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.
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.
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.
For the last two years we, Rachel Smith and Jane Seaford, have been the joint fiction editors for takahē magazine. And we’ve both enjoyed reading the submissions and working together. We’ve just done our selection for December and that will be the last issue we work on, as we are moving on. Rachel will be focusing more on her own writing and Jane will become the takahē competition secretary. Zoë Meager is taking over from us. And we think she’s looking forward to the role. It’s hard work at times but it’s a pleasure and a privilege to be able to read so many stories written by both New Zealand and overseas writers. We very much enjoy the emails we get from those whose work we accept and it’s also lovely when writers whose pieces we have decided not to take thank us for the comments we’ve made on their stories , telling us that they‘ve found them helpful.
Thank you to everyone who has submitted to us. So now, over to you, Zoë. And to you writers who support takahē, keep those stories coming in.
Rachel and I have now finished choosing and preparing the stories for takahē 93. Thanks to everyone who submitted. We were sent over 100 pieces, so those of you selected should feel proud.
It’s often said by judges and editors that the selection process is subjective and that someone else might well have chosen differently. This is true, but working together Rachel and I have found that we are in agreement over the majority of the stories. And where we disagree we spend time trying to persuade the other why they should (or shouldn’t) take the disputed piece.
So to those of you who have stories in takahē 93, congratulations and to those we rejected thanks for submitting and do continue to send us your work. We are always pleased when we have a large number pf pieces to consider – even though it does make our job more arduous!
I hope you all enjoy the stories we have selected for you to read this winter