Tauranga Junior Writers Month 2020 is officially over, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still watch our videos and complete the writing prompts on your own!
Bookrapt invites young writers, or those new to writing, to meet a different author from the bay and around Aotearoa each day during the month of November. In 3 minute vlogs, starting with Bookrapt’s patron Phyllis Johnston, authors will present tips and tasks that have helped them in their own writing journeys. Participants will also be given an opportunity to submit a short piece of writing each day to go into the draw for book prizes; the overall winner will win an ‘author in school’ for the school of their choice.
November 29: Piper Mejia
Piper Mejia is an advocate for New Zealand writers and literature and is a co-founder of Young NZ Writers – a non-profit dedicated to providing opportunities for young NZ writers. Her short fiction has appeared in a range of publications including Babyteeth, Conclave, Spec-Fic Short Cuts, Short Cuts Track 1, Te Korero Ahi Ka and Tricksters Treats 3. A collection of her short stories, The Better Sister, will be published by Breach in July 2020. As a child, Piper stayed up late laughing at horror films. As an adult, she spends a lot of time being disappointed by plot holes and yet somehow, she has never lost her love for Science Fiction and Horror; two genres that continue to ask the question “What if …” You can find her on New Zealand Society of Authors, Specific NZ and Tauranga Writers.
November 28: Deryn Pittar
Deryn Pittar writes Sci.Fi, contemporary and futuristic romance, Y.A. and is a published poet. She enjoys writing about the future and setting her novels there as it allows her imagination free reign and she can watch science catch up with her ideas.
November 27: Brian Falkner
Brian Falkner wanted to be an author ever since he was a child. It only took him thirty years to realise that dream. Along the way he worked as a reporter; advertising copywriter; radio announcer; graphic designer; and Internet developer.
Brian has had eighteen books published internationally. He is also an internationally acclaimed writing coach, running workshops and writing camps around Australia, New Zealand and the USA.
November 26: Rebecca Larsen
Rebecca Larsen, author and illustrator, has always had a natural talent to create and draw. As a young girl she always had colours in her hand and enjoyed creating stories and art. Row, row, row your waka was Rebecca’s first book. Having been overseas for several years, Rebecca wanted to introduce te reo in a fun way to her two pre-school boys. As the book was initially created for family, Rebecca asked her family and friends to help her develop this songbook for all tamariki around the country and overseas. Rebecca and her whānau are based in Papamoa.
November 25: Emily Harrop-Smith
Emily and Isaac write together under the pen name EK Isaacs. Together they write books about Katt Scallion, an adventuring space pirate cat.
November 24: Tom E Moffatt
Tom E. Moffatt writes adventure-comedies and jokes for kids. His first book, Barking Mad, won the Tom Fitzgibbon award and was published by Scholastic in August 2016. He has since written several books, many humorous short stories and more than a thousand original jokes. He lives in Rotorua with his wife and three young daughters, none of whom find him very funny.
November 23: Robinne Weiss
Robinne Weiss is an educator and entomologist who has never been able to control her writing habit. She writes speculative fiction, non-fiction and poetry. Her short stories have most recently appeared in Andromeda Spaceways Magazine and the anthology Te Kōrero Ahi Kā, and have won multiple awards. Robinne has published ten books, including a series of middle grade fantasy novels infested with dragons, a lighthearted urban fantasy, a book of poetry, and some rather more serious non-fiction about insects.
When not writing, she can be found outdoors gardening or hiking. Robinne lives in rural New Zealand with her husband, two teenage children, and a cat who makes dragons seem like nice safe pets.
November 22: Anne Cleary
Anne Cleary is a fiction writer who enjoys making up stories about dysfunctional and quirky characters and the situations they find themselves in. In 2017 she won the Franklin Writers’ National Short Story Competition. Her work has been published in magazines such as Mindfood, The People’s Voice and E-Local, and appeared in Things In The Well publications’ Trickster’s Treats 3 and Guilty Pleasures. She has stories in the 2016, 2017 and 2019 editions of Byline, the Tauranga Writers’ annual anthology, which she now co-edits.
November 21: Angie Belcher
Angie is a traveller, writer, storyteller and educator who eagerly shares her creativity and love of the written word to whoever will listen.
November 20: Jenny Argante
Jenny Argante is a Tauranga freelance writer and editor, who is secretary of Tauranga Writers and co-ordinating editor of Bravado, a literary arts magazine from the Bay of Plenty. She tutors online for the Waiariki Institute of Technology’s Certificate in Creative Writing. She describes herself not as a poet, but as someone who writes poetry, and thinks this is an important distinction.
November 19: Vicki Arnott
Vicki Arnott lives in rural New Zealand, surrounded by pine forest and farmland, near the foot of Mount Tarawera, a sleeping volcano, and the shores of Lake Rerewhakaaitu. She is an author of science fiction and fantasy for teens and young adults.
NOVEMber 18: AJ Ponder
A.J. Ponder lives in a hundred year old house overlooking Wellington harbour with three cats and a family all obsessed with games, books and dungeons and dragons. Apparently there’s no better place to be if you want to keep an eye on stray taniwha, while not missing out on coffee. It is often said A.J. first picked up a pen when the dinosaurs still roamed the Earth…and probably dragons as well. It was a time when everyone needed to learn sword fighting to fend off marauding T-Rex’s and so A.J. is particularly proficient at epee and foil. If A.J. has one regret, it’s not getting to the beach nearly often enough — and crashing into Santa that one time. Of course this could be seen as two regrets, but only if you happen to be counting.
