This was the programme for the first Words Will Work South Auckland Writers Festival, held 

26–27 October 2018

Crafting Compelling Characters with Lizzi Treymane
Writing Successful Nonfiction with Richard Webster
Self-Publishing 101 with the SPA Girls
World Building Panel discussion with Lee Murray, Mark Johnson, Jamie Sands, Phillip Simpson and compère Andrea Jutson
Franklin Writers Flash Fiction Competition Results
Soup, Scones and Stories with Rosetta Allan, Josie Laird, Anne Kennedy and more

Day 1 - Friday 26 October 2018


1:30pm – 3:00pm


Mangere East Library


Writing for Children

Workshop with Robyn Murray
Robyn has told and written children’s stories and short stories for many years.
In 2012 Robyn successfully published her children’s story, Roger the Rooster of Ambury Park Farm. Soon after, her second book The Spirit of Cameron was published. Robyn will start with a one hour talk on how to publish your book, followed by a question and answer session. Maximum attendees: 20 Early Bird tickets: $17.50 Late Bird: $20.00 Last Minute $22.50 plus fees More about Robyn

3:00pm – 4:00pm


Mangere East Library


Writing for the Next Generations

Workshop with Helen Tau'au Filisi
Helen will share journey how she started writing and illustrating children's books.
Centred around important ancient Samoa stories, sites and principles as a result of her first Master's research project that she started in 1989 in Samoa, Helen will discuss some of the highlights, the frustrations and also joys of now having 2 series of books: tala o le vavau (ancient Samoan stories) and tala faasolopito (historical stories) currently comprising 6 titles. Helen is currently working as a kaiako/tutor-lecturer at Te Wananga o Aotearoa in the Indigenous research space. Maximum participants: 20 Early Bird tickets: $12.50 Late Bird: $15.00 Last Minute $17.50 plus fees More about Helen

4:00pm – 5:30pm


Mangere East Community Centre


Graphic Novels

Workshop with Michel Mulipola
The Art of Comics with Michel Mulipola
"As a child of Mangere, I am excited to bring my four-colour comic world to Words Will Work NZ in Mangere this October!" Michel Mulipola graphic novel workshop at Words Will Work 2018   Maximum attendees: 20 Early Bird tickets: $17.50 Late Bird: $20.00 Last Minute $22.50 plus fees More about Michel

5:45pm – 6:30pm


Mangere East Bowling Club


Official Opening

Enjoy the lead-up to some wonderful workshops and speakers. Rub shoulders with the authors, meet the organisers, all while enjoying nibblies and refreshments.
Maximum attendees: 50 Tickets: $5.00 plus fees

6:30pm – 8:30pm


Mangere East Community Centre


Performance Poetry

Workshop with members of the South Auckland Poets Collective
Workshop on Performance Poetry.
This will be a 90-minute spoken word poetry workshop led by members of the South Auckland Poets Collective, giving you a space to connect with others, reflect on your journey and express who you are. The workshop will be followed by a 30 minute open mic. Everybody is welcome, both seasoned poets or if it is the first time you are flexing your creative skills in this way. Maximum attendees: 50 Tickets: $5.00 plus fees

6:30pm – 8:30pm


Metro Theatre


Friday Keynote: The 90-Minute Time-Travel Comic

Interactive demonstration with Ant Sang and Brian Thurogood
Ant Sang, co-creator of the recently released time-travel graphic novel, Helen and The Go-go Ninjas, will be joined by Brian Thurogood to present a lively, interactive demonstration and workshop.
In 90 minutes Ant and Brian will create a short comic with the help of you, the audience. This is a rare opportunity to delve into the creative process of developing characters, writing storylines and drawing comic art with two award-winning authors. Followed by a 30-minute question and answer session. Maximum attendees: 140 Early Bird tickets: $15.00 Late Bird: $17.50 Last Minute $20.00 plus fees More about Ant

Day 2 - Saturday 27 October 2018


9:00am – 10:30am


Mangere East Community Centre Classroom


For Young People aged 16-25

Workshop with Ros Ali and Jo Emeney
16-25s, challenge your fears! Banish your writing demons—or maybe, loose them on the world and tell your stories!
Maximum attendees: 20 Early Bird tickets: $17.50 Late Bird: $20.00 Last Minute $22.50 plus fees More about Ros and Jo

