A community of writers gathers in Northland each month to support each other and to promote books, writing and local authors.

The Northland branch of the New Zealand Society of Authors (NZSA) was formed in 1996, and some of the original members still play central roles in the organisation. The group has expanded to include around 80 members who come from all over Northland — from farmland, bush and coastal settlements and the towns of Whangarei, Kaitaia, Kerikeri and Dargaville.

The branch meets on the third Saturday of each month in different locations around the region. Often, the group meets in a member’s home and writers catch up and report in on their successes over the month.

NZSA Northland chairperson Margaret Cahill said this collegial gathering provided an antidote to the isolation of writing.

“Meeting in this way provides a support base for writers, who often work alone and for extended periods without feedback on their work,” she said.
The branch also organises events to profile local authors, provide professional development for writers and encourage the wider community to buy and read New Zealand books.

In 2016, this included the NorthWrite 2016 Competition for Northland writers, a flash fiction event in June and a New Zealand Book Week event in October that promoted local authors.

At a national level, NZSA advises, supports and represents New Zealand writers of all genres and formats at all stages of their career. It provides professional development programmes and services, information on the publishing industry and on awards, fellowships, grants and other opportunities. The organisation also advocates for writers, offers a members’ consultancy service and fights for freedom of expression through its affiliation to International PEN. There are membership options for published authors, non-published writers and students.

For further information go to www.authors.org.nz.

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