Monday, August 31, 2015

New Zealanders at War - A residential workshop for writers

New Zealanders at War
Writing War

A residential workshop for writers

The Michael King Writers’ Centre is delighted that acclaimed New Zealand novelist Patricia Grace will be one of the speakers at New Zealanders at War: Writing War, this year’s residential workshop for mid-career and experienced writers.

Other speakers/panellists in the workshop include leading international military historian Chris Pugsley, Damien Fenton from Massey University, oral historian and author Megan Hutching, Gavin McLean from the Ministry of Culture and Heritage, historian and archaeologist David Veart, Puawai Cairns from Te Papa, art historian and author Jenny Haworth, peace activist and author Maire Leadbeater and social historian Te Awhina Arahanga.

Writing War will cover all aspects of writing about war: research, the resources available, the ethics and the issues. It will include sessions on writing military history, social history, the experience of Māori and Pacific Island people, war in fiction, drama and art, pacifism and conscientious objection, and the changing perspectives on war.

The annual Michael King Writers’ Centre residential workshop has become an important opportunity for New Zealand writers. Designed especially for experienced writers to hone their craft, it is a high-level, intensive symposium style seminar featuring some of the best talent in the country. It is held at the Vaughan Park retreat in Long Bay, Auckland.

When:             Saturday October 24 to Monday October 26, 2015 (Labour weekend)

Location:        Vaughan Park Retreat and Conference Centre, 1043 Beach Road, Long Bay,
Auckland 0630 –

Cost:               Workshop including all meals and single accommodation $595 incl GST
                        Workshop including all meals and shared twin accommodation $550 incl GST
A 50% non-refundable deposit is required once your application is accepted and full payment will be required before the workshop starts.

For an application form, full programme details and speaker profiles, please visit our web site, contact the centre or click on this link:

The Michael King Writers’ Centre is grateful for the support of Foundation North.

Sinatra: A Complete Life

 Sinatra: A Complete Life
by J. Randy Tarborrelli

Publication: 1 September 2015, Sidgwick & Jackson,  
RRP $34.99, Trade Paperback

Insightful and highly entertaining - the definitive biography of a true legend

Frank Sinatra was one of the most influential entertainers the world had ever seen. He was also one of the most complex - generous, a loyal friend, a champion of causes, a devoted son and father, unpredictable, a loud-mouthed tough guy and a womaniser. What drove the skinny kid with a voice and a dream from an Italian neighbourhood in New Jersey to become an international superstar and one of the most important cultural figures of the twentieth century?

Written by acclaimed biographer J. Randy Taraborrelli, Sinatra is based on in-depth research, including hundreds of interviews. From the women he loved, including Ava Gardner, Mia Farrow, Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor to his ties to the Rat Pack, from his mob connections to his friendship with the Kennedys, Frank's life was full of excitement, danger and passion. This is a compelling and honest tribute to a man whose songs touched a chord in all of us.

About the author

J. Randy Taraborrelli is the bestselling author of Michael Jackson: The Magic and the Madness, Madonna: An Intimate Biography, The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth, Once Upon a Time: The Story of Princess Grace, Prince Rainier and Their Family and Call Her Miss Ross.

David Lagercrantz: ‘I read that Stieg Larsson used to work through the night, so I sat up late too

david lagercrantz
‘If I’d had any moral problems with this, I wouldn’t have done it’: David Lagercrantz in his flat in Sodermälm, the area of Stockholm in which Stieg Larsson and his characters also lived. Photograph: Olle Nordell for the Observer
David Lagercrantz, wild of eye and slightly jerky of limb, darts to his desk, which is tucked behind a curved wall right in the middle of his Stockholm flat, and returns waving a couple of copies of Dagens Nyheter, the Swedish newspaper whose nearest British equivalent is probably the Times. “I wrote my diaries for it,” he says, rather breathlessly, plonking himself back down beside me on a sofa. “Look, here they are, trailed on the front of the daily.” He shows me a cover, the banner including his name taking up most of its top half. After this, he opens the Sunday edition’s culture section, in which the journals finally appeared, and briskly turns its pages. One, two, three… A photograph of his face flashes by. Four, five, six… So, too, does an image of the aforementioned desk. Seven, eight…

“It runs over nine pages. Honestly, there’s never been anything like this in Sweden for a book before. I mean ever. It’s nuts. Actually, I’m a bit embarrassed. What about Isis ? What about Palestine? People are going to get angry because there are a lot of brilliant authors writing novels, and they’ll get a review [more frantic page turning]… this big.” He points to a tiny, unillustrated piece. There it floats, lonely and rather pathetic, in a vast sea of Lagercrantz.


