Newsletter November 22

by | Dec 6, 2022


Writing Courses from Janice Marriott

November 2022 Newsletter



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Go Write Now November 2022 Newsletter Page 1

Congratulations to all those who have been listed on the Notable Books List for 2022 and who have had something to do with Go Write Now. Some of us had a wonderful time at the National LIbrary where certificates were presented. For me this is always an opportunity to meet GWN clients face to face instead of on my computer.

That is Kate Preece and Pippa Ensor on Page 1, writer and illustrator of One Weka Went Walking. This picture book, about birds on the Chatham Islands, where Kate is from, has natural rhymes and easy rhythms, and the birds are so beautiful to look at.

Here below is Janine Williams whose historical novel is a well-researched picture of the 50’s in NZ when many ex-soldiers were finding it hard to fit back into civilian life, girls left school to help with family finances and a boy drams of becoming a jockey.

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And directly above is Arlo Kelly, a high school student , the youngest client GWN has ever had, whose novel about a visually challenged boy and a whale is a wonderful junior fiction read. There were quite a gasps when he went up to receive his certificate and people realised how young he is.

And more congratulations!
Congratulations to Kathryn Van Beek who will be the Robbie Burns Fellow in Otago for 2023.

The second book in the Ooey Gooey series has been launched and is just as much gooey fun as the first. Ooey Gooey Gone.

In Ooey Gooey Surprise, Joe attempts to make a birthday cake for Pop – resulting in more ooey gooeyness!.

Karen has been mentored by Go Write Now for several years.

Congratulations to Jess Arcus who writes,
“I made it into the NZ poetry slam final ! It was such a good experience – my first time in a poetry slam was a couple of months ago in Christchurch, so this was the biggest audience I’ve had for sure, but although I was a bit nervous leading up to it, once I was on the stage actually performing it was really fun. It was such a great chance to meet some new poets and organisations who help run cool performance poetry events. There was a poets showcase afterwards at a different venue so I was able to perform another couple of poems which were really well received so that was just lovely. I meet the woman who is one of the editors for the upcoming NZ performance poetry anothology, coming out with Auckland University Press. Upon asking my last name she was able to remember the poem I’d submitted which will be published, and quoted lines from it to me, saying how much she loved it – she said they’d read through 600 poems and accepted 90, so that was a nice ego boost haha.
I also got a poem published in the Catalyst Literary Arts journal last month.”

This is a very impressive list of successes.



Submissions for the 2023 NZ Book Awards for Children and Young Adults close on 13 December 2022 for titles with release dates between 1 April 2022 and 31 March 2023. If your book is a trade publication your publisher should have submitted it but if your book is self published you must do this yourself. Don’t forget!


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Cloud Ink submissions

Cloud Ink will be accepting submissions for adult or young adult fiction until 10 December 2022. “Cloud Ink is now open to considering manuscripts of a from New Zealand writers who are citizens or permanent residents. We are looking to publishing novels which have a New Zealand flavour but will always consider other genres such as memoir and speculative fiction.

Cloud Ink operates as an independent publishing company, on the lines of a collective.
Our authors are expected to contribute to the publishing process of their own book in terms of expertise and finance. We hope that authors will be able to assist on an on-going basis, lending their expertise to future authors to help publish and market their books. Please submit only one manuscript at a time.
The manuscript should have been assessed by a professional assessor and thoroughly proof-read before you send it. Include a cover letter with your full contact details, short bio, 1-page synopsis and the first 3 chapters (or 50 pages) of your manuscript.
Please submit all materials in a single Word document (.doc or .docx). We prefer 1.5 or double line spacing, and Times New Roman or other simple, clear font.
Please send the file to”


Mentoring can be useful


For the poets out there

An article about Janine Williams in the Northern Advocate mentions the mentorship that helped her when she felt she’d never finish her book. Janine won the mentorship I offer annually through Storylines. northland-authors-perseverance-with-book-pays-off-after- winning-awards/I52UM4TSQAYQYFYRLAIJKNLESU/

Students who complete any of the Go Write Now courses, or who have found assessments useful, are never left hanging. You can always be mentored by me. Email me for details if you are interested.

