Monday, June 10, 2013

NZSA - Michael King Writers Centre, Flash Fiction Award, and Mentorship

I had a fabulous week in February staying and working at the Michael King Writers Centre. This spacious wonderful old Victorian villa on Takarunga volcanic cone overlooks Devonport and Auckland Harbour. It is fully wheelchair accessible, set in a lovely garden and supported so well by the staff and volunteers. A very peaceful place to work I made a lot of progress with my prose memoir a girl called brian. Thirty stories written in the past 15 years or so. I spent 2 days just reading and editing the whole manuscript as it is, and found it to hang together better than I had anticipated and it is more lighthearted than I imagined. While working with a copy editor at long distance. the Michael King Writers Centre is run by the New Zealand Society of Authors and is a real hub for visiting writers, meetings and workshops, as well as (from the front anyway) a tourist attraction for those walking or busing up the mountain for the 360 degree views. Don McGlashan was the writer in residence while I was there, working on his next album. We had some great chats in the kitchen.

While in Auckland I also received second prize in the NZSA Queer  Flash Fiction writing award for a page long version of a girl called brian. The award was presented by author Sandi Hall as part of a Pride Festival event at the Auckland Public Library ( I used to haunt and the nearby art shops when I was 18, my small home town only had a 2 room art gallery!). Where three queer readers read their work and discussed the queerness or not, of it. Tony Simpson NZSA President, David Lyndon Brown, and Julie Helean. The latter of which proved a reunion of sorts as photos of her from 1990 made up part of my Retrospective Exhibition in March in Wellington.

I received word recently I have been accepted to for a NZSA Mentorship with well respected NZ author Elizabeth Smither. We will work for 20 hours on a collection of poems in three suites:  A collection of poems inspired by the great New Zealand blended-extended family holiday, historic and my contemporary New Zealand writers and artists, and the land herself - especially the back roads.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Sunday June 16 3pm VMI Reading

Sunday June 16 3pm VMI Reading I will be reading (second on the reading order) from the  wry memoir a girl called brian I have been working on for the past 5 months intensively of stories written in the past 15 years or so. A long with a great line up of readers! Hosted by VMI facilitator and mentor Betsy Warland. See you there!

You are invited to join us for our Vancouver Manuscript Intensive 2013 Reading on June 16th at the Vancouver Film School Cafe, 392 West Hastings.
The reading begins at 3PM

Nine dynamically diverse and talented fiction and nonfiction writers will read excerpts from their manuscripts. The writers are :  

Jane Mortifee
Carol Cram
Lorraine Kiidumae
Cynthia Woodman Kerkham
Beth Hawkes
Meg Torwl
Margreet Dietz
Meaghan Rondeau
Yaana Dancer

This photo is me at age 17, and ends one of the excerpts I will be reading from the story The Power of the Suit which explores the power of a woman in a 'mens' suit. I will also be reading  'black and white' based on another photograph, which came second the New Zealand Society of Authors LGBT Flash Fiction writing competition.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Flash Fiction wins NZ Society of Authors prize!

I won second prize in the New Zealand Society of Authors queer flash fiction writing competition! Yay! for my piece 'black and white' (see above) photo ( : ) which locates me in my family in the prose memoir i am working on 'a girl called brian'.  I am currently working on this book in the Vancouver Manuscript Intensive with Betsy Warland, and will be working on it also at The Micheal King Writers Centre in Auckland.

The winning entries will be published in Express Newspaper Aotearoa/NZ, and I get to pick up my prize Feb 11 at an event, where New Zealand Society of Authors President Tony Simpson, himself a gay non-fiction writer,  will be in conversation with two recent award-winning queer writers. Julie Helean’s first novel, Open Accounts of an Honesty Box, was published in 2010. Earlier this year, she won the coveted Katherine Mansfield Short Story Award. David Lyndon Brown is the outgoing Sargeson Fellow, finishing a book of short stories while in residence at the Michael King Writers’ Centre in Devonport.

This coincides with my interdisciplinary Retrospective Exhibition in Wellington March 5 -10, 2013, Re-Tern:   Hokinga Mahara, curated by Elizabeth Kerekere and Treason Seditio. More about that soon! To which I will be traveling thanks to a travel grant from Canada Council for the Arts, Inter-Arts section.