Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Returning to the scene of the crime: Ngaio Marsh Award longlist revealed

Two authors who returned to crime writing after more than a decade away have today been named among an eclectic longlist for the 2018 Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Novel.

 “We shattered our record for entries in the Ngaio Marsh Awards this year, with 69 different books entered across our two fiction categories” says founder Craig Sisterson. “Along with a surge in first-time Kiwi authors choosing to write tales of crime, mystery and suspense – more than fifty new voices in the past three years - it’s been great to see more experienced local authors veering to the darker side as well as past crime writers returning to the fold.”

This year’s longlist for the Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Novel includes a mix of new and experienced voices, several authors who’ve won and been shortlisted for a variety of awards in several countries, and writers ranging in age from early 20s to early 80s.

“It’s a really eclectic mix of tales on this year’s longlist,” says Sisterson. “Exhibits A-E, we have the return of Edmund Bohan’s nineteenth century detective Inspector O’Rorke after a fifteen-year absence, Stella Duffy’s first crime novel in more than a decade, a stunning debut from an ex-undercover cop, and two tales that impressed the Ockhams judges.”

The Ngaio Marsh Awards have celebrated the best New Zealand crime, mystery, thriller, and suspense writing since 2010, and this year’s longlist runs the full gamut, from detective fiction to gothic suspense to psychological thrillers to historical mysteries and magic realism.

The longlist for the 2018 Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Novel is:

·         MARLBOROUGH MAN by Alan Carter (Fremantle Press)

·         BABY by Annaleese Jochems (VUP)

·         SEE YOU IN SEPTEMBER by Charity Norman (Allen & Unwin)

·         THE LOST TAONGA by Edmund Bohan (Lucano)

·         THE EASTER MAKE BELIEVERS by Finn Bell

·         THE ONLY SECRET LEFT TO KEEP by Katherine Hayton

·         TESS by Kirsten McDougall (VUP)

·         THE SOUND OF HER VOICE by Nathan Blackell (Mary Egan Publishing)

·         A KILLER HARVEST by Paul Cleave (Upstart Press)

·         THE HIDDEN ROOM by Stella Duffy (Virago)

 The longlist is currently being considered by a judging panel of crime, thriller, and suspense writing experts from the United States, United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand.

The finalists will be announced in July, along with the finalists for the Ngaio Marsh Award for Best First Novel. The finalists will be celebrated, and the winners announced as part of a special event at the WORD Christchurch Festival, held from 29 August to 2 September.
For more information on this year’s longlist, or the Ngaio Marsh Awards in general, please contact founder and judging convenor Craig Sisterson,

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Round-up of the most read stories of the past week on The Bookseller:

1. Debuts dominate 'wide-ranging' Zoe Ball Book Club line up
2. Waterstones abandons 'indie branding' in Edinburgh following outcry
3. Cunk on Everything to Two Roads
4. Waterstones to open Stockbridge Books in Edinburgh
5. HarperCollins and Blackwell's win big at British Book Awards
6. No Room on the Broom
7. Eleanor Oliphant crowned Book of the Year
8. Shock return for Orbach at Quarto
9. Former colleagues remember legendary Penguin chief Peter Mayer
10. Amazon Publishing launches non-fiction arm

From The Bookseller

The Quarto Group
Quarto’s dramatic boardroom take over last week was partly motivated by a major shareholder’s concern over the publisher’s debt, The Bookseller has been told.
Tom Fletcher
Children’s author Tom Fletcher has unveiled the second tranche of titles in his kids book club, exclusive to W H Smith.
Hachette managed a virtual clean sweep at the 10th annual CrimeFest awards, taking five of the six categories, with YA writer Patrice Lawrence and debut novelist Helena Duggan among the winners.
Rebecca Swift
The Literary Consultancy has created an independent grant-making foundation and poetry award in memory of founder Rebecca Swift.
Kate Davies
Borough Press has won a five-way auction for a book aimed at fans of “Girls” and “Fleabag”, written by commissioning editor for Lincoln Books, Kate Davies.
The London Magazine
Literary periodical The London Magazine is launching a new literary award for debuts in partnership with law firm Collyer Bristow.

G R Halliday
Harvill Secker has snapped up rights to a new "page-turning and atmospheric" crime series set around Inverness by G R Halliday, following a "hotly-contested" auction.
Kimberley Chambers
Crime author Kimberley Chambers and HarperCollins have launched a writing scholarship, the 'Kickstart Prize', in association with Peters Fraser and Dunlop Literary Agency and CrimeFest.
R O Kwon
Virago is publishing The Incendiaries by R O Kwon, a book about a couple, one of whom is drawn into a secretive cult tied to North Korea.

