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Opportunies for Spec Fic writers in NZ

Yesterday I briefly touched on the fact that there are limited places in NZ where a writer of speculative fiction can go to publish. For the most part, Kiwi writers look elsewhere – and it’s a wonderful thing that the internet exists, because it makes submitting work to anywhere in the world a much simpler (and cheaper) thing.

That said, there are a few places here that do publish spec-fic. The first one that I want to highlight is Semaphore, which has been around for a couple of years now, and is run by Marie. There have been some amazing stories published through here and the covers always feature fantastic artwork – I urge you to check out the site, whether you are a reader or a writer (or both), the e-zine is free so you have nothing to lose!

Second up we have a new market, SubSpaceTV.com. I first heard about this through this months SpecFicNZ newsletter (which, if you want to get on the mailing list drop me an email and I’ll get Ripley to add your email). They are open to submissions now and are looking for speculative fiction.

It seems a somewhat limited list, I know, but I’m sure that in the future there will be more NZ options. There are a few competitions throughout the year though, which cater to spec-fic, one in particular which I’d like to give a little more publicity to is the short story competition for Au Contraire – they are looking for science fiction and fantasy stories for an Anthology, to be released at the convention next year. Check out the details here, entries close at the end of January 2010, so there is still plenty of time to get something in.

Recently, over at Kiwi Writers, we decided to give some of our members an opportunity to get published. Okay, so the idea was born last year and it’s only recently come out, but we ran a challenge asking members to submit stories to us for a short story Collection. We didn’t get as many entries as we had hoped for, but really enjoyed a lot of them and had a lot of ‘fun’ putting the Collection together. You can find it here, the e-book is free to download, and there is a print version available through lulu. There are stories in it from a variety of writers, some of who have never been published before and it was so great to give them an opportunity to see their writing in print.

Anyways, I’m going to sign off here for today – tune in tomorrow for an interview with the lovely PJ Ballentine. She was kind enough to answer a few questions, which I really appreciate. She was also our guest judge on the Kiwi Writers Challenge Collection, and is an all round wonderful writer and person.

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NZ Speculative Fiction Blogging week begins!

And boy, there are some really great posts already being written to kick the week off. You can find the links to those here, where Anna is keeping track of things.

So, I guess I should post something too right?

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the term ‘Speculative Fiction’ it’s a blanket term for the genres of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror – but more importantly, all the things in between, anything that blurs the lines of reality and explores worlds that aren’t like ours.

For me, learning this has been a huge relief – no longer am I a genre slut, I’m a writer of speculative fiction! I love to write all kinds of stories, the genre means less to me than the telling, though predominantly these stories have aspects of fantasy, science fiction and horror.

Anyways, part of the reason for this week is to get people talking and connecting about speculative fiction in New Zealand. We’re a small country and typically, we do really well with supporting local acts. The music scene is a realyl good example of this – I know a lot of people who download overseas music, but they always make a point of going out and buying NZ made stuff, attending gigs and in general really getting behind acts (hell we even have a whole month dedicated to NZ music).

We love our movie industry, and we support that really well too. A lot of amazing films with speculative slants are made here both by NZers and people from other countries around the world too (Lord of the Rings, King Kong, the Narnia movies etc).

Unfortunately this is not the case when it comes to the written word. There are limited markets within NZ for our work, and the big publishers here are pretty convinced that there simply isn’t a big enough market for it.

Yeah right, as the Tui billboard would say.  We Kiwi’s are an inventive bunch, and there are a lot of us creating works of speculative fiction out there, most of whom devour stories and novels of the same when we get can our hands on it.

Hopefully, together we can strengthen our speculative fiction community 🙂

I’ve run out of words for now, and time, but head on over to Anna’s blog and check out some of the other posts. It should be a great week!

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The Collection Challenge 2009

So, as most of you probably don’t know, I’m one of the staff over at the Kiwiwriters website. I was lucky to be around when it was first thought of and really enjoy my involvement with the site – it’s been a lot of fun so far and I am sure it will continue to be.

A month or so ago I was chatting with one of the other staff members (Travis) about self publishing and all the sites available for that and an idea hit – wouldn’t it be awesome to put together a collection of stories from the challenges over the last few years into a book?

I suggested it and everyone thought it was a brilliant idea, and so the Collection Challenge 2009 was born! I love how the staff can take an idea and make it grow, so I’m excited to see how it all comes together.

I put my hand up for organizing things, and the lovely Kerryn and Travis are completing the co-ordination team. It’s going to be another learning curve, and hopefully lots of fun along the way. I’m excited to see it all come together!!

So, if you’re a member – take a look at the stories you’ve written. If you’re not a member yet – take a look at the site.

Hope everyone had/has a fab New Years Eve and an amazing 2009!!