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Lock down Reading Challenge – 4+ weeks

Four weeks can feel like a long time if you don’t have anything planned. For those of you who enjoy a challenge or are just looking for a bit of structure we have a reading challenge for you – based on four books per week.

There are five challenges (one for each week) and three separate sheets for children, see how many you can get through before our lock down is finished. If people don’t stay at home and keep safe, we could be in lock down for much longer. If that happens (and we hope it won’t) then we will add more challenges for you.

Or you might decide to do your own reading challenges. We would love to hear how you went by commenting on the blog or our facebook page.

Week 1:

  1. A book recommended by someone
  2. A sequel you’ve been meaning to read
  3. A book with red on the cover
  4. Re-read an old favourite
  5. For children – we have Challenge sheet 1 to print or download for fun reading challenges

Download all five weeks of our challenges here:
Reading Challenge week 1
Reading Challenge week 2
Reading Challenge week 3
Reading Challenge week 4
Reading Challenge week 5

Download the children’s reading challenges here:
Lock down reading challenge 1
Lock down reading challenge 2
Lock down reading challenge 3

Happy reading everyone.

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Poetry interlude with David Smith

David is a regular contributor to Wellington Access Radio 106.1 Hutt Zone reading poetry.

For our enforced confinement due to Covid-19 and New Zealand being on Alert level 4 lock down, David has kindly send some fun poems for everyone to read. These will be alternated during the weeks but all five are available to download below.

My computer has the Hiccups by David Smith

My computer has the hiccups,
And now the printer has them too,
Which explains all my stuff ups.

I couldn’t find a case of this kind, online,
And the manual was a waste of Time.
I asked my son to come and dine,
Hiccups in the conversation resulted in a decline.

My daughter was next in line,
She saw no need to dine,
As everything could be fixed on line.
That was until she got a case like mine,

Now it was novel language time,
A polite decline from the computer came on line,
And one from the printer in equal time,
Another from my wife to say I was out of line.

I took a glass of wine to make me feel fine,
And the problem to re-define,
While I went off line,
And took my wife out to dine.

I came back ready to try another line,
Ignoring the off-line sign,
I pressed print one more time,
And everything turned out fine.

My stuff-ups are now in decline,
The computer and printer still have hiccups from time to time,
Though when a message to dine comes on line,
That is a message I never decline as long as there is wine.

Download all the poems as Word documents here:
Lessons from the sandpit
My computer has the Hiccups
Six down six to go
The case of the second jacket
A smile has the power to

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Summer Reading Challenge

Summer holidays, it’s hectic one minute getting ready for Christmas, then it’s quiet with nothing much on the next, unless you are someone who is organised and has a lot of things planned. Let’s face it, we do plan to do it, and then , well, the days just run away and there you are – back at work.

For you – we want to give you and excuse to relax and take time out for yourself , to recharge those batteries ready for the rest of the year.

And for those parents at home with the ‘I’m bored’ crowd, we are referring to children and teens, we want to give you something to challenge them. You can turn it into a competition – who does this first, add your own rules or do reading challenge as a family.

A couple of reading challenges for you
Download and print

Summer Reading Challenge 1

We encourage reading and literacy of all types, and maybe you could have another challenge for the most books read that come from our shop.

Why reading?
The benefits of reading are well known – and include
Mental stimulation
Stress reduction
Knowledge
Vocabulary expansion
Memory improvement
Improved focus and concentration
Prevents depression

There are several blogs about the value – e.g.
The Writing Co-operative – The Benefits of Reading Everyday 
10 Benefits of Reading: Why You Should Read Every Day

There is also and interesting article on Motivating adolescent male readers a blog from Teachthought.

We would like to hear your summer reading challenge stories – let us know how you are getting on and what books you read that were from our bookshop.
Not sure of what books we have – check our online store.

Happy reading
The team at Writers Plot Bookshop



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Spooky story competition

We had a wonderful time with the scary stories in the spooky story competition for Halloween this year.

Thank you to all who entered, there was some stiff competition.

Winners of the adults section are as follows – (we are arranging for a pdf of the stories to be added to this page which can be downloaded.)