NZ Books Spring 2015 Issue

NZ Books  Issue 111 Contents (in shops Friday 4 September)

2 Campbell Smith (obituary)
3 Thom Conroy: Anna Smaill, The Chimes
4 Sarah Laing: Catherine Robertson, The Hiding Places
5 Paula Morris: Patricia Grace, Chappy
6 Ashlee Nelson: Julie Hill, ShameJoy; Michael Botur, Mean
7 James Norcliffe: Donovan Bixley, Monkey Boy; Adele Broadbent, Trouble in Time
8 Matthew Wright: Peter Cox, Desert War: The Battle of Sidi Rezegh
9 Philippa Mein Smith: Steven Loveridge, Calls to Arms: New Zealand Society and Commitment to the Great War
10 David Littlewood: Auckland War Memorial Museum, The Anzacs: An Inside View of New Zealanders at Gallipoli; Jock Phillips with Philip Harper and Susan Harper, Brothers in Arms: Gordon and Robin Harper in the Great War
11 Jim McAloon: Tony Simpson, Before Hobson
12 Maggie Barry: “Sustainable partnerships” (byline)
13 Jacinda Adern: “Disruption and uncertainty” (byline)
14 Hugh Roberts: Wystan Curnow, The Critic’s Part: Wystan Curnow Art Writings 1971-2013; Murray Edmond, Then It Was Now Again: Selected Critical Writing
16 Rebecca Rice: Joel L Schiff, Grace Joel: An Impressionist Portrait
17 Adrian Kinnaird: Dylan Horrocks, Sam Zabel and the Magic Pen; K K Jart (text) and Nick Fedaeff (paintings), The Bitter Sweet Philosophies
18 Matariki Williams: Atholl Anderson, Judith Binney and Aroha Harris, Tangata Whenua: An Illustrated History
20 Emma Neale: Airini Beautrais, Dear Neil Roberts; Chris Tse, How to be Dead in a Year of Snakes
21 Tom McLean: Alan Roddick (ed), Charles Brasch: Selected Poems
22 Bookshelf
23 Alison McKee: Catherine Amey, The Compassionate Contrarians: A History of Vegetarians in Aotearoa New Zealand
24 David Cohen: Martin Edmond, Barefoot Years; Paula Morris, On Coming Home
25 Geoffrey Palmer: Raymond Miller, Democracy in New Zealand
26 Hannah Lawn: Shaun Barnett and Chris Maclean, Tramping: A New Zealand History
27 Michael Morrissey: Mike Johnson, Hold My Teeth While I Teach You to Dance
28 Linda Burgess: Glyn Harper (Jenny Cooper illus), Roly the Anzac Donkey; Melinda Szymanik (Dominique Ford illus), The Song of Kauri; Scott Tulloch, I am Not a Worm; Sally Sutton (Daron Parton illus), Zoo Train

Paula Morris homes in on Patricia Grace’s new novel
Geoffrey Palmer puts our democracy in the dock
Maggie Barry and Jacinda Adern address the state of the literary nation
Emma Neale finds politics and history in new poetry
plus soldiers, trampers, impressionists and vegetarians

Nine to Noon - Scheduled interviews and reviews this week

Nine to Noon with Kathryn Ryan
Nine to Noon episode archive

Scheduled interviews and reviews

Monday 31 August

  • Leading Antarctic researcher Dr Regina Eisert, whose work is helping uncover the unknown journeys of killer whales, or orca, from Antartica, to Northland, New Zealand
  • Book Review: When the Moon is Low by Nadia Hashimi
  • Reading: In the Palace Gardens by Sarah Quigley
  • Politics with Matthew Hooton and Mike Williams
  • Bringing authentic Ethopian home cooking to the New Zealand dinner table, with spices sourced directly from Ethopia
  • Kennedy Warne discusses sustainable seas