The International Proverse Poetry Prize 2018

for single poems                                                     
submitted in English

CLOSING DATE: 30 June 2018.

Entry is open to all aged 18 and above.

New, emerging and established writers are all welcome to enter.

Topic: Free choice OR “Refuge”.
Length: No more than 30 lines (not counting title or blank lines)
Style, form and format: free choice.

Must be previously unpublished in English.

1st prize; USD100.00; 2nd prize: USD45.00; 3rd prizes (up to four winners): USD20.00 each.

Prize-winning entries will be published on the website, and/or in a paperback anthology.

Selected entries may be published in a paperback anthology.

Number of entries per entrant: no limit.
No entrant may win more than one cash prize in any year.
There is no limit to the number of entries by any single person that may be awarded a place in the Anthology.

The entry fee per poem is HKD100.00 OR GBP8.00 OR USD12.00. (Other currencies available.)


From 7 May 2018, you can enter through

For full details, entry documents and submission information, you may also see the Proverse website:

You can see the inaugural Proverse Poetry Prize Anthology (2016), “Mingled Voices”, and the 2017 Proverse Poetry Prize Anthology, “Mingled Voices 2” on amazon and other online retailers’ websites.

General enquiries to the following email address:

THE WELL-ESTABLISHED PROVERSE PRIZE for unpublished non-fiction, fiction, or poetry (book-length work) opened for entry on 14 April and also closes on 30 June 2018. Details of this are also at and

 New Zealand writers have won the Proverse Prize and the inaugural Proverse Poetry Prize first-prize winner was New Zealand poet, Vaughan Rapatahana.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Devonport Library Associates AGM & Book Launch

Devonport Library Associates

Annual General Meeting

Tuesday 29th May 2018, 7.00 – 7.30pm, Devonport Library

Book Launch: Tuesday 29th May 2018, 7.30pm onwards, Devonport Library

The Search for the Modernist Murals of E. Mervyn Taylor

Bronwyn Holloway-Smith is an investigative artist and researcher based at the Massey University’s College of Creative Arts.

“Wanted” illuminates the artistic practice of a celebrated Pakeha artist who belonged to a post-war generation focused on establishing a national identity for New Zealand through the creative arts.

The intriguing detective hunt for some of New Zealand’s most significant and evocative public art murals.

Taylor was noted for his engravings and woodcuts. Less well known are his murals. Late in his career, Taylor created twelve of these arresting and beautiful public artworks. Tragically, some have been destroyed, and others presumed lost – until now.

 Bronwyn Holloway-Smith is an investigative artist and researcher based at the Massey University’s College of Creative Arts. The search for the murals was spearheaded by her and this has led to the establishment of the New Zealand Mural Heritage website and register, to protect other vulnerable public artworks.

Linda Hopkins RLIANZA | Librarian

Devonport Library

Ngā Pātaka Kōrero o Tāmaki Makaurau - Auckland Libraries

Ph 09 8904956 Extn (46 4956) 3 Victoria Road, Devonport

Twitter: Auckland Libs

Thousands Flock to NZ's Largest Writers Festival

Women and men of all ages and children young and old flocked to the Auckland Writers Festival this week, which broke its own record with more than 74,000 seats filled across six days of tremendous conversations, performances, speeches and stand-up and long signing queues stretched across the foyers in the Aotea Centre.

 The programme, the Festival’s most ambitious yet, hosted 230 of New Zealand and the world’s best novelists, playwrights, song writers, scientists, historians, children’s writers, illustrators, journalists and poets who took to the streets, filled the halls and entertained in the sparkling Festival tent, bringing extraordinary new ideas, and words to the thousands who came to see them.

Auckland Writers Festival director Anne O’Brien says the result is testament to people’s hunger for more substantive conversations and a deeper understanding of the world and each other.

 “This has been an exhilarating six days with remarkable people and conversations on stage and in the foyers.

“We are living in charged times; rising inequality, #metoo, AI with its ethical quandaries and rapidly changing patterns of human behaviour to name a few. We heard these issues reflected across genres, in impassioned speeches and in sublime readings.

“We farewell these remarkable writers but are left inspired by their stories, and with a deeper understanding of the role we, as individuals, can play in the world.”