1st. Mike Wolffram – ‘The Station Masters Ghost’

2nd. Hamish Trulove – ‘Canvas’

3rd. Nonen Titi – ‘One Body in Stone’

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It’s that time again – Ngaio Marsh Awards

The entrants have been announced and as usual there is a full line up of new novels and this year a new award for non-fiction.

We are thrilled to see so many of our authors going in for this and we wish them well.

There are 58 entrants for the Best Novel section and you can see some of them in the shop along with so previous years finalists and winners. Link through to the books here.

With Queens birthday weekend looking like it’s going to have terrible weather, why not grab a book and find out which of these books is your favourite. And keep up-to-date with what is happening with these awards by following the Ngaio Marsh Awards Facebook page

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Franklin Writers 2019 competition

Greetings to all, especially to writers,   

Believe it or not another two years have flown by and the Franklin Writers group is once again holding its biennial short story competition.  This time there are a couple of important changes.  First the competition is for a 300 word Flash Fiction story, closing on June 30th 2019.  Second, the award ceremony will be held at the ‘Words Will Work’ South Auckland writers festival to be held at Nathan Homestead, Manurewa on Saturday 27th July 2019. 

Conditions and entry form for the competition are attached or may be found on the  Franklin Writers Group website.

For details of South Auckland Writers Festival please go to  https://wordswillwork.nz/

Visit the website for the programme

We would be grateful if you could pass this on to your fellow writers networks and we look forward to receiving their support of both the competition and the festival.

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100 NZ Stories, 100 Days –Author starts short story campaign

Northland author Michael Botur has launched a programme of publishing short stories every day for the next 100 days on social media and is encouraging other Kiwi writers to do the same.

Botur said the #100NZStories100days campaign doesn’t hinge on any significant date. Rather, it’s about keeping short fiction writing in the public consciousness every day by using social media. Botur suggests Facebook, Twitter, Medium, Tumblr and LinkedIn as the best platforms for NZ short story writers to publish their hundred stories on.

The published stories aren’t expected to be all new – writers are encouraged to post links to stories already published in literary magazines and blogs.

“I have a philosophy of ‘There’s no time like the present’ with a lot of my publishing,” Botur says. “Fiction writers endure many forces which delay the publication of our work when we’re keen to share it with the world. Life is short and I don’t think it’s right that publishers and competitions will keep an author waiting up to 12 months to share their work with the world.”

“If you’re a writer and you know you have some quality work to share, you need to pick up the reins yourself. Don’t expect to be plucked from obscurity. You probably have audience members out there in the world waiting to discover your wonderful words. They’re unlikely to discover you if you wait around for someone else’s approval. Just go for it.”

Botur says the hashtag #100NZStories100days encourages fiction writers to publish ‘snackable,’ shortish writing online. “It will help us find new readers and it will remind the public that short fiction needs to be valued as an art form. Also, sharing 100 stories is important in pushing back against the clickbait which pollutes the information we consume every day.”

Botur says the number of short stories published in mainstream NZ media is far too few.

“Short fiction writers need to reclaim their place in daily media. Literature is an art form which generates meaningful discussion about cultural experiences, it’s deeply therapeutic for everyone whether writing or reading – plus reading a lot of this material is completely free.”

Authors are urged to publish their 100 pieces on any consecutive days across autumn to spring and use the hashtag #100NZStories100days to support one another.

Botur, who lives in Whangarei, is author of five short story collections and one novel, has won numerous awards for short stories and flash fiction, delivers workshops and short courses on short story writing and performs with the Poetry Posse of Tai Tokerau Northland.

#100NZStories100days

Mike Botur
www.KiwiWords.co.nz

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Popular genres for 2018

What books sell best in the shop? This is a question we get asked often and off the top of our heads it was difficult to say – picture books did well, but so did historical fiction and non-fiction as well as crime thrillers. With the thanks of a bit of spare time and a spreadsheet we set about looking at the sales for 2018 and what genre had the highest percentage.

Here are the results:

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Delightful new picture books to grow readers

Delightful stories with illustrations that will keep adults and children enthralled. A powerful gift to give the young generation, by giving them fun, interesting and stimulating books, to develop a lifelong love for reading.

