Topic: 2012 Memoir and Local History Competition

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An index page of articles written for the 2012 Memoir and Local History Competition.

The Judges report is available here.

 The Bay of Plenty Regional Branch of the New Zealand Society and Authors decided to run an annual Memoir & Local History Competition for many reasons. The competition is open to all New Zealanders across the nation, and we wanted to use it to:

 1.      Recognise the very real affection New Zealanders have for ‘telling their own story’ and for reading the stories of others, both past and present. Penning the past, and writing based on personal, family and local history is almost a passion with many of our country’s residents and will continue to be so for as long as we grow and change.

2.      Acknowledge the importance and value of the National Kete, and the many well-run local and regional variations, of which Tauranga Memories is an outstanding example. We feel we are contributing to its growth and development by encouraging young and old to ‘tell their tale’ of people and places who have influenced them. Writing something like this doesn’t demand high literary merit, though many of the stories do display excellent skills in communicating the essence of the story. What it does do is add each year and additional range of narratives that skilfully blend scholarship and personal recollection which reflect the individual writer’s commitment to this country, its past, present and future.

3.      We find this is an excellent opportunity for our professional organisation for paid and practising writers to interact with those who are writing for a different purpose, but with equal integrity. Yes, it advertises both NZSA national and our regional branch; mostly, it is a connecting link with the ambitions and achievements of ordinary and extraordinary people who know something focused and unique about our country.

In 2012 we had 94 entries, which Tauranga City Library staff are busy uploading online. Our judge was Gwyneth Jones, who is New Zealand’s foremost historical researcher on our coal-mining communities, and who has written many other stories of New Zealand’s places and people.

 We look forward to running the competition again this year, opening on August 31st and closing on November 30th. Our judge this year is celebrated historian Trevor Bentley (Cannibal Jack, Captured by the Maori) and we will have an Open Category, a special Bay of Plenty prize and a Young Writers section. We hope to hit the hundred mark!

  In alphabetical order. Click on the article you're interested in reading to open it.

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2012 Memoir and Local History Competition

Note: We are proud to be associated with the Tauranga City Library’s hardworking facilitators of Tauranga Memories and the National Kete – Smita Biswas and Harley Couper – and to know that we are giving something back to add to other wonderful resources in public libraries, such as the New Zealand Rooms or other archives and the treasure-house of information that can be found therein.