Tuesday 1st September

  • News and current affairs
  • US correspondent Steve Almond
  • Katrine Marcal, Swedish author of Who Cooked Adam Smith's Dinner?
  • Book Review: The Party Line by Sue Orr
  • Reading: In the Palace Gardens by Sarah Quigley
  • Business commentator Rod Oram
  • Straight Outta Christchurch Scribe & The White Guitar
  • Media commentator Gavin Ellis

Wednesday 2nd September

  • News and current affairs
  • Matthew Yeomans on sustainability branding
  • Australia correspondent Karen Middleton
  • Sasha Fisher, young entrepeneur who set up Spark MicroGrants, which helps residents of rural villages in East Africa fund their own development ideas
  • New Zealand Literature Review: Lost and Gone Away by Lynn Jenner, Histories of the Future by Martin Edmond (Published by Walleah Press)
  • Reading: In the Palace Gardens by Sarah Quigley (Final)
  • Marty Duda's musical artist of the week.
  • Law with Simon Jefferson QC
  • Science commentator Siouxsie Wiles

Thursday 3 September

  • News and current affairs
  • The risks of intense sport and rigorous exercise for women
  • UK correspondent Matthew Parris
  • Celia Lashlie's children talk about their mother's inspirational work with young people. The leading social advocate and researcher died earlier this year
  • Book Review: The Gilded Hour by Sara Donati
  • Reading: Driving to Midnight, a short story by Sarah Quigley
  • New Technology with Robbie Allan
  • Parenting
  • TV reviewer Lara Strongman

Friday 4 September

  • News and current affairs
  • Dr Nadine Kaslow, former head of the American Psychological Association, on suicide prevention
  • Asia correspondent
 10-11am .
  • Winnie Byanyima  the first African director of Oxfam  with an incredible life story
  • Kiran Dass from Unity Books
  • Reading: Waiting for the Wolves, a short story written and told by Sarah Quigley
  • Music with Jeremy Taylor
  • Sport with Brendan Telfer
  • The Week that Was with Te Radar and Elisabeth Easther

Passionate about creative writing?


Passionate about creative writing?

This event provides an in-depth look into the Master of Creative Writing. It’s your opportunity to find out more about what this programme entails and meet budding and established creative writers.

Connect with lecturers, students and AUT alumni.
Learn about the content and structure of this practical programme.
Explore study and career opportunities.

If you’re secret or serious about creative writing, this is where you’ll get the right information to make an informed decision about your future, and connect with some of New Zealand’s most innovative writers and published authors.

17 September
6pm – 8pm
AUT City Campus
WT Building (WT1211)

2015 Page & Blackmore Animal Laureate announced!

ANIMAL LAUREATE: The 2015 Page & Blackmore Poetry Competition

Entrants were challenged to choose a well-known poem, to choose an animal and to rewrite the poem as if it were written by their chosen animal. We were overwhelmed by the quaility of the entries. Click on the poems' titles to read the winners (each preceded by the original poem):

The winner: Julie Ryan (right) for her poem 'Moules a la Mariniere' (after Allen Curnow)

Runners-up: Joyce Elwood-Smith for her poem 'To a Farmer from a Mouse' (after Robbie Burns); Vera Robinson for her sonnet 'Shall I Compare Thee...' (after William Shakespeare)

Read the judge's report from Jeanette Cook.

2015 Page & Blackmore Short Story Competition.

Congratulations to the winner, placers, commended and all other entrants!
First: ‘Like Light’ by Janet Newman (Levin)
Second: ‘Piece of Sky’ by Kay Meyer (Eastbourne)
Third: ‘Till Death’ by Megan Frith (Takanini)
Click through for full list and judge's report.

This national competition is organised by the Top of the South branch of NZSA. .