Kiwi Writers Publication News Resources 

Putting the Science in Fiction

A great new resource for writers will be published next month by Writers Digest. Putting the Science in Fiction is a fabulous collection of articles about scientific topics of interest to authors. Topics are wide-ranging and include biology, medicine, computer science, geology, and space travel, among others. Each article is written by an expert in the field, many of whom also happen to be writers. The collection is edited by Dan Koboldt, and is based on his popular Science in Science in Sci Fi, Fact in Fantasy Blog. While many of the articles in the book are similar to the blog posts, they’ve all been expanded and updated for the book, plus there are some new articles as well. Best of all, New Zealand makes a great showing in Putting the Science in Fiction;four of the 59 articles were written by Kiwis! Christchurch-based authors Judy Mohr and Robinne Weiss each contributed two articles to the book. Way to go NZ! Putting the Science in Fiction is available for pre-order now, and will be released on 16 October.
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Launch – SpecFicNZ Cultural Wiki

For those living far far away from New Zealand, our country may sound distant, peculiar, full of mountains, tattooed Māori warriors, hobbits, rugby players and… what else, again? Stereotypes thrive out there, especially when writers look for Kiwi inspirations–only to find the same generic information over and over again. SpecFicNZ wants to change that, and you can help!

We are proud to announce the launch of the SpecFicNZ Cultural Wiki, a game-changing feature capable of influencing authors worldwide and, of course, making sure Kiwi speculative fiction writers showcase their work. What? How? | Read More...

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Resources 

Writers’ Non-Fiction Resources by Members

Many of our members have works available aimed at helping you improve your writing skills. A few of these are listed here, and we will be building up a list over at a dedicated page of Non-Fiction Resources. Do you have a resource you’d like us to let others know about? Email us at specficnz@gmail.com

Write the Fight Right, by Alan Baxter

 “The best way for a writer to learn what’s really involved in brawling, short of going down the pub and starting something.” – Pete, WA

“Based on my successful workshops, this is a short (~12,000 word) ebook all about writing convincing fight scenes. When I read a good book or story and then come across a fight scene written by an author who clearly knows nothing of fighting, it can really spoil an otherwise excellent experience. Most writers tend to regurgitate what they’ve seen on TV and in movies, converting that to text, which makes for a slow, unrealistic scene. We have the great advantage in prose that we can get into our characters’ heads, we can describe how things feel, smell and taste as well as the emotional content that film can never convey. We can also describe a far more realistic fight, with the kind of techniques and in-fighting that doesn’t show up on film, but is actually the real essence of a fight.” Alan Baxter. | Read More...

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Resources 

SpecFicNZ Manuscript Assessments

At SpecFicNZ we’re committed to helping our emerging creatives develop their craft, so we are offering up to ten (10) free manuscript assessments to members on a first-come basis (as funds allow). If you are not a member and would like to become one, information for joining up can be found here. Submissions for this programme must be speculative and can be prose (short story, novella, novel, non-fiction), poetry, or screenplay. In a single attachment (Word, rtf) include up to 6000 words (or the section break falling closest to 6000 words), your synopsis, plus a maximum of two (2) specific questions pertaining to the project that you would like help with. SpecFicNZ will endeavour to pair you with an experienced writer or editor whose work closely aligns with your own. However, if there is a particular member who you would like to have assess your excerpt, feel free to name them and we will do our best to make that happen, although we cannot make any guarantees. The final appraisal will consist of a 2-3 page document (based on the excerpt and synopsis only) with suggestions for strengthening the work to bring it to a publishable standard and might include comment on the structure, character, plot, style, and commercial nature of the project. Depending on the assessor, it may or may not include a line edit. Please note that the assessor’s suggestions may not be exhaustive and may not result in the work achieving publication. In general, appraisals should be completed and returned to you within six weeks of receipt. All forwarded materials will remain the property of the author and will be kept confidential. Send your submission to specficnz@gmail.com with Manuscript Assessment and your name in the subject line. | Read More...

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Resources SpecFicNZ Writing Grants 

Creative NZ Book Sales Survey

SpecFicNZ is working with Creative NZ to survey the number of print books sold in New Zealand. Specifically we would like our members to reply to this email with information on the following questions for each title you have written or published: 1. Title of the book: 2. Genre of the book: 3. Number of PRINT copies sold in New Zealand during the calendar year 2015   This information will be collated and names and titles will not be used, we are only gathering statistics of sales volume by genre…. | Read More...

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How to Find Short Story Markets

Some people seem to always know about cool open calls for submission or new markets. How to they do that? If you’re serious about sending short fiction to paying markets, you’ll want to look at sites like The Submission Grinder and Duotrope. They are both similar, but Duotrope has a few additional features (like sending a weekly email newsletter of new markets), and costs a fee to use. I’ll mainly be giving examples from the Grinder, which is free to use for all its features. Search These sites are search engines for fiction markets… | Read More...

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Marketing Experience

By Darian Smith Marketing is not something I’m good at. It’s not my interest and that’s okay. I love creating stories and writing them for others to enjoy and that should be enough. “If you build it, they will come.” Right? WRONG. A writer’s first job is to write a great book, this is true. But the best product, if nobody knows it exists, will never sell. If you write it, but don’t market it, no one will see it, and no one will read it. As an author –…

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How to Share Your News with SpecFicNZ Members

The SpecFicNZ website is the hub for members to get information, but it is also the way you can share your own writing news with your fellow members. Just log in to the site and start sharing! Your profile is the place to start: tell us about yourself, your work and your interests. If you want to find other members who share an interest or might be able to answer a question, you can search for members by name, region, interest, genre… just about anything that might be in their profiles! Just type a search… | 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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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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Elizabeth Knox on writing literary & genre fiction

Earlier this year, I attended WORD, the Christchurch Writers Festival, where I saw Elizabeth Knox deliver the inaugural Margaret Mahy Memorial Lecture. I was very struck by her observations about the natures of literary and of genre fiction and how these relate to her own writing. Knox’s lecture, An Unreal House Filled with Real Storms, was recorded by Radio NZ and is today being published by Victoria University Press (VUP) as a small book. I strongly recommend that you listen to Knox’s lecture when it airs (I will publish the link to the podcast on… | Read More...

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Wrapping your head around US Tax

by Beaulah Pragg What do we do, as New Zealand Authors, when faced with the prospect of interacting with the US Tax department. Instinct tells us to run before they learn our names and can come looking. Truth is, it’s not so bad. In fact, it might be a lot easier than you’ve been led to believe. Disclaimer: I’m not an accountant (much less an American one), so this article is just my interpretation of the rules I’ve read. It’s your responsibility to check out these documents yourself and ask for independent advice. The context… | Read More...

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Self-publishing illustrated print books in NZ

Next up in our series on self-publishing in New Zealand Aotearoa: James Russell of Dragon Brothers Books decided to self-publish his illustrated children’s books here in NZ (he had them printed in China). Following his experience, he has written a guide to self-publishing in NZ. Some of it is specific to illustrated books and to children’s books, but a lot of it is useful general information. You can read his guide here, which we publish here with kind permission of the author. James is very willing to be contacted with questions about… | Read More...

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Self-publishing tips: ebooks

  by Darusha Wehm Based on an article originally posted on my website Here are some technical tips on creating your own ebooks for self-publishing. Before we get into nuts and bolts, though, here are some things to think about before you worry about file formats and cover art: Take a moment to seriously think about about what you want out of self-publishing (more on this at the end of this article) Honestly determine what you can and cannot do yourself Determine what, if any, paying budget you have for the things you can’t or… | Read More...

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