Witi Ihimaera received a sustained standing ovation as this year’s Honoured New Zealand Writer as did Fiona Farrell who delivered a thought-provoking lecture on the truth in fiction. Comedian and memoirist Robert Webb reduced us to tears of laughter and brought heart-warming insight into what it meant to be a man in the 21st Century. High-profile public intellectual A.C. Grayling expertly opened our eyes to the precariousness of democracy and Indian politician and writer Shashi Tharoor delivered an impassioned speech on the wreckage that colonialism brought to his country. The Black Friars gave a spontaneous gift-in-song to Damon Salesa at the end of his Michael King Memorial Lecture. Scottish historian, Rosemary Goring entered and exited the stage to bagpipes. Popular US neuroscientist David Eagleman provided an extraordinary insight into brain plasticity and its potential for our justice system. The future of humans in our socially wired world was compellingly reflected in Emma Mary Hall’s We May Have to Choose solo performance, with many parallels seen in ‘Big History’ expert David Christian’s talk about our transition from living in a biosphere to a knowledgesphere.  Karl Ove Knausgaard confirmed his position as a writer rock star, with audience members proclaiming their love for him in question time!

Hundreds of people converged upon Call On O’Connell for an eclectic variety of short but sharp events that were by parts funny, moving and zany. The Auckland Town Hall was given over to the kids at Family Day on Sunday, and they were treated to performances of the wild and wacky variety. Audiences packed the Heartland Festival room to hear revealing conversations and powerful performances from songwriters Nadia Reid, Lawrence Arabia and Moana Maniapoto.

More than 6,500 students, from as far afield as Christchurch, filled the Aotea Centre for inspiring sessions with writers from Britain, US, Australia and New Zealand. 

The cream of this country’s writers received honours at the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards –the opening event in the Festival’s public programme which this year celebrates its 50th anniversary. Pip Adam was presented with the $50,000 Acorn Foundation Fiction Prize – inflation adjusted to $52,000.
This year’s Sarah Broom Poetry Prize, judged by New York cultural icon, Eileen Myles, went to Wellington’s Jane Arthur and the inaugural $10,000 Michael Gifkins Prize went to Ruby Porter.

Auckland Writers Festival Board Chair, Pip Muir, says it is a real privilege to be part of an organisation that demonstrates such commitment to the power of words and the discourse of ideas.

 “I sincerely thank the Festival staff for their hard work and tenacity delivering this truly world-class event and to the sponsors and patrons for their generosity and loyal support.

“This Festival has been an outstanding success. It will be a hard one to beat!” says Ms Muir.
The Auckland Writers Festival warmly thanks Platinum Partner Heartland Bank; Gold Partners: The University of Auckland, Freemasons Foundation, Ockham and Creative New Zealand; and all our Silver, Bronze and Supporting Partners and Patrons.

Winner Sarah Broom Poetry Prize 2018

Wellington poet Jane Arthur is the winner of the Sarah Broom Poetry Prize 2018.

Arthur is a Wellington-based poet with a Masters in Creative Writing from IIML at Victoria University, a Whitireia Polytech Diploma in Publishing and an MA in English from the University of Auckland. She has worked as an editor and bookseller for over 15 years and co-founded The Sapling, a NZ children’s website. Her poems have appeared in numerous journals.

Stuart Airey, Wes Lee and Robyn Pickens joined Arthur as prize finalists at the Sarah Broom Poetry event at the Auckland Writers Festival on Sunday 20 May. Each read work from their prize submissions, introduced by Paula Green, who stood in for guest judge and New York poetry icon, Eileen Myers.

Myers described the quality of the entries for the prize as ‘really high’.  After whittling down the list, they said ‘there’s an incredible intimacy about sharing that moment with a group of writers you’ve never met and then hunkering down finally with a small bunch of them’.

Of Arthur, Myers said that ‘poetry’s a connection to everything which I felt in all these poets but in this final winning one the most. There’s an unperturbed confident “real” here.’
The Sarah Broom Poetry Prize was established to celebrate the life and work of Sarah Broom (1972-2013), author of Tigers at Awhitu and Gleam.  It is now in its fifth year, and we are pleased again to be working together with the Auckland Writers Festival to showcase and celebrate New Zealand poetry

Ockham NZ Book Award for Illustrated Non-Fiction

Tuai: A Traveller in Two Worlds wins Ockham NZ Book Award for Illustrated Non-Fiction!

Last night Tuai: A Traveller in Two Worlds won the 2018 Ockham New Zealand Book Award for Illustrated Non-Fiction. Congratulations to authors Alison Jones and Kuni Kaa Jenkins!

