24 March 2017

Aotearoa Reads Podcast / Vote for Helen Lowe in the Gemmell Legend Awards

The New Zealand Book Council were kind enough to ask me to take part in their Aotearoa Reads podcast series, and the podcast I took part in, the second in the series, went up this week. Check out both Aotearoa Reads podcasts - I think you'll find them interesting:


During that second podcast, I mention that there are many highly successful New Zealand authors who are mentioned less often in the literary conversation here than they should be, because their work is published overseas. One such author is Helen Lowe, whose novel Daughter of Blood has been longlisted for a Gemmell Legend Award for Fantasy alongside authors such as Guy Gavriel Kay, Brandon Sanderson, and N. K. Jemison.

If you'd like to support Helen, here's how to vote for Daughter of Blood to make the shortlist. Voting closes Friday 31 March:

1. Go to http://www.gemmellawards.com/award-voting-2017/

2. See the heading “Vote for your favorite Legend award nominee (2017 longlist)” 

3. Scroll down the list of titles until you reach “Daughter of Blood by Helen Lowe”

4. Click in the circle to the left of the title.

5. Go the bottom of the Legend Award list of titles and click “Vote.”

And it's done!

14 March 2017

Tuesday Poem: Passport

Not all the poems I wrote for my latest collection New Sea Land made the cut - some because they were't quite good enough, some because they didn't fit the theme. "Passport" is one of the latter (that's my story and I'm sticking to it!), but relevant nevertheless.


Need to travel, passport —
(expired, but still potent)
not where I was sure it was,
a rectangular light-blue absence.

Frantic search, piles
of ancient documents disturbed,
dead boxes exhumed
dust sneezing the room

house turned upside down
passport stubbornly unfound
any record of citizenship
vanished, my birth certificate —

from another country’s system,
in another country’s name —

trapped in a cul-de-sac,
and the clock ticking.

Two tentative phone calls
solitary queuing downtown,
new forms, new photos
and it’s sorted in time

the new dark-blue rectangle
clutched to my heart,
a stateless life in departure lounges
now the least of my fears

but I wonder:

what if I couldn’t
sort it with a phone call
what if
I was running from, not running to
what if
the guns were coming, and the boats were leaving
what if
I had no choice
would I do
wouldn’t I do
to get away?

01 March 2017

The 2017 National Flash Fiction Day Competition Is Open!

The 2017 NFFD competition is open!

Submit February 15 – April 30
Send your best 300-word story
Cash prizes 
Two categories

Adult (19+)
First Prize: $1000
Second Prize: $400
Third Prize: $100
Judges: Michael Harlow and Emma Neale

Youth (18 and under)
First Prize: $200
Second Prize: $100
Third Prize: $50
Judges: Fleur Beale and Heather McQuillan

Winners will be announced June 22 at the NFFD celebrations, and all winners are invited to attend and share their stories.

Auckland, Christchurch, Dunedin, Northland Wellington

Competition entry details here.