Alicia and I were thrilled to win first equal in the NorthWrite 2013 Collaboration contest with our short work Ahi Kā. (The contest was run by run by the Northland branch of the New Zealand Society of Authors.)
It was the first time that I had attempted collaborative writing and I thoroughly enjoyed it. This story started as a pair of teenagers running through the bush from something menacing, but grew until it included Māori mythology, mental illness, some kiwi history, Shakespearean influences, paranormal creatures and a frenzied pace of action. The line between reality and fantasy is thin as Ahi and Manaaki desperately try to outrun demons.
To read our story online go to this ‘NorthWrite 2013 Collaboration – Judges Comments and Winning Entries post.’ You’ll need to scroll down past the judges comments about the entries, then ours is the top story.
To understand our references to New Zealand mythology, see the Māori legend about how Maui bought fire to the world. Political elements are also included via oblique references to Māori land wars (see below). The contest required a 2 short stories or a short story and a poem, so our piece includes a sonnet and some direct quotes from Shakespeare within that sonnet. This work is completely different to anything I’ve written before and was a very intense collaborative writing process. My earlier post details that process.
Note: These translations may help when reading our work. Manaaki = hospitality, support; Ahi = fire; Ahi Kā = to keep the home fires burning; burning fires of occupation; gain a title to land through long-term occupation; hold influence over land and defend successfully against challenges, thereby keeping their fires burning. (Source Māori Dictionary online)
Have fun reading. We hope you enjoy the other entries as well.