9:00m – 10:30am


Mangere East Community Centre Conference Room



Workshop with Deborah Shepard
Memoir is the ideal genre for people young and old, to discover their writing voice because this is your story, you know it best. You have the skills to express your experience in your own words.
On this workshop with experienced teacher Deborah Shepard, you will be introduced to techniques that will assist you to unlock your creative voice in a safe and friendly environment. The session will also include a talk on the joy of writing memoir, a definition of memoir and an introduction to a reading list including excerpts from some of the great autobiographies and memoirs. There will also be a writing exercise: 'A defining childhood memory'. Maximum attendees: 10 Early Bird tickets: $24.50 Late Bird: $27.00 Last Minute $28.00 plus fees More about Deborah

9:30am – 10:30am


Metro Theatre


Changing the Lens

Workshop with Jacquie McRae
Margaret Atwood said that if you're struggling to get writing, you’re afraid of something. In a survey of other writers, a common denominator stopping people writing was some version of fear, which is often heavily disguised.
This discussion will explore this and offer some techniques that we can use. We’ll talk about shitty first drafts and the value of ‘not knowing’ and how this can lead to amazing discoveries. Sometimes we arrive at a solution by changing the way we look at it. Maximum attendees: 125 Early Bird tickets: $12.50 Late Bird: $15.00 Last Minute $17.50 plus fees More about Jacquie

10:30am – 11:00am


Morning Tea

Relax a little
The East Village Cafe, famous in Mangere East, is just outside the Metro Theatre door.

11:00m – 12:00pm


Metro Theatre


Crime and Research

Panel discussion with Rosetta Allan, Ian Austin, Jacquie McRae and James George. 
We are thrilled to have these exciting authors bringing you their shared experiences. We will find out who done it, why they did it and when will it [the research] end!
James George teaches creative writing at AUT in Auckland on both the B.A. and M.C.W. programmes. His novels include: Wooden Horses, Hummingbird, Ocean Roads and Sleepwalkers Songs. Rosetta Allan's debut, bestseller novel, Purgatory was based on the 1865 Otahuhu murders. Rosetta is currently completing a second novel based in Kazakhstan and Russia. Ian Austin is a former Hampshire detective so he knows about crime first hand — certainly enough to write a book or three about. Jacquie McRae has published several short stories and more recently, The Scent of Apples, a book that has gripped and inspired many young people. Andrea Jutson will introduce the panel. Andrea Jutson is a crime writer who hails from Auckland. Senseless published 2005, The Darkness Looking Back published 2008 and Cursed unpublished but shortlisted for the 2011 Tessa Duder Award. Maximum attendees: 125 Early Bird tickets: $12.50 Late Bird: $15.00 Last Minute $17.50 plus fees More about Rosetta and Ian :: More about Jacquie :: More about James

12:00pm – 1:00pm



Chat with friends
Chat with friends, old and new :)

1:00pm – 2:00pm


Metro Theatre


Saturday Keynote: Story Ideas come from the Life you have Lived

With Janice Marriott
When you are searching for a story it is easy to overlook the little things that we all know but we all share. With Janice's light touch, the small becomes enriched and the unassailable an adventure. Join her and be inspired by the small moments that make up each day.
Janice is a multi- award-winning writer of novels, memoir, short stories, children’s books, songs, radio stories, documentaries, plays and TV scripts. Maximum attendees: 125 Early Bird tickets: $12.50 Late Bird: $15.00 Last Minute $17.50 plus fees More about Janice

2:15pm – 3:45pm


Mangere East Community Centre Classroom


Elements of Creative Prose Writing

Workshop with Thalia Henry and Anne Kayes
This workshop will explore how to gradually introduce and reveal character. We will also investigate how we can better use language to create mood when we write.
The workshop will include an examination of techniques with examples, discussion of how we can apply these and practical exercises that you can use. Thalia's use of prose in her debut novel, Beneath Pale Water, invites the reader to experience the setting rather than simply observe it. Anne's Tui Street Tales won the Tom Fitzgibbon award in 2016 and it is a master class in reimagined fairy tales. Anne’s deep understanding of the social context and history behind fairy tales brought back realism, depth and hope to a genre that has been sanitised and watered down over the centuries. Maximum attendees: 25 Early Bird tickets: $22.50 Late Bird: $25.00 Last Minute $27.50 plus fees More about Anne and Thalia