Tuai tells the story of a young Ngare Raumati chief from the Bay of Islands, who travelled to England in 1817 – becoming one of the first Māori travellers in Europe.
But on returning to his Māori world in 1819, Tuai found there were difficult choices to be made. His plan to integrate new European knowledge and relationships into his Ngare Raumati community was to be challenged by the rapidly shifting politics of the Bay of Islands.

The Ockham Award judges said:

‘Tuai: A Traveller in Two Worlds presents an evocative picture of young Māori travelling to England; their encounters with people, illness and industry there, and their return home. Tuai is empathetically written, providing the reader a window into a contested time of meeting, conversion and enterprise. The text and illustrations work in concert, presenting a rounded and rich experience for the reader, enhancing the breadth and depth of the research explored within. Key moments are presented so richly that they envelop and captivate the imagination. The care the authors have given these histories, acknowledging the autonomy that mātauranga Māori has in wider Aotearoa historical narratives, is striking, and we need more of it.’

We're putting together our BWB Winter Series programme, with exciting talks around the country – keep an eye on our emails and social media for details. First event is on 28 May with Martin Edmond in Wellington!

Bridget Williams Books 
Published by Bridget Williams Books July 2017| RRP: $45.00
ISBN: 9780947518806

Friday, May 18, 2018

The Roundup with PW


Writers Fight Liu Xia's House Arrest: More than two dozen writers, poets, and artists have called for the release of the imprisoned widow of Chinese Nobel Peace Prize-winner Liu Xiaobo.

Stan Lee Sues POW! Entertainment: The 95-year-old Marvel comics impresario claims POW! executives stole rights to his name in a "sham deal" with a Chinese company.

Sweden Cancels Elsevier Contract: Following France and Germany, Swedish universities have moved to cancel their contracts with the journal publisher over open access concerns.

Rereading 'Little Women': Could Louisa May Alcott's classic, which turns 150 this year, mean as much to a reader in her 30s as it might have in adolescence?

Remembering Tom Wolfe: Adam Gopnik reflects on the career and life of "one of the central makers of modern American prose."

Publishers Lunch


Today's Meal

CEO of Penguin Random House Canada Brad Martin will retire as of June 30. He began his publishing career in 1981 as a sales representative at McClelland & Stewart, and became ceo of Random House Canada in 2007. President and publisher Kristin Cochrane will take over as ceo, and will join the PRH global executive committee. Cochrane joined the company in 2005 as associate publisher at Doubleday Canada. (With her appointment, both PRH US and PRH Canada will have female ceos.)

PRH ceo Markus Dohle writes of Cochrane, "As a leader, Kristin has an impressive track record of mentoring and empowering her publishing teams to make our iconic Canadian imprints even more successful. Her focus on creating and enhancing the distinct identity and direction for each of our imprints, while sharing best practices across them, has been instrumental in helping to make Penguin Random House Canada the publishing powerhouse it is today."

As for Martin, he writes: "Brad's hands-on approach and deep understanding of the business has helped to ensure that our Canadian operation has delivered multiple years of record performance, and under his direction, Penguin Random House Canada also leads the industry in cultural and philanthropic initiatives.... During the ten years Brad and I have closely worked together, I have admired his commitment to the advancement of our company, his appreciation and support for his team, and most of all, his dedication to this business we all love. Penguin Random House is today stronger than ever because of him."

At Penguin Books, Victoria Savanh has been promoted to associate editor. Elizabeth Vogt and Gretchen Schmid both move up to assistant editor.

Albert Lee has joined United Talent Agency as a literary agent. He was formerly at Aevitas Creative Management.

Arielle Kane has joined Restless Books in the newly created role of cfo. Previously she was a marketing manager at Atria Publishing Group.

Jack Joseph will leave his position as director of direct-to-consumer sales at Arcadia Publishing on June 15 to become partner and vice president of Nextone Content Group

broadsheet 21 features Mark Young

broadsheet 21 features Mark Young (Australia/NZ)


The latest issue of broadsheet 21, May 2018, features the Australian-based poet and editor Mark Young, who was born in New Zealand in Hokitika. Young is one of New Zealand’s most published contemporary poets overseas and the issue celebrates his contribution to world literature.

Poets included are: Tony Beyer, Alan Brunton (1946-2002), Thomas Fink (USA), Michele Leggott, Sheila E Murphy (USA), Michael O’Leary, Lisa Samuels, Pete Spence (Australia), Eileen R Tabios (USA), Mercedes Webb-Pullmann, and Ian Wedde.

The editor Mark Pirie writes in his Preface:

“Mark Young, the Australian-based poet and editor of Otoliths, is a poet originally from New Zealand and internationally published.  He is one of our most published poets overseas, where he has produced many collections of his poetry,  including the 600 page, ‘at least nine new books in one’, The Codicils.