Sam and the Reading Dog by Richard Ward
Ages: 3 – 7 years. RRP $20
Meg is a smart dog. She helps Sam with his reading. What can Sam do to help Meg in return?
Read more…

Bella’s Fringe by Marie Munro
Ages  3 – 7 years. RRP $25
There is one thing that Bella knows and that is haircuts are out!
The search activities in te reo Maori that appeared in “Nana’s Shed” are extended in this book, plus counting in English and te reo to 20.
Read more…

Kia Kaha the Cathedral Mouse  by Clare Erasmus
Ages: 3 – 7 years. RRP $20
Kia Kaha lives in the Christchurch Cathedral.
Read more…

Kia Kaha’s Brand New House by Clare Erasmus
Ages: 3 – 7 years. RRP $20
After the Christchurch earthquake Kia Kaha needs a new home.
Read more…

Kia Kaha’s Christmas Cheer by Clare Erasmus
Ages: 3 – 7 years. RRP $20
Kia Kaha celebrates Christmas in the new house.
Read more…

Martians Don’t Dance by Donna Preston
Ages: 3 – 7 years. RRP $18
Everyone likes to dance … or do they?
Read more…

Little Dragon Learns How to Breathe Fire by Chia Rubio
Ages 3 – 7 years. RRP $20
Little Dragon sees Daddy Dragon blow a huge fire. He wants to learn how to breathe fire too.
Read more …

Mother Earth and the Quakeia Babies by Michelle Lagatule and Rose Spijkerman
Ages 3 – 10 years. RRP $25.
Colouring and Activity book $20. Purchase the two together for $40

Disaster education through the eyes of a child.  Read more…

Colouring and Activity book to help children express themselves. Read more…

Remember the Brave by Forrest Chambers and Lena Chambers
Ages 8 – 12 years. RRP $20
In 1917, a young man from New Zealand signs up for an adventure and goes to war in France.
Read more…

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Fantastic new children’s books (7+ years) for Christmas

Exciting new children’s and pre-teen books have arrived at the shop, just in time for Christmas presents or something for your avid reader over the school holidays.

 

The Trespassers Club by Helen Vivienne Fletcher. RRP $20
Trespassers Club was just supposed to be a game, but sometimes going places you shouldn’t has consequences.
Age: 8+ Read more…

The World of Greek Mythology by Ben Spies. RRP $21
From Titans to Olympians, 11 year old Ben, writes his action-packed version of some of the most thrilling tales from Greek mythology.
Age: 10 + Read more…

Fire! by Anne McDonell. RRP $21
Can Flip and Jackson reach a compromise and work together to catch the culprit before someone is seriously hurt? Age: 8+ Read more…

Ezaara by Eileen Mueller. RRP $26
A dragonet’s past murder throws Ezaara into a war between dragons and the monsters enslaving Dragons’ Realm. Age 11+ Read more…

Attack of the Giant Bugs by A.J. & Eli Ponder. RRP $20
YOU are Greenville’s only hope. Choose which path you take. Beware…there is danger. Fail or succeed.
Age: 8+ Read more…

When Words Die by Jenni Francis (Keri Series Book 6). RRP $18
With red hair and fair skin, Chloe stands out for all the wrong reasons at her new school.
Age:10+ Read more…

No Way Back by Alan Whitaker. RRP $20
When 12 year old Noah follows his brother into a cave they enter a parallel world. How do they get back?
Age 9 + Read more…

Greenstone Mystery by Lynley Smith. RRP $20
Six children from New Zealand are suddenly transported back in time to an ancient Israel.
Age 10+ Read more…

A Catastrophe of Gigantic Proportions by Shirley Corlett  RRP $23
Angie Danwoolly hears her family intend to sell their 115 year old house, for the resident ghost, 12 year old Hilda, it is a catastrophe.
Age 9+ Read more…

Fangtastic Dragon Jokes and Clawsome Limericks complied by Eileen Mueller. RRP $15
Yo’ dragon jokes, dragons in love, hungry dragons, fiery dragons, dragons in battle and more. Roll your eyes, groan or burst out laughing. Read more…

Quest by AJ Ponder. RRP $25
Sylvalla has escaped from the castle, she is not alone. The companions set out on adventures, but adventures can bite back.
Age 10+ Read more…

The Adventures of Sandy by Pearl Jackson. RRP $16
Three adventures of Sandy, a poodle bichon cross, in his new home.
Age 6-8 years Read more…