Here's hoping everyone's having a wonderful 2023 so far! Fresh off the back of a scroll-free February where I buried social media in a hole in the garden (a period I began with twitchy fingers but finished feeling free), more writerly endeavours came to fruition, so this is a just a brief update to keep you in the loop!
The Oxford Flash Fiction Prize
I was thrilled this month to make the short list for the Oxford Flash Fiction Prize! I can't share my piece here, since it will now appear in the next Oxford Flash Fiction Prize anthology along with the finalists and other short-listees - but if you love pointed, perfectly formed fiction with bite, I urge you to go read the winning entries here - they are brilliant!
I'm also happy as a clam to have a poem feature in the latest issue of the award-winning publication 1964: mountain culture / aotearoa, a quarterly print and digital magazine founded in Aotearoa New Zealand. I'm so proud to be a contributor and have had some non-fiction and photography feature previously - this is my first poem to appear in print! Head to www.1964.co.nz to take a look around and perhaps sneak a peek at a digital copy - issues are available in various locations in New Zealand and on subscription.
The Kāpiti Writers Retreat
I don't want to head away without mentioning the Kāpiti Writers Retreat, which I attended at the end of February. The teaching writers were amazing, with Catherine Chidgey, Coco Solid, Gem Wilder, Rebecca Priestley, Sinead Overbye, and Therese Lloyd present holding sessions, discussions, and workshops. The organisers at Writers Practice put together a monumental programme and brought wonderful people together in a supportive and stimulating environment to connect and create.
I attended a deeply moving two-day workshop on Writing About Nature While the World is Burning, with science writer Rebecca Priestley, associate professor at the Centre for Science in Society at Te Herenga Waka – Victoria University of Wellington. It was incredible to gather with like-minded writers, think deeply, and produce a piece linked to our location - the beautiful Waikanae River. I left feeling encouraged, uplifted, and motivated, despite having tapped into a profound shared grief and anxiety at what we face in the world - and what the world faces, both because of and in spite of us. Writers have the ability to change hearts and minds with their words - and this means they have the power to help change the world. My current work in progress (a novel, a novel!) holds this belief at its core and is deeply rooted in nature - the treasure that not only surrounds us but that is us, and that we all need to guard.
There are more creative pokers in the fire that I hope to see emerge all aglow soon - so watch this space for more announcements!