2:15pm – 3:45pm


Mangere East Community Centre


Your Life, your Words

A life-writing workshop with Jane Bissell
There are many aspects of life we can mine for stories, and no one can tell the story of your life like you can.
Your voice, experiences, and memories are unique to you. Let’s make a start with getting those stories down! In this workshop we'll look at how you can turn your life experiences into stories and personal history, and enhance your writing with creativity, colour, and character. Discussions, writing exercises, and practical tips and tools will help you kick-start your ideas and write the stories only you can tell. Come with pen, paper, tablets, laptops etc as there will be writing exercises. Maximum attendees: 20 Early Bird tickets: $22.50 Late Bird: $25.00 Last Minute $27.50 plus fees More about Jane

4:00pm – 5:00pm


Mangere East Community Centre


Self-Publishing Your Book

Workshop with Brian Thurogood
With 30 years of experience in publishing and broadcast, from writer to editor to publisher, Brian has also needed to navigate the wonderful new (and confusing) world of the internet and social media and Amazon publishing – and all the headaches those ‘opportunities' pose for authors.
In brief, a self-publishing author needs to become his own publisher for all critical decisions. These include:
  • Developmental Editing Process
  • Proofing Processes
  • Cover Design and Interior Typographical Design
  • Bulk Printing or Print-on-Demand
  • Market Research
  • Website creation and maintenance
  • Social Media platforms and maintenance
  • To ‘Amazon’ your book(s) or Not
  • eBook options
  • Book Launches and Personal Appearances
And the most important role of the self-publisher is to keep the author’s writing regime on track!!
Maximum attendees: 50 Early Bird tickets: $12.50 Late Bird: $15.00  Last Minute $17.50 plus fees

4:00pm – 5:00pm


Metro Theatre


The Newest Thing: Readings from MIT

With Anne Kennedy and graduating students of the Manukau Institute of Technology
Come along and hear the fresh, innovative voices of the graduating Creative Writing class from Manukau Institute of Technology School of Creative Arts.
With Azhar Khan, Bex Emmerson, Damian Pereira, Kyla Dela Cruz, Ria Masae and Tsitsi Mapepa. Introduced by MIT Creative Writing Lecturer, Anne Kennedy.
Maximum attendees: 125
Please register to attend. Admission by koha at the door

Speakers 2018

These were our presenters for the South Auckland Writers Festival 2018. 

Jacquie McRae

Jacquie (Tainui) has twice been a Pikihuia award finalist with her stories published in their short story collections. She received a place on the inaugural Te Papa Tupu scheme that mentors emerging writers. Her first novel The Scent of Apples won a gold medal in the 2012 Independent Publisher Book Awards in New York. She is included in the anthology Nga Hau e Wha, Stories on the Four Winds, a collection of short stories from eighteen of New Zealand's accomplished writers.

Thalia Henry

Thalia is the author of the novel Beneath Pale Water, her Masters of Creative Writing thesis and a work that comes out of a play Powdered Milk which she wrote in 2008. Inspired by the landscapes of the rugged South Island high country, where she spent time as a teenager learning to glide with her late father, Terry, Beneath Pale Water is her debut novel and was awarded a gold award at the 2018 IPPY competition in the Australia/New Zealand Best Regional Fiction category.

Deborah Shepard

Deborah Shepard is an Auckland biographer, life writing mentor and teacher of memoir with a PhD in Film Studies. She began her career as a film and art historian. Her previous three books: Reframing Women: A History of New Zealand filmBetween the Lives: Partners in Art and Her Life's Work: Conversations with Five New Zealand Women were critically acclaimed for documenting the contribution of women to the arts in New Zealand.

