European Tax Changes – and how they affect Kiwi writers

Please be aware that I am not an accountant and the below information reflects my understanding of the situation. I highly recommend reading the links I’ve given at the end.

On 1 January 2015, European VAT law is changing. Instead of the old method of applying VAT at the seller’s location, it will now apply to the buyer. This means that if you sell directly to anyone in Europe, you will be liable to pay VAT to their country’s government – with all the administration that entails, including detailed record-keeping and quarterly returns to each of the 28 countries if you’ve sold even one item in each. Not fun! | Read More...

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Summer Review Competition

Our next competition is all about crafting a review. Choose a work of speculative fiction – preferably with a New Zealand connection – that you enjoyed, and write a review of 500-1000 words. Entries will be judged by David Larsen, freelance journalist and regular contributor to the New Zealand Listener and Metro.

A successful review:

  • Is clear and follows a well structured argument
  • Gives the reader a sense of what the book set out to do and how successful it was
  • Backs up claims made by the reviewer with evidence from the text
  • Gives a sense of the plot without spoilers
  • Is interesting to read
  • Demonstrates the relevant degree of familiarity with the genre
  • Comes to a clear conclusion, enabling the reader to decide whether they might like to also read the book.


This competition is open to SpecFicNZ members only – new members are always welcome. Email your review to specficnz.fiction(at)gmail(dot)com as a .doc .docx or .rtf file, no later than midnight on 14 February 2015. Include your name in the email but not in the attached document. Multiple submissions are permitted to a maximum of 3 – please send a separate email for each review. | Read More...

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How did we do in 2014?

As 2014 draws to a close, we wanted to check in with all the members of SpecFicNZ about how the organisation is doing, what you’re finding valuable, and what you’d like to change. As a reminder, here are some of the things we’ve done in 2014: Continued developing a grant funding programme (look out for more details in 2015) Held members’ meet-ups around the country Run members-only writing competitions Established an online critique group Developed the website to include online networking Streamlined the membership renewal process Encouraged publishers to give… | Read More...

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NZ Book Council to begin reviewing YA books

News for all you self-publishers of YA fiction: here’s something to add to your list of review outlets in New Zealand. The New Zealand Book Council Te Kaunihera Pukapuka o Aotearoa is in the process of expanding its communications to include reviews of YA and children’s books. The changes will include: moving the School Library newsletter from a quarterly to a monthly publication; moving from a static PDF to a dynamic blog; strategic use of the Writers in Schools Facebook page; and running timely and regular reviews of new books for children and teens. The… | Read More...

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In the News 

The Mussel Eater

“The Mussel Eater” by Octavia Cade, in The Book Smugglers, November 2014.

The Pania is sitting in a rock pool, grooming. Karitoki can’t help but be fascinated – Pania usually stay in their packs, out beyond the harbour and away from town. Even living by the ocean as he does, he has never been so close to one before.

“I was curious,” she says, when he asks her. She has seen him eyeing her, seen him moving closer, and holds out one of her hands. It is stronger than his, and the nails are pointed. “Are you curious, too?” | Read More...

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Submission Opportunity: Eastern Iowa Review

This is a new literary journal seeking fiction and non-fiction (and art if anyone is so inclined). I am helping select the fiction – all genres are welcome and I would love to see some speculative work! BUT it *has* to be literary, i.e. a focus on beautiful language (we love description!); AND for this particular journal, we are looking for “good spaces”. This doesn’t mean nothing bad can happen, but please do leave us satisfied at the end and try to avoid dwelling on anything pessimistic, religious, or sexual. We want it to be kid-friendly. The ideal submission is brief, lushly written, with immersive description. Vignettes are cool when they pack a punch of positive energy. And does anyone have some black and white speculative art? | Read More...

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Congratulations to our Spooky Stories winners!

Halloween adaptation of SpecFicNZ logo with text "Spooky Stories Competition"This Halloween, we asked for your spookiest stories, and you delivered. Judged by author Alan Baxter, the calibre of entries was high enough that we awarded two first places, to ‘The One’ by Jo Tomlinson and ‘Bridge’ by Dan Rabarts. Third place was won by I. K. Paterson-Harkness with ‘Bad House’. Congratulations to all our winners, and thank you to everyone who entered.

Read on for the winning stories, and for Alan’s comments.

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Win a copy of The Slow Regard of Silent Things

Thanks to our friends at The Realm (Hachette NZ), we have a copy of Patrick Rothfuss‘ The Slow Regard of Silent Things to give away!

To enter, email us at with ‘The Slow Regard of Silent Things’ in the subject line and your delivery address in the message body. By entering, and if you win, you agree for your address to be passed on to Hachette NZ for the sole purpose of posting you your book. A winner will be chosen at random on 28 November 2014. You must be a current member of SpecFicNZ to enter. We welcome new members, so join today! | Read More...

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Networking: a guide for self-publishers

And now in our series of guides for self-publishers: networking! From your friendly SpecFicNZ publicist. Networking can be a bit of a tricky one. As with all self-promotion, it takes us into that murky area where we’re not sure whether social norms or market norms apply, and that uncertainty can lead to crossed wires and general uncomfortableness. (For more on this topic from a behavioural economics perspective, I recommend Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely.) But, done sensitively and well, successful networking can be a huge boost for your writing career… | Read More...

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Congratulations to our First Sentence Draw winners!

Buller's picture of HuiaEarlier this month we asked you to post the first sentence of your work in progress. We picked three at random to receive a beautiful Buller’s Birds notebook kindly donated by Te Papa Press.

Our winners are as follows:

Dan Rabarts – “The body fell, almost graceful, a teardrop falling into oblivion, an arc of red twisting across the desert sky”.

Darusha Wehm – “Condensation pooled on the plastic tablecloth at the base of the beer bottle”.

Summer Wigmore – “The man in the cell sat at the back, leaning calmly against the wall”. | Read More...

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Share your recommendations for the Sir Julius Vogel Awards

Now that nominations are open for the 2014 Sir Julius Vogel Awards, we thought it would be great to get recommendations for your favourite eligible Kiwi works.

Head over to the SJV Recommendation group, and post your favourite novels, novellas, short stories, collections and related works for other members to check out. Feel free to post about your own eligible works there as well. Information about eligibility is at the SFFANZ site.

And don’t forget to nominate your favourites. Information about how to nominate is over at SFFANZ. | Read More...

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