Four secondary school students will each have the opportunity to be mentored by one of New Zealand’s best professional authors in order to develop their craft and hone their writing skills.
The NZSA Youth Mentorship Programme offers aspiring young writers (aged 15-18) a mentorship, from May to November, giving them the opportunity to gain valuable skills and knowledge.
The intent of the mentor programme is to foster and develop emerging writing talent with the support of established authors.
Aspiring Auckland writer Xiaole Zhan, was partnered with poet and editor Ivy Alvarez for her mentorship and had this to say about her experience: “I enjoyed how the mentorship was very individualised to my personal goals and needs. I also enjoyed the opportunity for open discussion which often helped me approach a concept from a different perspective. The opportunity to submit reworked sections of my manuscript for feedback also allowed me to see the ways in which I’d improved.”
Hannah Turnbull of Gisborne was partnered with award winning novelist Anna Mackenzie for her mentorship and she commented: “I feel like I can go on from this with the skills needed to write a decent story. I still have a lot to learn, but that comes with the process, and I’ve been given the guidance I need from Anna to make that journey on my own”.
The New Zealand Society of Authors Te Puni Kaituhi O Aotearoa (PEN NZ) Inc is the principal organisation representing writers in New Zealand. We offer support through advocacy and representation, professional development opportunities, information and guidance on publishing and the literary arts, administer prizes and awards and provide a contract advisory service. We work to protect authors incomes and are affiliated to International PEN, whereby we are a voice that upholds freedom of speech and protest against writers falsely silenced and imprisoned around the world.
We offer student, associate and full memberships. Our many assessment and mentorship programmes, such as our annual Youth mentorships, are offered with the support of Creative New Zealand.