Report of our Work in Progress Meeting held on Thursday 4th February 2016

What our members have been getting up to. Chad Dick, Jessica Harvey and Dhaivat Mehta told us they’ve all been working on Grim Tales, a collaborative publication between survivors of domestic abuse, artists and writers, to be published as a fundraiser by the Tauranga Women’s Refuge (and launching in April.) Chad brought along the proof, which he has been editing – it’s elegant in black and white, and deeply meaningful. Dhaivat and Jessica read their contributions to us.

Bill Hamilton then shared an excerpt from his novel in progress, The Man at the Window. Angie Belcher, finally home from Vanuatu, has just published another children’s book, Farmyard Idol, illustrated by A Brice.

Mary-Anne Caulfield, back from a medical conference in Prague, is working on a self-help guide for young children with urological disorders. Jenny Argante has a poem in an anthology to be published in the UK. She read the story she wrote for the first-ever Tauranga Medieval Faire of how St George came to Aotearoa as a young lad. (Yeah, right.)

Sandra Harris, published last year in Byline, our new annual showcase of members’ writing, has taken on the role of acting secretary – thank you, Sandra! That’s a big help. And new to TW are Gillian and Harvey Cook, who’ve recently moved here from Taupo. Gillian has just published her first book, a futuristic fantasy entitled Hoko’s Choice with Mountainlight Publishing, now available on Amazon. She’s planning both a Taupo and a Tauranga launch, to which we’re hopeful TW will be invited.

It was good to welcome back Nancy and Glenn Crouchman, our Canadian members. Nancy brought along a copy of Sinners & Other Saints (available on Amazon), launched when she was last here – and she’s also featured in Byline. Marcus Hobson shared his amazing story of buying a book when he was sixteen and studying World War I poets. This is now eventuating as a fictional re-creation of the lost last letters of a vicar’s son, killed at nineteen only a few weeks after joining up and being sent to the front. Many components came together for Marcus, obviously the man chosen by fate to write this story. We hope to read it soon. Marcus deserves success not only for a brilliantly original idea, but also pursuing it so intently and for so many years.

Loretta Crawford reported that her children’s book The Horse and the Hurricane King is finished, awaiting illustration and publication, and she is now thinking of writing a novel. Also present were Diane Hume-Green and Bryan Winters (both now co-opted to our committee), Alice Eminson, Lynne Williams and Andrew Weatherley – a poet in progress.

Not present, but worth a mention as one example of the tasks our members willingly undertake – Pete Dashwood re-read the treaty of Waitangi in both English and Te Reo so he could create word search puzzles in three levels of challenge for Creative New Zealand’s Waitangi Day event. Great stuff, Pete! And another Peter – Peter Pratt – featured in the Weekend Sun on 22nd January as the oldest bodybuilder there at nearly 80, and getting a useful plug for his memoir, The Road from Grimsby, published last year and doing well on Amazon. Great stuff, guys.

Newcomers to the group included Roberta Budvietas from the National Speakers Association of New Zealand, who brought news of a visit to Tauranga of ‘The Publishing Doctor’ coming to Tauranga this Wednesday 10th February. His name is Patrick Snow and he wants to tell you how to become a best-selling author. Full details at If you want to take advantage of this, sign up licketty-spit. Tauranga Club, 6-9.30pm. $30.

(The basis of our work in progress meetings is sharing your work for constructive criticism. Together in both getting and giving feedback, we learn and grow. Our handout on feedback can be found here:

Back to business! What a great turn out for our first meeting of 2016 and what a lot of business we had to get through. If we continue to get those numbers we need to either rearrange the room or reconsider our venue.

With readings the primary business on Thursdays, we might need to divide into two groups. Dianne checked out the Lyceum Club, which sounds ideal but would cost us $1K p.a. Jenny will investigate the Basestation in Durham Street.

We’re sad to report the resignation of Piper Mejia, a much respected and popular past President, and the driving force behind Young New Zealand Writers, a sub-group of Tauranga Writers. In this (which Piper will continue to run) she was fully supported by Lauren Haddock, among others. Lauren is our former Secretary, who has also resigned to concentrate on her own YA novel in progress.

