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.

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