Anne Kayes

Anne’s background was originally in Drama and English secondary school teaching. Alongside teaching, she wrote scripts for students and skits that she performed in comedy shows. One year, she co-wrote a solo show that she performed in schools. She now teaches Children’s Literature and Academic Skills in  Bridging Education at Unitec. Anne won the 2016 Storylines Tom Fitzgibbon award with Tui Street Tales, a collection of stories for 8-12 year olds.

Michel Mulipola

Michel Mulipola is a self taught comic book artist from Auckland, New Zealand and has been immersed in the world of comic books from the tender age of five. His work appears in many comic anthologies and he is currently working on the U.S comic book, Headlocked: The Last Territory. When not drawing comic books, he can be found at Auckland's Arkham City Comics. During the weekends, Michel spends his time dropping people on their heads as a professional wrestler for Impact Pro Wrestling.

James George

James is a fiction writer of Ngapuhi, Pakeha and Irish descent. His first novel was published in 2000 and his successive books have been nominated for an array of awards and prizes. George’s novel Ocean Roads appeared on The 2007 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize Shortlist as one of the Best Books in the South East Asia and South Pacific region. James is part of Te Ha, a committee for writers working in English..

Helen Tau'au Filisi

Helen journey of writing and illustrating children's books started in 2015 as a result of her first Master's research project, which she started in 1989 in Samoa. As well as her two series tala o le vavau (ancient Samoan stories) and tala faasolopito (historical stories), Helen has also written 5 Pasifika plays for teens, 2 poetry/prose collections, and edited 2 community anthologies for local communities..

Robyn Murray

Robyn grew up in Ireland, surrounded by myths and legends. She explains: "I have always read books, written, listened to and told stories. I loved writing stories for children, of family and friends, and was often asked why I didn’t have them published. In 2012 I decided to independently publish and my first Children’s’ Illustrated book, Roger the Rooster of Ambury Park Farm was launched. Less than four months later The Spirit of Cameron of Ambury Park Farm was published.

Ant Sang

Ant is one of New Zealand’s most acclaimed cartoonists and graphic novelists. His books have been published in NZ, North America, the UK and France. His bestsellinggraphic novel Shaolin Burning won an Honour Award at the 2012 NZ Post Children’s Book Awards and his cult series the Dharma Punks was published in graphic novel format in 2014.

Brian Thurogood

“My background in music and journalism provided a wonderful foundation for getting to grips with websites and social media. As well as writing my own books and storyboarding for movies, I've been a ghost-writer for international publishers. I also help others to achieve excellence with books and websites.”

Rosetta Allan

Rosetta Allan is a prose and poetry writer, with work widely anthologised, and two volumes of poetry published. Allan is the recipient of numerous poetry and writing awards, and the Sir James Wallace Masters of Creative Writing Scholarship received during her MCW year at Auckland University. Her first novel Purgatory was published by Penguin in 2014, and her second The Unreliable People is due from Penguin Random House in April 2019.

Ian Austin

Ian never expected to become a writer, much less be compared to Ian Rankin, but that’s what happened with debut crime novel The Agency in 2016. Now in 2018 we can enjoy the follow up The Second Grave‘Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves.’ Confucius 551–479BC.

Action Education

Action Education uses action and creative based methods to ignite the engagement of young people at all stages of their development. South Auckland Poets Collective (SAPC) is very talented team of poets and educators delivering spoken word workshops and programmes alongside Action Education in the community.

Janice Marriott

Janice is a multi- award-winning writer of novels, memoir, short stories, children’s books, songs, radio stories, documentaries, plays and TV scripts. She has won the NZ Post Junior Fiction Award, Aim Senior Fiction Award, Aim Book of the Year, the Esther Glen Medal for Fiction, and awarded the Margaret Mahy medal for lifetime achievements in the field of children’s literature.  

Jane Bissell

Jane is a writer, tutor, ghostwriter, and writing workshop facilitator. Jane's interest in memoir and life writing began after her diagnosis of breast cancer in 2001. She wrote two books about her experience and recovery, Welcome to the Amazon Club and The Pink Party, and her life writing workshops encourage writers to tell their own stories and find their unique, creative voice.