Who speaks for New Zealand writers,
- when the National Library of New Zealand announces plans to hand over hundreds of thousands of books from its collection to the notorious Internet Archive, a process condemned internationally as piracy on a massive scale and the subject of a major lawsuit by international publishers? *(see below)
- when the creation and publication of original written material faces a lack of protection by robust copyright legislation?
- when government legislation already in place negatively affects the ability of writers to get a fair income for their writing? (NZ writers’ average income is well below the annual value of working at the minimum wage for 40 hours a week.)
- when writers and material are needed to support the realisation of New Zealand’s te reo ambitions?
The New Zealand Society of Authors (PEN NZ Inc) Te Puni Kaituhi o Aotearoa, supporting the right to freedom of expression and the right to fair reward for writers.
Whether you’re a writer or a reader, consider getting involved with this hard-working group that works for libraries and bookstores, as well as writers.
It was established ninety years ago. It’s membership-based, representing hundreds of writers through eight regional branches and hubs. National and branch meetings are open to non-members so events, support, professional development and workshops around the country help a wide range of writers.
Eight branches from Northland to Southland offer the chance to network with other writers, attend workshops, take part in seminars, enjoy social events, learn aspects of the craft of writing, enter competitions, and participate in decision-making about the Society.
It’s for writers of all genres and formats at all stages of their career with information services, professional development programmes, advice and advocacy, awards, grants, residencies and fellowships, promotional opportunities and members’ discounts.
Members get access to support in areas such as:
Writing, Publishing, Marketing, Writers’ rights, Writers’ Groups, Mentoring, Manuscript assessment, Youth mentoring, awards, Grants and Fellowships, Residencies, Web workshops, Regional roadshows, Podcasts by authors.
NZSA gets involved in a wide range of issues such as copyright review, Public Lending Rights, library closures, lack of funding for school libraries, falling literacy rates, promotion of New Zealand literature internationally, the creation of an Educational Lending Right scheme, the establishment of a children’s laureate post and ways writers can earn fair reward for their writing.
NZSA is affiliated to International PEN and active with programmes such as Writers in Prisons NZ and international campaigns to protect the right to freedom of speech for imprisoned writers and journalists around the world.
NZSA produces Kete weekly e-news, a monthly new books e-bulletin for members and a quarterly NZ Author print magazine. It’s an information hub for the literary arts sector. It collaborates with the government and a range of organisations on behalf of writers.
It’s also a repository of knowledge about New Zealand literary history, producing and hosting the NZSA Oral History podcasts featuring interviews with leading New Zealand writers.
It works alongside CLNZ, Booksellers NZ, Library organisations, NZ Poetry Society, Storylines, The New Zealand Book Council, Playmarket, the Writers Guild, and with book festivals and the Publishers Association of NZ. It’s
one of the founding stakeholders of The New Zealand Book Awards Trust and the Book Sector Coalition.
Maybe it can work for you?
*Extract from Joint Press Release protesting against the Internet Archive,
from the New Zealand Society of Authors Te Puni Kaituhi o Aotearoa (PEN NZ) Inc and the Publishers Association of New Zealand Te Rau o Tākupu Thursday, 15 July 2021, 2:18 pm
“In recent years leading authors from New Zealand, including Catherine Chidgey, Keri Hulme, Elizabeth Knox and Damien Wilkins, have had their books illegally distributed online for free by the Internet Archive, forcing publishers and authors to repeatedly spend time and money taking enforcement action.
But the piracy of treasured New Zealand works continues unabated. On the day of the National Library’s announcement, works by Janet Frame, Patricia Grace, Keri Hulme, Witi Ihimaera, Albert Wendt and many other leading authors were being illegally distributed by the Internet Archive.”
Photo credit: Marvin Meyer on Unsplash