Talented secondary school writers win mentorships

Three talented secondary school students have been selected to take up mentorships with some of New Zealand’s finest professional authors.

They are winners of the NZ Society of Authors Youth Mentorship Programme 2016 which is offered to three writers, aged 15-18, each year.

Recipients for 2016 are Hannah Turnbull from Gisborne Girls’ High School, Joanna Li from Diocesan School for Girls in Auckland and Cameron Johnson from Tauranga Boys’ College. Cameron will be using his mentorship to develop a project exploring isolation, human nature, and why secrets are secrets. Hannah will be working on her novel Saviour, while Joanna’s project, Never Felt Like Home, focuses on the experiences of two teenagers, one Chinese and the other Iraqi.

Their mentors are are Renee Liang, James George and Anna Mackenzie.

Selection panel convenor, author Tina Shaw, said the standard of applicants was extremely high. “The 25 submissions were so strong and talented, and supported by very positive school endorsements”.

The Youth Mentorship Programme was established to foster and develop emerging writing talent with the support of established authors. It is part of NZSA’s successful mentoring programme for adult writers and is supported by Creative New Zealand.


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