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Saturday, 8 November 2014

News from Jenny Harrison in far-flung Te Aroha

For a number of years, I was fortunate in being part of a very creative, very productive writer’s group in Auckland, the Mairangi Writers’ Group. (If you’re reading this blog then you probably know them.) Over the years the members have published more than forty titles; novels, non-fiction, poetry and short stories. The group also organises seminars and presentations. They know their stuff. At present there are twelve very committed members who meet once a fortnight to critique and workshop their stuff. I am now the Country Cousin, having recently moved from the city to the small, idyllic, peaceful and very rural town of Te Aroha.
The town nestles in the foothills of a mountain, Mount Te Aroha, which apparently mean the Mountain of Love. There is a population of around four thousand, a lot of them ‘Wrinklies’ who have retired from the city and are looking to a more peaceful, less stressed lifestyle. What can be more serene than a little village with no traffic, no peak hour, no police sirens?

Are these residents sitting back and vegetating? No, sirree!
There are a large number of arty crafty people down here; painters, photographers, quilters and a gentleman who turns scrap metal into works of art. (Adrian Worsley is actually very good. If you’re down this way anytime make sure you pop into his art gallery Historic Creations. Adrian kind of sets the bar for creativity in Te Aroha.) There are a few art galleries and various displays of art work. In December there is going to be a “Words Live and Art Show Summer Fest” in which moi will be participating.

But there are no writers, or if there are, they’re in hiding. So, I played with the idea of starting a writers’ group; talked to a few people about it. Before I could safely retreat from the thought, I had five very keen ladies wanting to start.
Now, what to do with them and their enthusiasm? I suspect there are among them a few who would like to be “taught” how to write without really having to do much about it. I am going to have to excite them enough to become committed and serious writers. In the coming months, I will be trying my damnedest to get a number of keen first-timers to take their creativity seriously, write something worthwhile and finally publish it.
Will these enthusiastic ladies be up for it?
Watch this space … !

Jenny Harrison


  1. Arm yourself with a copy of A Reassuring Guide to Self Publishing and lead them to greatness, oh Wise One!

  2. Go Jenny!!! The ladies won't know what hit them. They will be so overawed by your skill and enthusiasm they won't be able to stop themselves. You will have a very successful writers group before you know it.