Four talented secondary school students awarded NZSA Youth Mentorships in 2023

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.

2023 Youth Mentorships awarded to:

Yiyang Cao (Macleans College, Auckland)
Callum Love (Nelson College, Nelson)
Kaitlyn Mckenzie ( Te Kura, Palmerston North)
Stella Weston (Rotorua Lakes High School, Rotorua)


Writer and poet Elizabeth Kirkby-McLeod, who convened the judging panel along with writer Catherine Cooper, commented: ‘This year we received 38 applications for The New Zealand Society of Authors Te Puni Kaituhi O Aotearoa (PEN NZ Inc) Youth Mentorships. It was encouraging to see applications from across the country and across the four years (15 – 18) in which applicants can apply. For those who applied this year and did not receive a mentorship – if you are still in the suitable age group next year, we would encourage you to continue developing your writing and apply again. Please know that not receiving a mentorship is not a criticism or rejection of your work. All applicants had people, whether teachers or parents, who wrote in support of the applications to show their belief in the applicant’s creativity and a desire to see them succeed – the judging panel feels the same about each application and, as always, we only wish we had enough mentorships for everyone!’

Congratulations also to the shortlisted student writers: Jacinta Pattison (Spotswood College, New Plymouth) and Lauren Stephens (John Paul College, Rotorua).

These student writers were highly commended for their applications: Sasha Anisimova (Scots College, Wellington), Samuel Daley (Morrinsville College, Morrinsville,
Rose MacLean (Glendowie College, Auckland), Emma Philips (Ruawai College, Matakohe), Ella Sage (Westland High School, Hokitika), Aakiiyah Tihore (Taihape Area School, Taihape), Dawn Ulm (Aotea College, Porirua)

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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