Friday, April 9, 2010

Some info on getting published in NZ...

Update! You can find a revised 2016 version of this post with additional information here

Spent the morning with a lovely bunch of folk discussing children's writing. As promised below is some info on getting published in New Zealand.

So you’ve read your story umpteen times, checked and re-checked it for mistakes, edited it till it sparkles and written ‘The End’ – what do you do next?
How to Submit

1. Re-read your work again. If possible read aloud – you don’t need an audience for this but it is amazing what reading aloud will show you about your work – repetition, incorrect or missing punctuation, troublesome flow, missing information, or dialogue confusion.

2. Research the market – where should you send it? Who publishes this kind of thing? What are their submission guidelines?

Writing and Illustrating for Children Handbook
available by writing to the address below - the book contains contact and susmission information on NZ publishers of material for children)
Central Library
Christchurch City Libraries
P O Box 1466
Christchurch 8140

This booklet is $6.00 plus $1.50 p&p

PANZ Publishers Directory
current version available for download at:

-Writers and Artists Yearbook
-Children’s Writers and Artists Yearbook
-Writers and Illustrators Market
-Children’s Writers and Illustrators Market

(these books published annually are available in good bookshops)

3. Do what the submission guidelines say – DO NOT DO ANYTHING ELSE. They supply guidelines because this is how they want to receive your stories. You would be surprised by how many people ignore the guidelines. While doing something different may make you stand out, it makes you stand out for the wrong reasons. Follow the guidelines.

4. Query/covering letter. You need to include the name of your manuscript, the word count, genre, the intended market, a brief outline of the work, and your publishing credits if any. For fiction you will need a synopsis and either several chapters or the entire manuscript as per submission guidelines. For non-fiction you generally submit a proposal.

Educational Markets
Learning Media – School Journals ( )
School Magazine – Australia ( )
Pearson ( )

Check out the NZSA website ( ) for details on competitions, fellowships, and awards

-Sunday Star Short Story Competition
-Katherine Mansfield Short Story Competition
-Joy Cowley Award (picture book)
-Tom Fitzgibbon Award (children's novel by an unpublished author)

We don’t have many in New Zealand. You do not need an agent to get published here. NZ Publishers are used to dealing directly with the author. If you would like to try overseas markets then you would benefit from having either a NZ or overseas agent. It’s not impossible to get one. Check out for those NZ agents who belong to the NZ Association of Literary Agents. Books such as the Writers Market and Writers Yearbooks mentioned above have contact details for overseas agents.

Writers Organisations
NZSA ( )
Kiwiwrite4kidz ( )
Storylines (
NZ Book Council (

If you are serious about writing there are a lot of benefits in belonging to writer’s organisations and joining critique groups. I have learnt more from my fellow writers than I ever could have learnt on my own.

Handy things to have

An up-to-date, reputable Dictionary
A Roget’s Thesaurus
Reference books – Baby names
Dictionary of Classical Mythology
Dictionary of Phrase and fable
Biographical Dictionary
‘How to’ Books
Books on Grammar (The Elements of Style by William Strunk and E.B.White, Longman)


Old Kitty said...


Dictionary - definitely check
Thesaurus - oh check, check!!
How to books - triple check x infinitum!
Writers and Artists Yearbook - ooh check!
Dictionary of Classical Mythology - I haven't thought of that so thank you!

and lots and lots of great universal and NZ writers' resources here - what a fab thing to do!

Take care

Pen said...

Thanks so much for posting all of this. It confirmed many things I'd been told by other Kiwi authors.

SF said...

I've filed this away under really useful stuff I might need to come back to one day (ie., if I ever finish a manuscript!)