Four talented secondary school students awarded NZSA Youth Mentorships in 2022

Four talented secondary school students awarded mentorships with professional writers as part of NZ Society of Authors Te Puni Kaituhi O Aotearoa (PEN NZ Inc) Youth Mentorship Programme

These young writers will hone their writing skills and develop their craft through the year as part of this programme and we congratulate them on their success.

2022 Youth Mentorships awarded to:

Shima Jack (Logan Park High School)

Eloise Luff-Hansen (Massey High School)
Darcy Monteath  (Logan Park High School)
Jade Wilson (Kaiapoi High School)

Writer Michelle Elvy, who convened the judging panel along with writer and poet Elizabeth Kirkby-McLeod, commented: ‘Reading more than forty applications to the youth mentor programme this year, the selection panel was met with a terrific challenge. We found excellent quality and variety in the submitted materials, and narrowing the selections down to the top four was no easy task.

There was a range of writing: novels and nonfiction, poetry and short story. We were impressed by both content and form; writers on the short list are clearly interested in pushing boundaries and asking hard questions. Some were personal in nature; some looked outward to climate change, social injustice and political imbalances; some demonstrated a delightful sense of imagination and curiosity. All in all, we felt a sense of the serious nature of their craft, but we also encountered moments of wonder and joy. We gained a real appreciation for where these young writers’ minds are taking them currently – and where they might go!’

Congratulations also to the shortlisted student writers: Melissa Ashley, (Lynfield College); Molly Laurence (Lincoln High School); Marlowe McAngus (Springbank School); Nikita Nobre (Baradene College); Sarah-Kate Simons (home-schooled); Stella Weston (Rotorua Lakes High School)

The judges commented on the shortlisted writers: ‘The short list consists of those writers whose work demonstrated not only a high degree of quality in the writing but also a degree of curiosity – a sense of wanting more. Not only more from a programme such as this, but a challenge to themselves. With the short list selections, we can discern a sense of urgency and a clear understanding of what writing might do, at an individual level and in a greater (and more abstract) sense of the whole.’

The NZSA Youth Mentorship Programme was established in 2010 to foster and develop emerging writing talent around New Zealand with the support of established authors.

It is one of The New Zealand Society of Authors successful mentoring programmes for writers and is made possible with the support by Creative New Zealand.

More about the NZSA Youth Mentor Programme

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