Both will be sorely missed and we hope to stay in contact with them if only on an intermittent basis. We wish them all the best for the future both personally and professionally with their writing.

One problem has arisen and one change is desired – apparently due to some oversight about sending in annual reports, we seem to have become de-registered as a not-for-profit incorporated society. So we are declaring the first twenty minutes of our next Monday meeting a Special General Meeting, and I will bring along a bundle of forms. We need only fifteen signatories to re-register and we are proposing the following minor changes in the constitution:

(i) Changing our address – and that’s a problem because, in reality, we have no fixed abode. However, we do have permission from trustees at The Alzheimer’s Society to use their address as that is where we meet. Are we all OK with that?

(ii) And back to the constitution, the only other change is to amend the Purposes of the Society and this wording has been approved by Companies Office:


3. Purposes of Society.

3.1 The purposes of the Society are:

3.1 (i) to encourage ongoing development in the craft of writing for both beginners and published writers of fiction, poetry and prose, especially but not exclusively writers from Tauranga and the Bay of Plenty region.

3. 1 (ii) to do anything necessary or helpful to the above purpose.

3.2 Pecuniary gain is not a purpose of the Society.


3. Purposes of Society.

3.1 The purposes of the Society are:

3.1 (i) to encourage ongoing development in the craft of writing for both beginners and published writers of fiction, poetry and prose, especially but not exclusively writers from Tauranga and the Bay of Plenty region.

3.2 (ii) as a charitable purpose, to support writing initiatives as above generally within the wider community, i.e. Tauranga City and the Western Bay of Plenty, especially with reference to young writers (13-17) who cannot join Tauranga Writers until they are 18, by offering ongoing assistance to that age group when we can, e.g. school visits, mentoring, etc., and especially to Young New Zealand Writers, which is based in Tauranga;

3.2 (iii) also as a charitable purpose to extend to non-members our experience and expertise through our Sunday focus sessions, occasional &/or ongoing workshops and courses as they occur, and our regular sessions on ‘bringing out the book in you’ to which the general public are cordially invited either with free entry, gold coin donation or a subsidised fee;

3. 1 (iv) to do in addition anything necessary or helpful to the above purpose.

3.2 Pecuniary gain is not a purpose of the Society.

Why is this change necessary? Firstly, to put us back on a proper footing. Secondly, we have two big events coming up for which we might need to apply for funding: the IBBY Congress as outlined below, and our 50th anniversary celebrations, ditto.

What’s coming up? Much has been brewing behind the scenes since we all parted in November last year, starting with two upcoming events. The first is the IBBY Congress to be held in Auckland in August. (Full details here: Our Words & Pictures sub-group was asked to make a proposal for a presentation and briefly this is outlined as Appendix 1 at the end of this report.

Our 40th anniversary, Jubilee Jamboree, was a great success with events centred around a number of events and a publication, This Side of the World: Celebrating 40 Years of Tauranga Writers, edited by Sue Emms and Jenny Argante. (You’ll find a copy in the New Zealand Room, Tauranga City Library.)

In 2017 we’re opting to make a film, seven linked ‘shorts’ where chosen members work with individual writers to produce something that demonstrates the power of our words and our imagination. We’re beginning the process with an extended Sunday Focus Session on 20th March, a workshop led by Anton Steel, director of the Te Puke-based film, The Z Nail Gang, and President of the newly incorporating Tauranga Film Collective.

The time for this workshop – whether ½ day or full day – be confirmed shortly. If you’re at all interested in auditioning to be a scriptwriter on this film project, you really need to come along and meet Anton, who will be the overall director and producer.

The outline for this anniversary project, which is heavily dependent on funding, follows as Appendix 2.


Sunday 14th February 2-4pm. Words & Pictures. New Zealand Room, Tauranga City Library.

Tauranga Writers sub-group for writers & illustrators of children’s picture books & junior fiction (up to age 11.) Open to all. Enquiries to convenor Jenny Argante, tel 07 576 9212, txt 022 053 48 68.

Sunday 21st February 2-4pm. Help! I Want to be a Writer. The Alzheimer Society House, 116 13th Avenue. A Tauranga Writers Focus Session especially for beginners and the unpublished wanting to grow and learn as creative writers. Open to all – gold coin entry or free to TW members. Enquiries to Jenny Argante, tel 07 576 9212, txt 022 053 48 68.)