A.J.’s notable and award winning short stories include; Dying for the Record, Frankie and the Netball Clone, BlindSight & Ahi Kā.
Books for younger readers include Wizard’s Guide to Wellington, The Frankie Files, Attack of the Giant Bugs (a You Choose Adventure Book), The Great Weta Robbery and Save the Moa.
November 17: Kinsa Hays
Kinsa Hays is a self-directed author, freelance journalist and artist.
November 16: Sue Copsey
Sue Copsey is a professional book editor and author, with more than 20 years’ experience in the UK and NZ publishing industries.
November 15: Dan Rabarts
Dan Rabarts is a writer of fantasy novels and speculative fiction, sometime narrator of podcasts (including stories for the Hugo award-winning StarShipSofa), occasional sailor of sailing things, and father of two wee miracles in a little house on a hill, under the southern sun.
November 14: Lee Murray
Three-time international Bram Stoker Award-finalist, Lee Murray is New Zealand’s most awarded speculative fiction writer and editor (Sir Julius Vogel, Australian Shadows). She is the author of numerous novels, novellas, and short fiction including the double award-winning Taine McKenna speculative thriller series (Severed Press), and supernatural crime-noir series Path of Ra (Raw Dog Screaming Press) which she co-writes with Wellington author, Dan Rabarts. She is proud to have edited sixteen anthologies of dark fiction. Lee lives with her family in the sunny Bay of Plenty where she conjures up stories for readers of all ages from her office overlooking a cow paddock.
November 13: Gillian Cook
Gillian Cook is the author of Hoko’s Choice – a futuristic fiction about a teenage boy in central plateau of the North Island, New Zealand.
November 12: Rachel Weston
Rachel Weston writes children’s stories from her home in Tauranga. Her two dogs are her writing buddies, sometimes they end up in her stories! Being an independent book publisher means Rachel is hands on with the whole creative process from story idea, right through to the end product of marketing and distributing the finished book. In between is writing, re-writing, re-writing … and did I mention re-writing! Research, photography, editing and overseeing illustration, book design and printing. Her first non-fiction children’s book, Bumblebees have Smelly Feet, was published in September 2019. Since then she has produced two picture books, Hello! Kia ora! Welcome new friend! And Boo goes Tutti Frutti.
November 11: Jean Gilbert
Jean Gilbert is an award-winning author. She writes modern science fiction and YA fantasy books, short stories, and non-fiction. Her books include the Vault Agency series, the Beyond the Wall series, and her latest, THE PICASSO MIRROR – an in-depth look at living with Face Blindness.
Jean has branched into screenplays writing for streaming media, movies, and promotional work, including writing assignments.
Also, Jean mentors student writers through programs run by Young NZ Writers and independent services to New Zealand schools. Besides the youth programs, Jean heads the Speculative Fiction group for the central North Island under SpecFicNZ.
November 10: Sally Mclennan
Sally McLennan has always tinkered busily with words. The result seems to be stories about worlds like our own in some ways, many silly songs, and quite a lot of good tries.
NoVember 9: Alanah Andrews
Alanah Andrews loves to read and write dystopian fiction, but probably wouldn’t last very long in a true dystopia. She teaches high school English by day and writes books at 3am. Her first book, Eve of Eridu, about a future where emotions are forbidden, was released in 2018.
November 8: Karen Cossey
Karen Cossey has always enjoyed stories and books. She loved to read curled up on her favourite chair by the window when she was a child. If she wasn’t reading, she was roaming around the farm: picking berries, making huts with her brothers and helping feed the calves. When her children were young she home-schooled them, and the best time of day was always story-time. Nowadays, she like to write stories that capture the fun of family and friendship mixed with a good mystery that keeps the reader guessing.
November 7: Andrew Corin
Andrew Corin grew up in the South Pacific and finished high school in Whangarei, before training to become a medical doctor which included a year’s break in South East Asia doing work with service organisations. Volcano relief in the Philippines and leprosy mission work in Thailand featured prominently in that year. His medical work has been in Auckland and Tauranga, with breaks to work also in Kenya and Ireland. Andrew has been a General Practitioner since 1996 and also runs a primary care based clinical research unit. Writing has been a creative release for him, both with academic and fiction projects.
November 6: Denika Mead
Denika Mead is a teenage author of children’s fantasy fiction including the Royal Orchid series.
November 5: Susan Brocker
Susan Brocker is a writer of books for older kids and teens, an animal lover and a history buff.
November 4: S R Manssen
S R Manssen released Medar in August 2017, the first book in her Realm Trilogy (fantasy fiction for young teens). Her second book, Tyrelia was released in May 2019. She is currently working on the third book in the trilogy, Golden City.
November 3: Jan Goldie
Jan Goldie is a young adult science fiction and fantasy writer based in New Zealand. She’s written short stories, a novella and one novel for young adult readers and is working on another teen novel and a picture book.
November 2: David Hair
David Hair is a New Zealand adult and YA fantasy writer and the author of The Moontide Quartet.
November 1: Phyllis Johnston
Phyllis Johnston is a children’s writer with a particular interest in New Zealand history. Phyllis has been with the Bookrapt since its first meeting in 1983 (as the Bay of Plenty Children’s Literature Association), where she was elected President, a role she held until 1996.
*The school must be located within either the Tauranga City Council or the Western Bay District Council to be eligible to win.
*Entries must be received by November 30, 2020 for consideration.