Chris Price.

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