Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Mid-way point on the Arts Centre Residency

7 September 2021 

For the past ten days I've been sitting at my desk writing. It's not very exciting to write about hence the gap. More events have been cancelled. August was going to be my busiest month. Not any more!

You might wonder how I procure these book events. I make a point of telling Read NZ that I'll be in a city on certain dates and they tell the schools in that area. Sometimes I might only get 1-2 schools responding, so then I contact the schools myself. While on the residency, my goal was to fill my Mondays with school visits. Six schools responded and I booked them in. Quite a few I've visited before. Hopefully, I can still visit those schools in Alert Level Two.

I offer several programmes to school and they tend to pick what fits in with their topics for that term. I've written about quite a few famous Canterbury heroes so I can talk about them, including their leadership skills. It includes Kate Sheppard, Captain Charles Upham, and Captain Frank Worsley. 

I've also written quite a few disaster books: five volcano, one earthquake and one disaster book (New Zealand Disasters), so that is another subject I talk about. And disasters and heroes fit with New Zealand milestones. I've also written a number of animal books and this suits the younger students. For older students, I focus on research techniques.

I also offer workshops whether they're a macro topic like creative nonfiction, biographies or short stories; or a micro subject like point of view, settings, and livening up the language.

I taught at Primary and Intermediate level before I had children and therefore enjoy visiting schools and teaching students. Since completing the Masters in Creative Writing at AUT last year, I'm keen to give more talks at high schools too. If schools are interested in an author talk or workshop, they can contact me via my email: maria@mariagill.co.nz. I'm in Christchurch until 20th October. 

Before I leave, I'm teaching Write Like an Author workshops in Dunedin (Otago Girls High School) from Monday 4th - 8th October and then in Christchurch (St Margaret's College) from Monday 11th - 13th October. If you have students who might be interested please steer them to www.writelikeanauthor.com

And for two of the August postponed events: 'Remarkable Animals from New Zealand and Australia' book launch is now on Saturday 16th October from 2.00 - 3.00 pm. And the biography writing workshop is on Sunday 17th October from 2.00 - 4.00 pm.

In the meantime, I'll keep writing -- I'm up to chapter eight now -- and riding my bike for exercise.

Hagley Park
Sumner Beach


Sumner Beach


Sumner Beach



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