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.
I’m thrilled to announce that a week ago I was selected as a finalist in the New Zealand Flash Frontier Micromadness literary contest. All entries had to be under 100 words! My flash fiction story of 76 words was selected by judges and will be featured on their Micromadness blog here at Flash Frontier, one of New Zealand leading venues for literary flash fiction.
From June 1 – June 22 the top 22 selected entries will be published. On 22 June, New Zealand Flash Fiction Day, we will read our flash fiction and Micromadness at venues across the country. I’ll be reading at the Thistle Inn Mulgrave St, near the Wellington Railway Station, on National Flash Fiction day, Wednesday, 22 June, along with other authors from 6pm to 8pm.
Enjoy reading Micromadness in Flash Frontier. I’ll send you a link when my story is up.
I was gobsmacked. Speechless. And in tears. Quietly (my friends can vouch that’s not usual for me), I thanked the many people who have shaped my writing – a long list – while tears tracked down my cheeks.
But, wait, roll back. What’s this show of emotion about?
On Sunday night, my book, Dragons’ Realm, received the 2016 Sir Julius Vogel Award for Best Youth Novel.
Internationally acclaimed fantasy author, Juliet Marillier, and New Zealand fantasy author, Anna McKenzie, had both been teaching us over weekend. Juliet was presenting the writers’ awards. I was sitting at the back of the room, tucked out of sight, when the results were announced.
A tear leaked from my eye. Then another…
Faced with such tough competition, it was such a shock to win.
Kevin Berry nudged me. “You have to walk up the front,” he whispered. “Off you go.”
Usually fast on my feet, I was so stunned that I hadn’t moved! Once I got to the front of the room, you could’ve heard a mouse squeak.
Then my ‘thank yous‘ started. And here they are again.
Thank you to every reader who nominated my book Dragons Realm for Best Youth Novel. Thanks to you, my novel got on the shortlist. And thank you to fans who voted for my shortlisted book in the secret ballot.
My amazing publishers, Deb Potter and Blair Polly of the Fairytale Factory, have been imaginative and worked hard to make Dragons Realm the best book it could be. Thank you to Monkey Lab and Clarke’s critique group – my fantastic peers who review my work: Alicia Ponder, Peter Friend, Lee Murray, Simon Fogarty, Charlotte Kieft and Michelle Child. You guys are my tribe and I love your insight, brainstorming sessions and sense of humor!
Thank you to Grace Bridges of Splashdown Press and Chila of Port Yonder Press for awarding me first place in the SpecFicNZ Going Global Award which opened many doors for me. Dan Rabarts and Lee Murray were my first editors on the Baby Teeth project which saw Marie Hodgkinson of Paper Road Press publish my first short story.
Thanks to Alicia Ponder who found me and introduced me to Phoenix Writers, who got Lost in The Museum with me. Geoff Popham deserves a big thank you for his award-winning art. Then there are all the Phantom Feather Press authors who helped make the Best of Twisty Christmas Tales a success. Paul Mannering’s crazy ideas always spark more of my own. Vicki Cunningham is always positive and cheerful. My family is very cool and support my books – Kurt and the kids love riding dragons and cracking jokes. My friends at home, and loyal readers, friends and writers around the world have been amazingly supportive – especially Holly Lisle’s online forum – all my Write a Book with Me buddies. (I can hear you cheering!)
And thanks to Kyle Mewburn, who mentored me and strengthened my voice!!! (Yes, they can hear me in Switzerland now when I sing!) To the many writers whose workshops I’ve attended (Juliet Marillier, Anna McKenzie, David Hill, Fleur Beale, Ruth Paul to name a few). To Joy Cowley, Dave Freer and David Hill for their contributions to The Best Twisty Christmas Tales.
It’s also great to be part of the SSFANZ, SpeciFicNZ, NZSA, Storylines and the Wellington Children’s Book Association.
Is there anyone I haven’t mentioned? If so, thank you too. We all need a tribe, a village, a city… a circle of supporters, friends and mentors.
The short list for the 2016 Sir Julius Vogel Awards has been out for a while. Although I’ve been very busy writing and have neglected to post this earlier, I’m very excited to be a finalist in two categories!
To be eligible for Best New Talent, writers must have had their first story or book published less than four years ago. MIne was my short story Dad’s Wisdom, in the Baby Teeth anthology in 2013. A writer may only ever be shortlisted twice for this category.
Check out all the finalists here. The winners will be revealed on June 5th at Au Contraire, the New Zealand National Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention, in Wellington this coming weekend.
Our recently-awarded Sir Julius Vogel Award has hit the local news. It took a while to appear in this newspaper, and a while longer for me to post this here, but I’ve had a great excuse! I’ve been busy finishing a kids’ manuscript to get it to a publisher. I’m a few weeks off deadline, so hopefully I’ll have more good news soon!
I believe that readers recognized the value in this unique collection because the stories are interwoven with common characters and threads and take place in a unique setting – New Zealand’s national museum – Te Papa. There is something for everyone in this young adult anthology: short sharp action stories, strange and weird realities, ghosts, lost children, time travel, an earthquake and even a definite touch of romance.
As sub-editor on this project, I was thrilled! Winning the Sir Julius Vogel Award is great recognition for all the authors, artists and the editors, Alicia Ponder and Lorraine Williams.
Over Easter weekend I attended the Sir Julius Vogel Awards at Reconnaissance, the New Zealand National Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention. I was lucky enough to have some work shortlisted in these awards, and was very happy to collect two Sir Julius Vogel awards for a project in which I was a sub-editor.
Lost in the Museum by Phoenix Writers was awarded a Sir Julius Vogel Award for Best Collected Work.
