Steampunk scores shortlist
Havelock North’s Gareth Ward has been shortlisted for the Storylines Tessa Duder Award for his young adult novel The Sin Chronicles: New Blood, and he’s delighted.
He and his wife Louise own Wardini’s Bookshop and they will both be at the award ceremony in Auckland on April 3with their fingers firmly crossed.
It’s Gareth’s first time at an award ceremony, he says.
In fact it’s the first time he’s written a book, so to be in a short list of four, at least two of whom are published writers, has come as quite a surprise.
“I’m a bit shellshocked. I’ve always written the odd thing but never ‘properly’. Last year I took awriting course, with the objective of writing a novel. The closing date for the Storylines competition was in October so I sent the manuscript off and pretty much forgot about it. I just thought it was a good chance to get my manuscript in front of a publisher.
“This is an amazing opportunity— the winner has their book published by Walker Books and launched at next year’s award ceremony in 2017.”
The story is a rip-roaring steampunk adventure, set in Victorian England.
“Some writers are plotters and some are ‘pants-ers’— writing by the seat of their pants. I found Iwas more of a pants-er . . . I had a beginning and an end but the rest filled itself in. I didn’t know where the characters were going to lead me. Sometimes I even surprised myself.”
Wardini fans can follow the action on April 3 on Wardini Books’ page on Facebook, where Gareth has promised to post the results.
2016 Storylines Tessa Duder Award Shortlist:
(sponsored by Walker Books, Australia, open to all New Zealand writers)
Grow, Amy Martin, Ohaupo (Waikato)
The Knowledge Keeper, Jessica Pawley, Red Beach, Auckland
The Sin Chronicles: New Blood, Gareth Ward, Havelock North
Wild Cards, Fifi Colston, Wellington
HERE’S HOPING: Gareth Ward, shortlisted for the Storylines Tessa Duder Award.