Four secondary school writers win mentorships with professional authors

Four talented secondary school students have been selected as winners of the New Zealand Society of Authors (PEN NZ Inc) Youth Mentorship Programme 2017. This year NZSA has awarded four youth mentorships rather than the usual three writers as each of these finalists are at the perfect stage to hone their writing skills and develop their craft under the mentorship of four of New Zealand’s finest professional authors.

The 2017 recipients are Zak Devey from Liston College in Waitakere, Ioana Manoa from Northcote College on Auckland’s Northshore, Helen Oliver from Tawa College in Tawa, Wellington and Aislinn Roodt who is a home schooled student living in Picton. Each of these writers are aged between 15 and 18 years old.

Ioana will be using her mentorship to develop a collection of her poetry, while Helen, Zak and Aislinn will all be working on longer fiction projects and exploring new approaches to developing their writing technique.Selection panel convenor, author Anna Mackenzie, commented that “It was a real challenge to select this year’s winners from a diverse and impressive field – but ultimately we have chosen projects which combine raw talent with originality, commitment and long term potential.”

The Youth Mentorship Programme was established in 2010 to foster and develop emerging writing talent with the support of established authors. It is part of NZSA’s successful mentoring programme for adult writers and is supported by Creative New Zealand.

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