Short Story Competition

three takaheReminder Reminder Reminder

Deadline 31 March. – Five weeks to go – It’s not too late to pull out the pen, or crank up the computer.

Wow the judge with your startling storyline, quirky plot and astute description all neatly packed into 2000 glorious words. This is a chance to have YOUR story read by one of the best, receive a cash bonus and the opportunity to be published in our illustrious magazine.

And don’t forget the three most important words: Edit, Edit Edit.

Juliana – Competitions Secretary

Choosing the stories for the next issue

GovernorsBayPanoramicI’ve been selecting the short fiction for takahe 86, due out in April. There wasn’t a single submission that didn’t have some merit – great style, interesting characters or a gripping plot.

As I went through the pile, making decisions, it struck me yet again how fiendishly difficult it is to write a good short story. The ones that appealed to me were those which read easily, the words flowing gracefully. Effort made so as to appear effortless; no forced metaphors or flowery constructions; no unnecessary extras.

More than this is needed, however. There has to be one or more characters that the reader believes in, a beginning that intrigues, an ending that satisfies. But above all I realised, as I read piece after piece, there must be a substantial reason – other than telling a tale, or showing a slice of life – why the writer has chosen this particular subject. I believe that the stories I finally selected were those whose creator had become immersed, obsessed perhaps, by the fiction they were producing.

I hope you enjoy reading the chosen pieces when takahe 86 appears.

Fiction in takahe 85

Preah KhanIt’s a new experience to be able to post comment about our hardcopy magazine! Hope it enhances your reading pleasure.

In #85 we have a departure in our Guest Fiction. Jane Seaford, Fiction Editor, agreed to be our invited writer. Jane has a long history of success with her short stories, both in competitions within NZ and overseas, having several times been short- or longlisted for the prestigious Fish Competition. Her stories have also been read frequently on RadioNZ. It seemed a pity for you not to be able to read her writing just because she is an editor. In addition to appearing in the print magazine, Jane’s story, “Living in the Wrong Place”, is also live on this website for those who do not subscribe to takahe magazine. Go to the “Current Issue” page to find it.

Also live from this issue is Jan FitzGerald’s story, “Return Trip”. I particularly liked this story for its interior monologue and exterior dialogue. A story of family relations in another culture, with a defiant twist. Good beginning, good middle and good ending. It moved my emotions about.


Karen Zelas
Fiction Editor