Young Writers Programme 2015

(Feb/Dec 2015)

2015 has been another year full of opportunities for young writers with interests from journalism to fantasy writing. We’ve been pleased to welcome students from all over Auckland to our workshops and master classes. On the 21st March 2015, we held a media workshop, with guests Toby Manhire (journalist with the NZ Listener) and Virginia Larson (Editor of North & South). Students were pleased to be able to ask questions about work experience for aspiring journalists and ‘how to get the story’. A master class in prose with Paula Morris followed on Saturday 28 March. As ever, Paula provided brilliant advice for aspiring novelists and short-story writers. Also, we were all excited to wish Paula well as she competed in the Sunday Star EFG Short Story competition— she was the only author from the Southern hemisphere on the long list, and the announcement came just days before her master class. On Thursday 28 May, we travelled to MIT’s new Manukau campus, and our hosts, Robert Sullivan and Tusiata Avia, provided two exciting workshop sessions on poetry. It was a special opportunity for the students to experience their different styles of performance and delivery, in addition to visiting a tertiary campus. A workshop on The Novel was held back at our usual venue, The National Library Building, on 31 July, with Ian Wedde and Tim Wilson as guests. Ian’s latest book The Grass Catcher made an interesting topic of conversation, lying between the novel and the memoir, and Tim, best known to the students as one of the Seven Sharp presenters, talked our students through the process of crafting a novel with entertaining anecdotes and exercises. On 8 August, a Master Class with Man Booker long-listed Anna Smaill focussed on futuristic fiction. The group was able to indulge its passion for fantasy and dystopian writing, as well as expressing its admiration for Anna’s book The Chimes. On Saturday 5 July, the last master class in fiction was given by Charlotte Grimshaw. Charlotte is a frequent guest of the Young Writers Programme. Able to impart her ‘secrets’ and tips for characterisation and plot with ease, and gifted in the art of feedback, Charlotte’s master classes are unfailingly oversubscribed. We encourage students who have attended our events to contribute to Signals, our literary journal and any Year 11-13 student to enter the Chris Cole Catley Awards for poetry and prose. See the MKWC Facebook page and website for details or email administrator@writerscentre.org.nz for competition entry details.