I was absolutely thrilled – and more than a little speechless – to receive a 2017 Sir Julius Vogel Award for Best New Talent at Lexicon, the New Zealand Science Fiction and Fantasy National convention. The full 2017 SJV awards list is here.
With the deep blue backdrop of Lake Taupo, and snow-tipped ranges across the water, the setting for Lexicon was magical. Ninety teenage writers attended workshops on Friday and boggled us with their talent. A weekend full of interesting panels, discussions, impromptu meetups with writers and fun social activities kept me on my toes. Not to mention the last-minute accommodation booking I made without realizing my bed was situated above a nightclub. It was actually above a nightclub AND three bars, the only nightlife in Taupo!! Yes, I was dancing all night – even in my asleep.
Even though I was on the shortlist, it was still a nerve-wracking process waiting through the ballot and having that envelope opened on stage in front of my eyes. Then there was that long moment: sitting, stunned, while people nudged me to get to my feet!
Thank you to my wonderful readers for nominating me. And thank you to everyone who has supported my writing – by beta reading, believing in me, critiquing my work and brainstorming plot fixes. Thanks to my publishers, The Fairytale Factory and Phantom Feather Press, they’re great! I’d also like to thank the New Zealand speculative fiction community, Romance Writers New Zealand and Holly Lisle’s online writing community.
My critique groups deserve a proper mention. I’m lucky, I have two. Monkey Lab: Alicia Ponder, Charlotte Kieft, Michelle Child and Peter Friend; & Clarke’s Critters: Lee Murray, Simon Fogarty and Alicia Ponder. Everyone needs a tribe, so thanks for being mine. You’re all more than critique partners, you’re wonderful friends.
I am thrilled to be on the 2017 Sir Julius Vogel Award shortlist in two categories.
Thank you to all my readers who nominated me for Best New Talent, and also to those who nominated my short story Call of the Sea, which was published last year in the At the Edge anthology, edited by Lee Murray and Dan Rabarts.
The 2017 SJV awards are presented at Lexicon, New Zealand’s National Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention in Taupo in early June.
Call of the Sea has been nominated for the 2017 Sir Julius Vogel awards, however, to get on the shortlist, a story must be nominated multiple times. Call of the Sea, published in At the Edge (Paper Road Press 2016), is a dark story exploring grief, loss and hope.
If you have read Call of the Sea and enjoyed it, please feel free to nominate it before 8pm Friday 31 March, on the SJV Awards nomination form. (Nomination info & background to the story are at the bottom of this post).
This is the last year I am eligible for the Sir Julius Vogel New Talent award (for authors in their first 4 years after initial publication.) If you like my work, feel free to nominate me for New Talent too. Justfill out the formand tell them, in a few sentences, what you like aboutmy stories and books.
You can nominate any science fiction, fantasy or horror work published in New Zealand 2016, including films. Anyone can nominate worldwide. Voting for the shortlisted entries takes place at Lexicon, the National Science Fiction and Fantasy convention in Taupo in June, by members of SFFANZ or Lexicon. Guidelines are here.
I woke up to a text at 6:25am this morning from my diligent publisher! It was worth hopping out of bed for! Mystic Portal is #5 andDragons’ Realm is #8 on the Amazon bestseller list in UK kids interactive fiction.
And Mystic Portal is #1 in hot new releases.
Exciting stuff. But then again, so are these You Say Which Way adventures, where you get to choose how the story goes. Kids love saying which way to go. They choose their story. They find out how clever they are when things go their way. Or they test dangerous decisions that lead to tricky outcomes – all from the safety of their own homes.
Fun. Adventure. Great mountain bike rides. Weird creatures. And good laughs.
Mystic Portal is no ordinary bike trail. Weird things happen there. They say each new jump leads to another world. You and your friends can’t wait to try it!
The choices you make will determine your adventure. Will you ride a camel? Fight bandits? Meet Bog the ogre? Or end up in an underwater city? What ever you choose, watch out for mad genies, suspicious merchants and one-eyed creatures with orange fur.
Cool adventures are waiting , so jump on your bike and ride the Mystic Portal.
The Fairytale Factory bring you Mystic Portal on Amazon, part of their You Say Which Way Series of interactive fiction for children aged 8-13 years.
Dragons Realm, a You Say Which Way adventure by Eileen Mueller, won the 2016 Sir Julius Vogel award for Best Youth Novel. In You Say Which Way adventures, your choices shape the outcome of your story.