Thursday 3rd March 7-9pm. Work-in-Progress Meeting. Our mantra for 2016 is ‘Writers write!’ & our intention to get you started & get you published. Go to or visit us on Facebook. New members always welcome. Enquiries: Jenny Argante, tel 07 576 9212, txt 022 053 48 68. NB SPECIAL GENERAL MEETING 7-7.30pm TO RATIFY TW Inc & AMEND CONSTITUTION.

A timely reminder to renew your subscription. We’re in a new year and that means bills coming in, primarily for our venue. If you haven’t already paid up for 2016, please could you do so urgently – it’s only $30 as a full member coming free to meetings; or $10 if you’re an associate who rarely attends. You can pay online – our account is Westpac 03 0435 0509295 000 and your reference should be your name + sub, e.g. baxtersub, etc. We will send you a receipt as this is a tax-deductible expense. (Whoopee!)

Webmaster wanted to manage our website – mainly static, as most news goes up on Facebook, which is managed separately. So not too onerous a task as we try to keep it simple and straightforward. Perhaps two updates a year? If you have these skills, please put up your hand as it’s where enquirers tend to go first and therefore important. Thank you!

Appendix 1:

Proposed presentation for IBBY Congress 2016 

Korero Purakau – Telling Tales with Words & Pictures (Tauranga Writers.) 

In 2013 Korero Purakau–Telling Tales, a 6-week storytelling course, was run by Te Tuinga Whanau and the Bay of Plenty Polytechnic, attracting 124 students, both Maori and other New Zealanders. This resulted in two outcomes:

(i) A Writers Guide based on handouts produced for the course.

(ii) The formation of a Tauranga Writers subgroup for picturebook writers and illustrators, which produced seven titles in the first year, including the award-winning Motiti Blue and the Oil Spill, about the Rena disaster.

Our presentation will include what we learned of indigenous storytelling and how it has contributed to a Pacific perspective in writing for children and young adults; how to structure oral and written narratives, and the resulting publication(s.)

We will feature a maximum of seven writers connected with Korero Purakau, introduced by the best-selling Maori writer whose initiative began it all. They will briefly describe what got them started and their intentions for the featured title.

We will also take copies of the workbook, Korero Purakau – Telling Tales by Jenny Argante and of books by the writers featured for sale.

The presentation will be managed by the Words & Pictures sub-group if our proposal is accepted. We do encourage other members of Tauranga Writers who write for children to consider attending this international conference.

BTW, Words & Pictures restarts on Sunday 14th February 2-4pm in the New Zealand Room of Tauranga City Library. If you want to know more, please contact Jenny on 07 576 9212, 022 053 48 68 or

Appendix 2

Tauranga Writers/Tauranga Film Collective: 

a Collaborative Film Project as part of 2017 50th Anniversary Celebrations 


A 70 minute feature film, consisting of seven short films, written by seven writers, and directed by seven different directors. The short films will consist potentially of a segment with the author, perhaps a little bit dramatized, about their writing practice and process and then move onto a short film based on their existing writing (narrative, poetry, dialogue) or specially scripted.

The goal is to showcase the spectrum of writing talent that TW has to offer, as well as allowing directors and filmmakers involved to demonstrate their talent.


Screenwriting workshop – March 20th with Anton Steele.
Scripts due: April 2016
Shoot: November/December 2016
Finished film: April 2017 – to meet the cut off point for New Zealand Film Festival.


will be aimed primarily at the film;
either a morning workshop (10am-12 noon) or a 1-day workshop (10am-4pm)
to serve as a potential audition for the characters who become the snapshot of representatives of Tauranga Writers.
bring up to three of your favourite passages that you feel would translate well visually (doesn’t matter if it’s fiction, autobiography, for children, poetry, or whatever, etc.)
should allow an insight into you as a writer
add a brief description of your writing process to be featured in the short film.

Once the seven writers have been chosen, they will receive a further screenwriting brief before the workshop, so that a rough first draft can be brought along, to the workshop.

(This prepared by Dhaivat Mehta as our liaison person with Tauranga Film Collective.)