He has been around in periodical form since the publication of his poem ‘Lizard’ in the New Zealand Listener in 1959. Other early work featured in Arena, Experiment, the New Zealand Poetry Yearbook and Argot in the early 1960s.

I first came across his work when Alan Brunton sent me a review copy of The Right Foot of the Giant as editor of JAAM magazine in 2000. Alan’s publication helped re-establish his reputation as one of our best contemporary poets. It included poems like ‘In Memoriam: Robert Desnos’.

It’s surprising that his work isn’t as known as that of his contemporaries like Ian Wedde, David Mitchell, Bill Manhire, Peter Olds and others,  in New Zealand, because that is the class of company he keeps.
He remains a fascinating literary figure on both sides of the Tasman, editing the online journal Otoliths, a magazine of many e-things, which includes a wide variety of poetry forms and features poetry as contemporary art and image texts from writers internationally.
An innovative practitioner, both in technique and methodology, he remains an elusive figure in New Zealand where he was born in Hokitika in 1941. I am lucky enough to feature his work in broadsheet and promote it to a New Zealand audience.

I would like to thank the writers who replied to the invite I sent out on advice from Mark Young himself, and indebted to writers like Ian Wedde, Michele Leggott, Thomas Fink (USA), Lisa Samuels, Eileen R Tabios (USA), Mercedes Webb-Pullmann, Pete Spence (Australia), and Sheila E Murphy (USA) for sending in work and appearing alongside Mark Young.
Two previously published poems by Alan Brunton also reappear with permission of his estate in recognition of the work Alan did in collecting Young’s work from the 1960s/1970s in his first major book, The Right Foot of the Giant.
Michael O’Leary’s recent unpublished poem on Paul McCartney’s December Auckland concert is another gem I have included outside of the main feature.
Mark Pirie
Wellington, May 2018″

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Tauranga Arts Festival

Escape! to the great outdoors

A perfume from Saudi Arabia that evoked the country’s landscape crystallised a business idea for Tauranga couple Serena and Harold Jones – using scent to create a unique sense of place.

The result is Queenstown Natural Perfumiers, which debuted its collection last year. “Our natural environment is New Zealand’s true luxury. It’s totally amazing and often undervalued,” says Serena Jones, who has studied botany and horticulture.

“Queenstown Lakes is among New Zealand’s finest landscapes so we sought to find and express the region’s essential scents.”

After 2 years of research and development involving professional perfumiers in New Zealand and France, the keen trampers and bush walkers released four scents – Mountain Herbs, Wilderness Berries, Lakeland Flora and High Country Tussock.

The perfumes will be available to sample at the Escape! festival in Tauranga early next month as part of Scents of a Landscape on Sunday, June 3 with Harold Jones, who is also a poet (AUP New Poets 4), and award-winning novelist Laurence Fearnley, discussing the power of scent to enhance feeling, awareness and memory.

Fearnley – who has been ‘scent mapping’ her Dunedin neighbourhood for 2 years – also tutors a workshop in writing “beyond the visual” on Saturday, June 2. She is working on a book of essays on scent and a novel structured like a perfume with top notes, heart notes and base notes.

Also exploring the outdoors at Escape! is Geoff Chapple who will take his audience from Cape Reinga to Bluff across the 3000km Te Araroa Walkway of New Zealand on Friday, June 1.

Chapple, who took up the project when it became clear local authorities would not, began mapping the North Island trail, talking to every council and DoC conservancy on the route but in 1997 decided the only way to whip up interest was to walk the trail and write as he went, using the new-fangled internet and so becoming one of this country’s first bloggers.

His first national interview took place near Whangarei with Radio NZ’s Kim Hill. “Listeners could hear a mad old woman cursing me – I only had one hand on the cellphone for most of the interview in case I had to fend her off.” Blog views went into the thousands.

“I was just about a vagabond,” Chapple recalls, “sleeping in public toilets on wet nights. My family and I were made very poor by that 5-month tramp and I couldn’t have done it without the support of my wife [Miriam Beatson].”

A $30,000 grant in 2002 enabled him to design and walk the South Island trail – “and I suddenly had a credit card that worked”.

Te Araroa Walkway of New Zealand officially opened on December 3, 2011 with Chapple’s guidebook published at the same time. After standing down as the trust’s chief executive in 2012, Chapple received an ONZM.

Escape! festival is in Tauranga from June 1-4. See the full programme at