We received a hoard of dragon limericks from all around the world. The verses made us roar and laugh, and on occasion, breathe fire. It was a tough decision because so many of the limericks were clawsome! Thank you to all contestants for your fangtastic effort!
Although we had to select winners, we want everyone to know that you’re all winners for entering, because you all created new limericks! Unfortunately the volume of entries hasn’t made it possible to provide feedback to everyone, as we’d hoped, however we will provide feedback to all children who entered, in due course.
Is your name in the e-book?
Our winners ( 1st, 2nd & 3rd places) will soon receive a voucher for the e-book Clawsome Dragon Limericks. All winners, honorable mentions and finalists have their limericks in the e-book and their names in the table of contents.
Third Equal: A.C. Lindsay, New Zealand & Kerrie Spicer, New Zealand
Jane Percival, New Zealand, Best Illustrated Limerick
Lyn McConchie, New Zealand, Clever Use of Historical Language
Jack Newhouse, New Zealand, Best Limerick with a Scottish Accent
John Irvine, New Zealand, Brilliantly Yuck!
Gloria Hanlon, USA, Inspiring Limericks
Christopher Drown, Australia
Gareth Barsby, United Kingdom
Katharina Gerlach, Germany
Chris Makowski, Texas, USA
Charles Hoge, New York, USA
Mahoney Adair, Christchurch, New Zealand
Sarah Garriott, USA
Dr Bob Turvey, UK
John Irvine, New Zealand
Andrew Mackrory, Ohio, USA
Vincent Van Gouache, New Zealand
Feel free to share this link to Clawsome Dragon Limericks with your family and friends, any grumpy old knights, dragons with a sense of humor, and princesses who may enjoy dragon limericks or a roarsome laugh! Have fun reading these limericks! We’d love a review on Amazon!
A Wellington newspaper, Cook Strait News, has done a wonderful article about Dragons Realm‘s new shiny 2016 Sir Julius Vogel Award for Best Youth Novel.
Dragons Realm is part of the You Say Which Way series of interactive fiction published by The Fairytale Factory. Interactive fiction is a great way for kids to learn about choices, leadership, relationships and the ripple effect of their decisions – while having adventures. I enjoy writing interactive fiction because there are so many storylines to explore, a range of outcomes and lots of fun plots to choose from.
Plotting 22 different stories was an interesting challenge which could have become a logistical nightmare. A trusty excel spreadsheet kept me sane. Me and that excel sheet became besties (best friends) as we worked together to keep all the stories in order!
Nikki Papatsoumas was the journalist who took this great picture and did a nice write up. Please pop over and read it. And yes, Wellington’s mid-winter weather is ALWAYS this beautiful – sun shining, gentle breeze creating interesting hairstyles and of course, it never rains here!
Anyone keen on writing interactive fiction or learning about how to write it, contact me. The Fairytale Factory are publishing a “how to” book soon, and I’ll let you know when it’s out.
Love Limericks? Love dragons?
Are you good at rhyming?
Or maybe you just want to try something new?
For kids, adults, teenagers, everyone!
Be quick, get your limerick to us before 30 July 2016 and be in to win publication in my new book Clawsome Dragon Limericks and Amazon vouchers for the book! The full post about Phantom Feather Press’ Dragon Limerick Contest & how to enter is here.
I mentioned in an earlier blog post that my entry for Flash Frontier Micromadness accepted for publication. Well, it was published online today 13 June, New Zealand time.
22 Finalists will have their entries published between 1 June 2016 and 22 June 2016, National Flash Fiction Day in New Zealand. The winner of the competition will be announced on 22 June.
I wrote my entry Midnight a week before the 13th anniversary of my son’s death. He is the theme of my short story. His death was so unexpected, so sudden and changed me deeply. A small warning: This story is not for the faint-hearted or those who have suffered recent bereavement. It’s only as years have passed that I can allow myself to express some of these emotions via my writing. If you’ve recently lost someone you love, sometimes it’s best to be kind to your self and not ‘go there.’
My entry is here. If you’re viewing this after 13 June, you’ll need to scroll down to 13 June entry, next to the gorgeous oil painting Owlmoon by Sandra Whyte.
Radio host Sherri Rabinowitz interviewed me on Blog Talk Radio about winning a Sir Julius Vogel Award, my books, dragons, and my real passion in life.
We also had fun discussing interactive fiction, strategies for dealing with bullying, kids’ literacy and literary festivals. It was blast. Please download the podcast here. I hope you enjoy listening to the show!