Success for local writers

Two local children’s writers are celebrating success after the Storylines writers’ awards were announced recently.

Hugh Brown won the Tessa Duder Award for writers of teenage fiction, and Ragne Maxwell was shortlisted for the Tom Fitzgibbon Award for writing for 7-13 year olds.

Both Hugh and Ragne are graduates of the Whitireia Writing Programme and say their time as students was foundational in getting to this stage.

“Mandy Hager was my mentor at Whitireia and was instrumental in setting me on the right path writing for teenagers,” says Hugh. “She continued to give me support after I finished the course and suggested I do Kate de Goldi’s course at Victoria University, which I did. That’s where I wrote the first draft of my novel ‘Tales from the Quadmire’.”

“Winning the award is a great affirmation of being a writer” he says “and the guarantee of publication of ‘Tales from the Quadmire’ is a huge boost to continue writing.”

Ragne originally thought she wanted to write for younger children, however sampling different genres on the Whitireia Writing for Children course changed that. “I realized I wanted to write novels for children the course helped me discover where my talents really lay.”

Ragne is now using the judges’ report from the Tom Fitzgibbon award to help her work on her manuscript before seeking publication.