a takahē is born

Just in time for Christmas, she’s a bonnie Issue 94! Currently winging her way to our lovely subscribers and stockists, so watch those letterboxes, bookshop shelves, and stockings.

She features the glorious art of Tyne Gordon, and special guests Bryan Walpert (poetry), Michael Harlow (essay), Iona Winter (fiction), and Barbara Garrie (art review).

Also featured, the winning poem of the takahē Monica Taylor Poetry Prize, along with the judge’s report and shortlist from James Norcliffe.

Glittering among the pages, as always, are short fiction and poetry treats from emerging and established writers, and reviews that unwrap some of New Zealand’s best books.

Select bonbons from its contents are also available free online, so why not take a peek?

2018 Monica Taylor Poetry Prize Shortlist

With many thanks to this year’s judge, James Norcliffe, takahē is pleased to announce the poems shortlisted for the 2018 Monica Taylor Poetry Prize. They are (in alphabetical order):

In Other Words

In the Anteroom

This House

Tree of Souls

The final results, along with the poet’s names, will be announced in the forthcoming December issue (94), along with the winning poem.

takahē extends special thanks to all of this year’s entrants.

Announcing the 2019 Takahē Short Story Competition

Snake, 2018, by Nod Ghosh

Entries are now open for the 2019 takahē Short Story Competition, and we’re all a flutter to welcome writer and artist Nod Ghosh as judge.

Nod is a prolific writer, having graduated from the Hagley Writers’ Institute in 2014, she already has an impressive list of awards and publications to her name, along with two years’ associate editing Flash Frontier. This year, between creating artworks like Snake (featured here), she found time to launch her debut flash fiction novella, The Crazed Wind.

We’ve also been lucky enough to have Nod’s work in the pages of takahē. Most recent was Muscle, in t93, which begins:

The screams. It’ll be the screams that finish me off.

And back in t87, Nod was our guest fiction writer, gifting us horse, starting with the haunting line:

i only ever saw horse cry once.

The Crazed Wind, by Nod Ghosh

It’s not only the start of Nod’s stories that so evocatively imaginative. Reading her work feels at times like being caught in a psychedelic whirlwind, with time and sensation whipping past almost before we can catch them. There’s the science-spiced tale of the Shapeshifters on the Bus, the speculative joy of The Cool Box, and the sensual intensity of Seven Lesbians and a Bar of Soap.

The Crazed Wind continues pushing boundaries, beginning with the story They Have a Different Heaven, set in a dreamscape in which the narrator is following their father, when suddenly:

He turns a corner and becomes younger. There are remnants of sunshine on his skin, his hair, even though the dusk has turned the ground a midden brown. I follow the boy who is to become my father.

There’s such a richness in the world of Nod’s writing, it feels as if you could dive in anywhere and find a treasure.

Nod Ghosh

So if you’ve got a strange story hidden away – a odd hybrid, something grown from truth and twisted into fiction, something that seems to talk about one thing while whispering incessantly about another, something layered, something funny, something surprising – Nod may well be your ideal reader.

See the Competitions page for full entry details for the 2019 takahē Short Story Competition.

roll up! takahē poetry competition 2018

Entries are now open for the 2018 Takahē Monica Taylor Poetry Prize. This year’s judge is outgoing poetry editor and current Randell Cottage Writer in Residence, poet, novelist, and short story writer, James Norcliffe. As begins his glittering poem, trapeze: 

the thrill is in the possibility...

All poems entered are considered for publication, and for the winner we have a $250 prize and publication in takahē 94, our December print issue.

But the chance will be gone in a sequined flash (entries close Friday 31st August 2018).

Check the Competitions page for the entry form, details, and to read James’s biography. You might also like to read last year’s judges report, or send a query to comps@takahe.org.nz.

Good luck!

From Crap to Artichoke Tears

We’re lucky enough to have Eileen Merriman judging the Takahē Short Story Competition 2017. Novels aside, her short fiction has been widely published and commended, and appears with prodigious frequency in the Sunday Star-Times Competition, among others. Of course we want to know exactly how she does it.

“The first draft is crap,” she said in a recent interview. It’s something she learned early on in her writing career. See? I told you we were lucky to have her. She knows exactly how much hard work will be going into all the entries to this year’s competition.

If you’re after inspiration for your Takahē entry, read Eileen’s second-placed Bath Flash Fiction Award story, This Is How They Drown. It’s unmissable for its summer-fresh prose and mastery of tension. And don’t miss Artichoke Tears right here in Takahē, for its innovative structure and enduring bittersweetness.

Or, if you’re brewing fresh coffee and stretching your back before launching into another draft before the November 30th deadline, take heart. As Eileen says, “Writing is like anything – you need to put in the hours.”