Geoff Popham, our cover artist for Lost in the Museum, won a Sir Julius Vogel Award for Best Professional Artwork.
It was an honour to collect these awards on behalf of Geoff and Phoenix Writers. Many people were behind this fabulous anthology, which is a collection stories based in Te Papa, New Zealand’s national museum. I’d like to thank:
Geoff, for his fabulous cover art!
Alicia Ponder and Lorraine Williams for doing a sterling job of editing the anthology, for accepting two of my short stories, and inviting me to assist them in sub-editing.
Phoenix Writers , a special interest group of Phoenix Science Fiction Society.
Phillip Mann, Honourary Literary Fellow, New Zealand Society of Authors and patron of the Phoenix Writers. His support has been unflagging.
The authors: Phillip Mann, Tim Jones, Lyn McConchie, Glynne MacLean, Tracie MacBride, Rob Campbell, Lillian Hetet, Jenny Hammond, John Holmes, Jeena Murphy, A.J. Ponder, Vic Scott, Jean Stevens, Lorraine Williams (and me.)
Wellington City Council for their financial support and enthusiasm.
Te Papa Tongarewa for their support.
I am proud of this young adult anthology, and hope you enjoy it. Lost in the Museum is available on Amazon.
A full list of award winners is available here, and includes five awards to Wellingtonians. Here we all are, with Sir Julius Vogel behind us, at Parliament.
email or post closes this Wednesday 1 April, so be quick. Voting can be done in person at the National Science Fiction & Fantasy Convention, Reconnaissance, in Rotorua at Easter.
The Sir Julius Vogel Awards recognize excellence in Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror by New Zealanders. The Sir Julius Vogel Awards are administered by SFFANZ, the Science Fiction and Fantasy Association of New Zealand. To vote, you need to be a member of SFFANZ or Reconnaissance. SFFANZ supports Science Fiction and Fantasy in New Zealand and can be contacted at email@example.com (SSFANZ membership costs $10.) Reconnaissance can be contacted at http://www.timelord2067.com/convention.html
I was speechless. (Me? Can you imagine that?) I couldn’t even blog about it! (That may also have something to do with me being away for a few days, camping in a remote location with no mobile coverage!) All humour aside, I never expected my work to make the shortlist in so many categories – short story,collected works, and services to science fiction, fantasy and horror.
Both Lost in the Museum and The Best of Twisty Christmas Tales are up for Best Collected Work and Best Artwork, and my story,The Watch Serpent, from the anthology, Disquiet, has been shortlisted for best short story. If you like horror, Disquiet contains some great kiwi and Aussie stories – several have made the shortlist. Being nominated for Services to Science Fiction Fantasy and Horror is a real honour. You can read more details about all of the nominations here.
Readers make all of our hours writing worthwhile. Thank you for nominating me. Here is one of my favourite photos of a reader. Great isn’t she? She’s still reading as I sign the book, and spent much of The Best of Twisty Christmas Tales launch avidly scanning the pages!
I’d also like to congratulate many of my fellow writers who are on the shortlist. It’s an honour to have my name listed on the same web page as Julliet Marrilier and many other great names!
Storylines Family Day Michael Fowler Centre Wellington
Sunday 24 August 10am-3pm
We have lots of bug-gy and bee-sy activities lined up at Storylines Family Day. Sally Sutton and Gary Venn have a great book, with a bug theme, Ben and the Icky-Ooky-Sticky Smick. Brian Lovelock just illustrated Raymond Hueber’s book Flight of the Honeybee and won the LIANZA award for children’s illustration two weeks ago. So we are celebrating!
Come to the Bugs N’ Bees zone and meet Phil Sirvid, Te Papa’s entomologist and a spider expert. Check out his bug collection. Don’t miss his talk, Spiders Are Cool at 2pm.
You can also meet Tricia Laing and Frank Lindsay, real live beekeepers from the Wellington Beekeeper’s Association. They’ll have beekeeping gear to try on and hives to show you.
Join in a bug hunt, find illustrator Gary Venn’s super-sized bugs around the venue and win the bug to keep and go into a prize draw for books! Hear Sally and Gary talk about their bug-gy book and where they get their great ideas from! Hear Brian and Frank talk about bees. Learn about the different types of bees and what they look like. See a real queen bee, a carpenter bee, drones, and more…
Get your face painted bug style. Come along and bee a bug, but whatever you do, don’t bug your parents too much! Just have fun! For Monster Fun Zone go here. For War Zone go here. For general info go here. For a program go here. See you tomorrow!
Lost In The Museum by Phoenix Writers is live on Amazon! Zany fantasy stories set in Te Papa, NZ’s national museum. If you want to taste before you buy, pop over to amazon to preview the book. You can get your copy here now! (I have two and a half stories in this anthology! One is co-written!)
In a recent review on Beattie’s Blog, home of the New Zealand book community, reviewer Lee Murray calls the book, “a rollicking cavalcade of adventures.” Ms Murray says, “The stories journey—sometimes at breakneck speed on John Britton’s V-1000—through history, through time, guided by fictional Director Tui Merriweather, and the corridors cleared by resident ghost-buster, Miss Evangeline Marple. They follow the lives of goddesses, ghosts, kings, a cross-dressing bridegroom, a misplaced ice-cream vendor, and a stray pterodactyl.”
Lost In The Museum is in NZ bookstores and it’s proving popular! Nearly half of the initial print run has galloped out the door! Retrospace in Auckland stock this book, and in Wellington, The Children’s Bookshop and Unity Books have copies on their shelves. Lost In The Museum can be ordered through all bookstores. If you have any questions about Lost In The Museum, feel free to contact me.