HARK YE BARDS
Our 2016 Poetry Competition is now officially OPEN
JUDGE: Peter Bland
Usual conditions of entry with a tiny tweak: To thank our loyal subscribers we are offering one additional entry to the competition for FREE. Incentive or what! (Also available if you add a subscription amount with your entry fee.) Honestly, when was the last time you were offered anything for free?
Stuck for inspiration?
Crickey just take a walk through the park. It’s Autumn out there (my fav season). Think of mists and mellow fruits. So come-on all you lovely wordsmiths, stick on the old thinking cap, sharpen up the pencil, roll up your sleeves and go and make us some magic.
Thanks to all who entered stories in the 2016 takahē Short Story Competition. With that deadline behind you, it is time to pick up your pen, get out your laptop. Finish off and send a submission to firstname.lastname@example.org for the first online issue of takahē magazine – takahē 87 – which will appear on this website in August.
The new online publication of takahē is a special opportunity for those who like to write longer stories, as we can accommodate stories up to 5000 words. Longer is not necessarily better, though, so make every word count. Give us depth. Give us complexity. Give us freshness. Make us want more.
Christchurch author Nod Ghosh is the Guest Fiction writer for the first online issue. You will have read her insightful, even magical stories in previous issues of takahē. I look forward to seeing what she has for us this time.
Submissions for the online issue takahē 87 will need to be received by 1 July 2016, at the very latest.
Any day now, the latest print issues of takahē – our 86th – will be arriving in mailboxes across the country. Hurrah!
Those of you who keep a regular eye on this website may have already seen some of our online content – all thirty-one book reviews for example, or the stunning art (cover and other) by Lisa Walker, or the sample fiction and poetry from Rachel Smith, Meagan France, Jenny Powell and Robert McLean. Or maybe you’ve read our Essays Editor’s Editorial piece, and taken a moment with your cup of coffee to wonder about the ins and outs of putting a magazine like takahē together, and keeping it a lively and satisfying read.
Of course, to get the full content of the magazine, you need to subscribe …
I was critiquing a story and suggested to the writer that the ending didn’t work.
‘But that really happened,’ she said. I replied that real events don’t always – or even often – make good fiction. When talking to friends about what’s been going on in our lives we tend to frame things in a particular way, embellish this, exaggerate that, so as to add interest to what we’re saying.
This is even more important when creating fiction. We might start from personal experience but we craft a piece as we write it, we wrap it in meaning, we add structure and significance.
Writers of fiction also produce works that have no basis in their own lives. But for these to work there has to be a connection between the writer and the work: the story expresses an emotion the writer feels or once felt.
Some of the short stories in takahe 86 (the April 2016 issue) are clearly based on personal experience. Some less so or not at all. Either way I hope you enjoy them.
DEADLINE (POST-MARKED) THURSDAY 31st MARCH
TAKE ACTION NOW. As expected the stories are rolling in – we are a popular competition. If you don’t enter you can’t possibly win! (we are clever but not that clever). Imagine the thrill if it is your well crafted, creative and compelling story that stands out. You have just enough time to re-read your work. TIP: If it bugs you it will bug someone else, trust yourself and make the change. Borrow ten dollars from the rainy day piggy-bank, fill out the entry form (printing clearly so I don’t have to keep asking my son to decipher the writing) and pop all in an envelope and post – bingo.
The very good news is that you have better odds of winning than if you spent the money on a lotto ticket.
All the very best for the competition.