Officed and Specific Position Committee Nominees

It is that time of year again. Time to elect your new committee to build and run SpecFicNZ over the coming year (from August to August).

We are thrilled to announce that we have many talented and qualified nominees this year.

First, we would like to present to you the Officed and Specific Position Nominees. Soon, we will also post the nominees for the five regular member seats. Each nominee has written a short blurb about themselves and why they would like to serve on the upcoming committee.

Please read these and consider your votes carefully for our AGM on August 11th, 2pm New Zealand time. Only attendees of the AGM can vote, or a proxy vote is allowed by prior arrangement in accordance with the SpecFicNZ constitution which can be found HERE (section 8.3-8.5).

Voting will be conducted my anonymous web poll during the AGM.


GRACE BRIDGES for President.

(This position is uncontested)

It was fate. My designation as the next SpecFicNZ President was pulled out of a hat at the UnConventional SpecFicNZ Gather (for a lark), and I suddenly and magically realised I actually wanted the gig. As for experience running an org, I founded my specfic publishing company, Splashdown Books, in 2009. I am also an incurably voracious reader and author of sci-fi and have two books published: Faith Awakened (2007) and Legendary Space Pilgrims (2010). I live and write from Auckland when not travelling the world.

MARK ENGLISH for Treasurer, returning

(This position is uncontested)

Currently fueling the rejections industry, but managing to squeeze new writing in between kids, work and a gaming addiction. I want to continue as treasurer for another year to better set up the role, and because being part of the SpecFicNZ Core is good fun, and is doing great things for aspiring authors.

LIZ GATENS for Secretary

(This position is uncontested)

Originally from the UK, I now live in Christchurch where it’s not only the coffee giving me the shakes. I’m avoiding my career in librarianship while I indulge my addiction to reading and writing, and learn how to live without things like a regular income or an alarm clock. I discovered the SpecFicNZ website two years ago, and have been a grateful member since. SpecFicNZ has introduced me to wonderful people, amazing opportunities, and some now very good friends. I always knew the organisation would grow, but I’ve been continually impressed by the perfect mix of personality and professionalism. I’m privileged to be nominated for the position of secretary. If selected, I will work hard to maintain the excellent standards achieved by the current secretary, and take pleasure in giving back all of the fantastic support I’ve received.


Publicity/Promotions Position

(two nominees, one of whom will be bumped to the regular member seat race if they do not win the publicity/promotions seat)


I have been reading and writing speculative fiction for as a long as I can remember, and like a lot of you I found that it’s spitting distance from impossible to get any New Zealand publisher to take this genre seriously. My solution may have been a little extreme – I quit my job, did the only publishing qualification in the country, and started my own company. Steam Press has now been running for a little over a year and we’ve released two books, have another on its way, have sold one of those books into Germany, and had Guillermo del Toro request a copy of the other. I also work at two Wellington publishers doing digital production and strategy.

So what do I think I can offer SpecFicNZ as its publicist/promotions officer? My main strength is probably that I am involved in the industry from the side that most authors don’t have access to, and I’m keen to use my knowledge and contacts to help ensure that as many authors as possible know about the organisation and that members are in the best position to achieve their writing goals. I’d like to build on SpecFicNZ’s strong history of events and competitions, structuring these so that our members can hone their skills and be given a platform to launch new projects. It’s an exciting but challenging time to be an author, creator, or editor. With the help of SpecFicNZ, I think we can achieve a huge amount.


I’m a sci-fi / fantasy author and co-founder of the Christchurch Writers’ Guild. I want to serve as the Publicist/Promotions officer because I’m excited about what SpecFicNZ is trying to achieve and know that my skills and initiative will further that goal over the coming year. I have considerable personal experience with social media and use it frequently in organizing events and competitions for my Writers’ Guild. I have a diploma in Graphic Design, so putting together design elements for web or print will be no problem. I have worked together with small teams in the past to organize events such as the Canterbury High Schools Writing Competition and the Canterbury Time Capsule (recording people’s earthquake experiences). I enjoy building networks and inspiring people to take action. Thank you for your consideration.

Webmaster Position:

Joffre Horlor, who has served as SpecFicNZ’s webmaster since its inception, has agreed to stay on as webmaster but will be stepping down from the SpecFicNZ committee. Since the website is now set up and very user friendly, Joff will be available for the occasional deeper website needs but the rest of the committee will take care of daily maintenance and posting.


We would like to thank Joff and all the outgoing members of the committee for their incredible year of service and dedication. Thank you to Ripley Patton, founder and outgoing President, Cassie Hart, founder and outgoing Secretary, Catherine Ford, outgoing Publicist, Grant Stone, founder and outgoing regular member, Elaine King, founder and outgoing regular member.

Be sure to let them know you have appreciated their service.

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