Wednesday, May 31, 2017

University of Otago Centre for the Book Call for Papers, 2017

The University of Otago Centre for the Book is pleased to announce our sixth annual research symposium. In 2017, we are teaming up with Dunedin UNESCO City of Literature to offer a 3-day extravaganza engagement with books and culture.

The Centre for the Book Symposium will start on Tuesday evening, November 28th, with our usual public lecture at the Dunedin City Library. The lecture will feature Warwick Jordan, proprietor of Hard to Find Books, talking about his wide experience as a bookseller and the variety of book users that he supplies.

The symposium proper will take place on the University campus all day Wednesday, November 29th, at the College of Education and will feature a slate of presentations on the theme “Books and Users.”

The two-day UNESCO Creative Cities symposium will follow, with international and local keynote speakers on Thursday November 30th, followed on Friday by facilitated workshops at the Dunedin Athenaeum in the Octagon.

Please note: Thanks to generous support from the University of Otago Centre for the Book, the NZ National Commission for UNESCO and the Dunedin City Council, both of these events will be free to attend, with delegates responsible for providing their own lunch. Delegates are welcome to register for specific days or all three days.

The theme for the Centre for the Book 2017 Symposium is “Books and Users.”

Before the advent of electronic text storage, a whole realm of print existed to record and store information. From instruction manuals to phone books and encyclopedias, these publications were to be consulted rather than read. Today, increasingly, many of these works are no longer printed on paper. They are instead disseminated to users in electronic formats, often only when they are requested. This shift in media has made readers more conscious of how they use books. It also raises questions about which sort of books work well in electronic format and which do not. This symposium seeks to investigate all the ways people use books, not just consciously or as intended, but for any purpose. Some may be propping up an item of furniture in the corner; some used for artistic design; some for elegant wallpaper. Even those books that are actually read are used in many different ways: for self-exploration; for escape; for gifts to others; for inspiration. And there are the readers, an equally diverse lot: some fold down corners; some write in books (some even in ink); some insert all sorts of items such as bookmarks or for storage; others handle a book so delicately that a second reader cannot tell the book has ever been opened. Indeed, in medical contexts, ‘users’ may refer to those in control of their habit or to those harmfully addicted. Is this also true in the book world? Traditionally, libraries recorded the frequency with which books were used. Today, especially because of increased privacy concerns, such information is less publicly available, but is still being used. Indeed, publishers often place restrictions on how many times an e-text may be loaned. Institutions face pressure, often having to buy another copy after the set number of loans has been reached. The variety of uses for books and of users of books creates areas both of mutual benefit and of potential conflict. The codex is a superbly efficient and highly evolved technology with a well-established set of design conventions that permit quite distinctive uses. Change is in the wind, and the book beyond the codex is evolving in new directions, some of which will no doubt succeed and others of which are bound to fail.

Call For Papers
All of these topics are of potential interest for the Centre for the Book symposium. Whether you are an adept or an addict, whether books for you are primarily physical, spiritual or cerebral, and whether you prefer to look up information online or in print, you undoubtedly have thoughts on this topic. So please email a 250-300 word abstract of your ideas to and set aside the end of November for a thought-provoking few days of reflection and engagement with books and users of books. In short – sharpen those pencils!

Abstracts must be received by 1 October 2017, with a final programme announced by mid-October. If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Donald Kerr ( or Dr. Shef Rogers (

*For those library staff wanting to attend this event, please see their library manager first.  

Please pass this Call for Papers to other interested parties.

Dr. Donald Kerr
Special Collections Librarian

University of Otago

P.O. Box 56

Dunedin, New Zealand

Phone: (03) 479-8330

University of Otago Centre for the Book:
Bibliographical Society of Australia and New Zealand
Supporter of Dunedin’s UNESCO City of Literature status
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Current Exhibition: 500 Years On. Martin Luther and the Protestant Reformation
24 March to 9 June 2017

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Although Johnson published a book of poetry, The Man Among the Seals, at 19 and earned bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Iowa, "addictions to alcohol and drugs, including heroin, derailed him.... Johnson initially believed that sobriety would damage his creativity, but later realized that his addictions were not fueling much writing."
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Off the Shelf

By Julianna Haubner    |   Tuesday, May 30, 2017
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Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Michael King Fellowship awarded for book on New Zealand music composition

The $100,000 Michael King Fellowship has been given to award winning author and composer Dr Phillip Norman to create a history of New Zealand composers and their work from the start of European settlement to present day.

