Ann French

Winner of Best Novel Extract Written in English in 2013 and finalist in five Pikihuia Awards

My experience of the Pikihuia Awards and working with the Māori Literature Trust and HUIA
Being part of the Māori Literature Trust and HUIA is like being part of a large family – a family that cares about what you have accomplished in the past and what you hope to succeed at in the future. They are helpful and always willing to offer advice and encouragement along the way. HUIA nourishes their authors’ imaginations and skills with courses that endeavour to get the best from those who attend them, and everyone who does comes away feeling enriched from the learning experience.

How to choose which part of your novel to enter!
One of the most beneficial steps I take when writing is to set myself goals to write approximately 300 words a day. It may not seem much, but every time I open up the story on my computer, I re-edit everything I have written up to that point, and then I begin to write anew from where I left off. By doing this, I believe that everything I have written is as good as it’s going to get when it is finally completed. My tactic for entering Pikihuia is to usually send off the first three chapters of the novel as that sets the scene, introduces the plot, the characters and (hopefully) grabs the reader’s attention.

What I’m doing now
Currently, I am working on my entries for the Pikihuia Awards – and there is a lot of work to be done. My mind is full of ideas, but putting them on paper is no small task.

Over the past year, I have helped various people and groups with editing their memoirs and histories and also some creative writing booklets that various groups within the community have published. If nothing else, it keeps me off the streets!

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