Submissions for Ōrongohau | Best New Zealand Poems 2022 close on 16 December 2022. Only poems or books of poems published within the calendar year are eligible.
Unpublished poems may be submitted to Turbine | Kapohau. )



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The NZSA Laura Solomon Cuba Press Prize

This is open to published and unpublished authors who are invited to enter manuscripts written across genres ie fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, drama or children’s writing, (That is all of you!)
Entries must be made on the New Zealand Society of Author’s website ( by 31 January 2023. (Make knocking your novel or poetry collection or memoir into shape a summer project.)


Books for Children for Christmas

Lauren Child’s Think Like An Elf is perfect for Christmas for both adult and child.

Roar, Squeak, Purr, the wonderful treasury of animal poems for children that I celebrated here last month features in this post on the poetrybox blog. school-children-read-poems/

Look it up to admire a selection of the charming illustrations and to hear children reading some of the poems, The whole book is genuinely heartwarming and fills me with hope in the dark times we are living through.

I notice that Gecko Press have a Look Inside page on You Tube where you can look inside their charming picture books. I was looking for Gotcha!, a picture book with paper cut outs. I found it by typing Gecko Press and Look inside Gotcha. I also looked up Sarah Davis, the Australian illustrator of The Grizzled Grist does not Exist , because a client recommended it. It is also published by Gecko. This Look Inside page is an excellent preview before going shopping, irresistible before Christmas.


More of “Update on Publishers” from clients

“I went to Joy Cowley’s website and found her ‘Advice for Budding Authors’ to be an excellent read.”

“Giltedge Publishing were extremely approachable. They are not issuing writers guidelines at this current time, as they are not looking for new authors. But they offered to keep my details on file despite my current amateur status.

“Essential Resources were very helpful. I was directed to their writers’ guidelines.where I found a downloadable pdf, ‘Developing a Resource Proposal’. I believe this is going to be a very valuable resource.”

“One Tree House have a house style detailing how they want to receive submissions. Their booklet, pdf, The Way Forward Booklet was also recommended.”


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The last tip of the year

Start your story, or your poem, or your memoir, with something particular happening, NOT with generalisations.

Tip: Never write in general terms when you are writing. Instead of saying, “We do this or that…” &c, say” One day we did …X” and make it one specific moment in time. THAT is what a story is.

“We always went for walks in the park” is never going to be as rich in story as “One day, when we were walking in the park…”

That is why ‘Once upon a time’ is the classic beginning. It is Once, not Every time or Always.


Quotes to inspire

Susan Sontag said that any technology that slows us down in our writing rather than speeding us up is the one we ought to use.


For the poets

15 November was the 100 year anniversary of when the BBC began daily broadcasting. To celebrate, the BBC have released a comprehensive collection of their poetry recordings, by decade. Find it at BBC 100 Collection. It is a huge and comprehensive site.


Spell Check Dark holes

Amateur is not the same word as armature. You know this but does your computer? *

Make sure you write this Christmas down – in a notebook, or on your computer, or on the back of wrapping paper!
Do it your way.

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I leave you with this observation:

How time flies

A client, as part of a memoir-writing exercise, wrote me this list of things we now no longer use or experience:

  • the ticking of clocks
  • rotary phones
  • card catalogues in libraries
  • film cameras
  • the slam and ding of typewriter carriages
  • the dying dot when we turn our television off
  • tying shoelaces
  • legible signatures
  • cursive writing
  • writing checks

    darned socks

  • public telephone booths
  • button boxes, needles and thread, mending
  • hand-written letters.

    It is such a lovely list!

    I thought this could make an interesting writing incentive for you. You could add to the list or create a poem out of it, or take one of those long-gone items and write a story about it.
    And send it in for inclusion in the first newsletter of 2023

    And , another time flies – the first Harry Potter film was released twenty-one years ago.


There will be no December newsletter so I wish you all a restful and creative and joyous holiday season.

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“Close your eyes, take a deep breath,
and brace yourself for the holiday season.”

Script Assessor Facebook: Go Write Now

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November 2022 Newsletter

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