The SpecFicNZ Grand Gather at UnCONventional

Are you attending UnCONventional this coming weekend?

Are you a member of SpecFicNZ or are you someone who wants to support the creation of speculative fiction in New Zealand?

We’d like to invite you to the SpecFicNZ Annual Grand Gather at UnCONventional this Sunday, June 3rd at 12:00 (noon) in the Cornwall Room of the Surrey Hotel (465 Great North Road, Grey Lynn, Auckland.). You do not have to be a member of the Con to attend, though we encourage you to attend the Con as there are many excellent events, panels and workshops happening.  You do not have to be a member of SpecFicNZ to attend, so feel free to bring those friends, fans, and relatives along. | Read More...

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Help a Woman Win a Gemmell

Just a few more days until the voting for the Gemmell Morningstar Awards closes and SpecFicNZ member Helen Lowe’s “The Heir of Night” is in the final round of voting for the category Best Fantasy Newcomer.

Please make your vote before May 31st.

All you have to do to vote now is click Here

Then click again in the circle immediately above “The Heir of Night — Helen Lowe”

By way of added incentive, no book by a woman has yet won in either the Legend or Morningstar categories. Your support could well make that a thing of the past. | Read More...

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Congratulations Alicia!

Congratulations to SpecFicNZ member Alicia Ponder for placing runner up in the Arc 1.1 Short Story Competition with her story sci-fi story “Dying for the Record”.

“The Future Always Wins” was the theme for Arc Competition. Authors were encouraged to read Arc 1.1 to gain inspiration for their own stories. The short stories are set in the near future – near enough to be recognisable, but not so near as to be boring. These speculations of the future feature technology – from robotics 
to synthetic biology to geo-engineering – but don’t neglect the all-important human element. | Read More...

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Meet a Book Cover Designer

Writers write books. And in this age of indie and self-publishing sometimes we design covers for them. Good covers. Bad covers. Covers that attract readers, or repel them. The truth is, not all writers are good cover designers or have the artistic, computer, or technological skill to pull off a good cover.

Sometimes we need to hire someone, but that can be expensive, and where and how does one find a good cover designer?

I am pleased to say, I recently “met” book cover designer Kura Carpenter through SpecFicNZ, the national speculative fiction writers organization I started in New Zealand while I lived there. | Read More...

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Call for Submissions Extended

Menial: Skilled Labor in SF anthology being put out by Crossed Genres has extended it’s deadline until June 30th.

Other people treat laborers like the dirt they work with. But skilled labor is crucial to the continuation of human culture on earth – and if we ever wish to visit the stars, skilled labor will be indispensable.

Crossed Genres wants stories about men and women who understand the nuts and bolts, the atmosphere and the water and the soil. You know – the things that keep us alive. They want characters who get their hands dirty every day; people who aren’t too proud to work their bodies at least as hard as their minds. | Read More...

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Free Promotion for Your Novel

Have a sci-fi, fantasy,or horror novel that released recently, or is coming out in the near future?

Well, you need to promote that puppy and I just stumbled upon one damn good way to do it.

Check out what StarShipSofa is doing.

They will publish the first chapter, or first ten minutes of narration of your novel (whichever comes first) and release it as a teaser with one of their weekly podcast stories.

You have to make your own audio file, make it quality, and send it to them, but I think that is some pretty amazing free publicity. | Read More...

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Novella Call for Submissions

Winter Well: Speculative Novellas of Older Women – open submissions

Crossed Genres is looking for speculative stories featuring women of advancing age (late middle age and older). They’re smart, they’re tough, and they have wills of their own.

They may be warriors, politicians, adventurers, etc. Even if they are also wives, mothers, wise women or healers, those archetypes must not be their defining characteristics. Their motivations, their driving force, must be their own. Whatever was in their past, they’re not interested in being in the background now.

Crossed Genres wants stories about women breaking free of suppression; they also want stories of women who’ve been empowered all their lives. | Read More...

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5 Ways Short Stories Can Improve Your Novel Writing

by Cassie Hart A novel is a big undertaking. In fact, the sheer size and word-count can seem daunting, not to mention the number of hours it takes to write the first draft, the second, the third, or however many you might need to get it ready for submission. However, it’s a worthwhile endeavour, and if you’ve been writing short stories for a while it is possible to make the transition to writing novels. Here are a few ways in which I’ve found a background of writing short stories can… | Read More...

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SpecFicNZ Grand Gathering at unCONventional 2012

SpecFicNZ will be holding a Grand Gathering at unCONventional, the 33rd New Zealand national Science Fiction and Fantasy convention.

The Grand Gathering will be at 12 noon on Sunday June 3rd, 2012, in the Cornwall Room of the Convention hotel: the Surrey Hotel in Grey Lynn, Auckland. Everybody is welcome – current members, prospective members, and anyone interested in meeting others involved in Kiwi SpecFic.

Four of our members have very kindly donated copies of their books – all of them signed SJV short-listed novels – which we will be giving away at the Grand Gathering , along with a bunch of SpecFicNZ-themed swag. We will also be offering a discount for people wishing to join the organization on the day, and for current members wishing to renew for 2013. | Read More...

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The Querying Quest

by Ripley Patton So, you’ve finished that novel and polished it up and now it’s time to start querying agents. Just as writing takes craft and skill, querying takes a different set of abilities and talents. It isn’t as easy as it first appears. Like novel writing, querying is a process. It is a quest. And like any heroic quest it helps to get some magical help from a mentor or wise-one before you set out on your adventure. I’m only at the beginning of the query quest myself, but… | Read More...

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The SpecFicNZ Voice

The new, revamped, SpecFicNZ e-newsletter, The SpecFicNZ Voice, launched yesterday (Monday, May 14th, 2012) and we hope you all enjoyed receiving it in your inbox and reading the four wonderful articles on Novel Writing 101.

If you are a member of SpecFicNZ and you did not receive the newsletter, please let us know and we will do our best to get it to you.

If you are a member of SpecFicNZ and prefer not to receive the newsletter or would like it to go to a different e-mail address, please contact us at and let us know. We’d can easily remove you from the mailing list or change where we send it. | Read More...

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Novel Writing Software: A Review of Scrivener

by Catherine Ford In the writing community, Scrivener is a big deal. Although there are plenty of people who don’t use Scrivener, people who do say that it changed their lives. What is Scrivener? Scrivener is a writing project management tool. It is fundamentally different from word processing software such as Word in that providing a space to write a document is only one of the many things that Scrivener can do. It is also a place to collect your research and reference pictures, character and setting sheets, plot notes,… | Read More...

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