Our short story competition is underway

Christmas is over, 2019 has arrived and our short story competition is running. Time to sharpen your wits, put fingers to keyboard and craft those fabulous phrases you know you want to write.

We’re looking forward to receiving your entries – several of you have already e-mailed us stories and our judge is enjoying reading them.

For those who’ve not yet done so here’s a simple fact. You can’t win unless you enter. I have writer friends who struggle to submit to magazines or to send their work to competitions. Some ask,’ what’s the point?’ They doubt they’ll even be on the long list, let alone making the short list or gracing the winner’s podium. (We don’t actually have a podium but I like the idea of our writers being lauded as loudly as sports people are.)  

So maybe you won’t be placed, but even sending a story out is a success. It takes time and patience to write, it takes courage to share your work with others. And one of you out there will win the competition – someone has to, so why not you?

Here’s another fact. Last time we ran the short story competition we included several of the short and long listed stories in our magazine. So you’re not only entering our completion you may also be published.

So get writing and send us your stories. You have until  31 March but don’t leave it too late; dates have a habit of arriving before you’re ready for them. Like Christmas for example.

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.

A note from Rachel and Jane

For the last two years we, Rachel Smith and Jane Seaford, have been the joint fiction editors for taka 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 taka 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 taka, keep those stories coming in.