Christchurch-based Dr Norman will use the fellowship to complete a lifetime of work studying New Zealand classical music identifying influential composers, works and performances, and tracing key developments through the decades.

“In the 1890s, when composer Alfred Hill was influential, concert goers would queue for hours to hear his latest work performed,” Dr Norman said.  “Music was the primary form of entertainment so people were hugely interested in anything new and there was a great depth of activity and performance.

“The type of music composed also changed over the decades. The formation of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra (NZSO) in 1946 inspired orchestral and instrumental composition. Prior to that people mostly composed for choirs, individual singers or pianists because that’s who the performers were,” he said.

The book will provide a greater understanding of the country’s composers and their sounds, achievements, preoccupations as well as the challenges they faced. It will complement Dr Norman’s biography of Douglas Lilburn: His Life and Music, which won a Montana Book Award in 2007.

Creative New Zealand chief executive Stephen Wainwright said, “Dr Norman is a leading scholar who has the skill to write an authoritative as well as highly readable account of the people and music that made an important contribution to the country’s arts, cultural and social history”.

Dr Norman has compiled three editions of the Bibliography of New Zealand Compositions including biographies of some 120 New Zealand composers and descriptions of 4000 of their works.
He has co-authored, edited or contributed to numerous other books and publications on New Zealand music. From 1980-1991 he was the principal music reviewer for The Press in Christchurch writing more than 700 reviews.

In addition to being a writer Dr Norman has composed more than 250 works, from orchestral, chamber music and opera through to choral works, musicals and ballet.  He composed music for Footrot Flats, New Zealand’s best-selling musical, and for the Royal New Zealand Ballet’s successful Peter Pan, which is shortly to receive a repeat season in Perth, Australia.

Established in 2003 and administered by Creative New Zealand, the Michael King Fellowship was renamed in recognition of the late Michael King for his contribution to literature and his role in advocating for a major fellowship for New Zealand writers.
The fellowship is available to established New Zealand authors of any literary genre with a significant publication record. It is offered biennially for writers working on a major project which will take two or more years to complete.
Previous recipients of the fellowship are Martin Edmond, Fiona Farrell, Owen Marshall, Vincent O’Sullivan, CK Stead, Rachel Barrowman, Neville Peat, Dame Fiona Kidman, Philip Simpson, Kate De Goldi, Peter Wells, Dr Peter Simpson and Elizabeth Knox.

Image: Dr Philip Norman, courtesy of Gareth Watkins/Lilburn Trust/Wallace Arts Trust


2017 CLNZ Writers' Award - Applications close 9 June

30 May 2017


CLNZ $25,000 Writers' Award 2017

applications close Friday 9 June
New Zealand non-fiction writers, including those who write for an education audience, are invited to apply for a grant of $25,000 from Copyright Licensing New Zealand (CLNZ).

 The CLNZ Writers’ Award is offered to writers of any genre of non-fiction, including education works. The award enables the successful applicant to devote time to their writing project. 

The CLNZ Writers’ Award is one of the projects made possible through CLNZ’s Cultural Fund. The Cultural Fund’s objectives are to:

  • Protect - writers and publishers’ ability to earn revenue from their works
  • Support – the creation and production of new works and assist the commercial success of New Zealand works
  • Grow – the number of works created and skills in the industry

We encourage non-fiction writers to consider applying for this award.  Applications for the full range of non-fiction genre are welcome.  Applicants must be New Zealand citizens or permanent residents and writers of proven merit.

Applicants must submit details of a planned project to a selection panel. Applications must be received by 4pm on Friday 9 June 2017.

Full application details for the 2017 CLNZ Writers’ Award are available on the website: