SpecFicNZ is the lovechild of American writer Ripley Patton who moved to New Zealand in 2006 only to find there was no association in her new country for those who write science fiction, fantasy, horror, and all the weird stuff that falls between the cracks of those three.
After several years of wallowing in writerly isolation, Ripley decided to do something about it. So, in early 2009, she began cold-emailing anyone and everyone she could find associated with New Zealand speculative fiction.
By March of that year, she had managed to collect a dozen like-minded Kiwis willing to invest their personal time, effort, and loose change to start a writers organization from scratch.
The Core, as they affectionately refer to themselves, included:
- Marie Hodgkinson, editor of Semaphore Magazine
- Lee Pletzers, writer, novelist, and founder of Masters of Horror and SyFy and Triskaideka Books
- Simon Petrie, writer, ASIM editor and coop member, and two-time Aurealis Awards judge
- Grant Stone, writer and 2009 Sir Julius Vogel short story award winner
- Anna Caro, writer, editor, and Au Contraire committee member
- Cassie Hart, writer and Kiwi Writers staff member
- Karen Johnson Mead, writer and Triskaideka Books staff member
- Morag Gray, writer and librarian extraordinaire
- Pat Whitaker, writer and novelist
- Paul Heinz, writer and software designer
- Elaine King, writer
- Ripley Patton, writer and Wily Writers Group co-founder
- And David Bishop, award winning author, screenwriter, and comics editor who kindly acted as a consultant to the Core in the very beginning
The SpecFicNZ Newsletter
In September of 2009, SpecficNZ started publishing a free monthly newsletter containing spec fic news, events, networking opportunities, market information, and publication announcements. Subscribers include both small and major New Zealand publishers of speculative fiction as well as new and experienced writers and editors. A subscription to the newsletter can be obtained by e-mailing a request to specficnz(at)gmail(dot)com until the end of 2010. In 2011 the newsletter will become a benefit of paid SpecFicNZ membership.
New Zealand Spec Fic Blogging Week
Also on September 14-20th, 2009, SpecFicNZ’s Anna Caro instituted the first annual New Zealand Spec Fic Blogging Week, seven days for bloggers from around the world to focus on our craft and our country. New Zealand Spec Fic Blogging Week did indeed catch the attention of the global community and was featured on The World SF News Blog AND short-listed for a Sir Julius Vogel Award 2010 for Services to Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror.
In 2010, we celebrated New Zealand Spec Fic Blogging Week again from September 13-19 and racked up 58 posts by various bloggers which can be read here.