Registrations Open for Changing Channels

Deepen and broaden your ideas of what memoir can be.

Date: 10 am-4 pm, Saturday 8 July and 10-4pm, Saturday 15 July
Location: Manuka Room, Te Newhanga Kāpiti Community Centre, Paraparaumu
Faculty: Lynn Jenner
Cost: $150 for two days of tuition and refreshments
To register contact: [email protected]

Most people who write memoir have to climb over the obstacle of thinking that it is egotistical to write about yourself. This is perhaps especially true of people brought up with the idea that it is bad manners to talk about yourself. I agree with George Orwell who thought that all writing is, to some extent, egotistical and I don’t believe that memoir is necessarily any more self-absorbed than any other genre. It depends how you approach it.

If you have things you want to talk about, whether they are personal or historical or political, sometimes using yourself as the ‘eye’ is the best way. This is especially true if you want to record things only you would know, or your own ideas or perspectives on something. In this workshop we’ll look at what other writers are doing with memoir, how to let in new ideas when you are describing your own experiences and get constructive feedback on the results.

The workshop is intended for people who have a memoir project underway, or are thinking of writing a memoir. You’ll bring one episode from your memoir text to the first meeting and then, between the first and second meetings, you’ll get a chance to experiment with your memoir style. Then in the second meeting we’ll workshop the pieces and have a go at revising them again..

Limited to 12 participants. To reserve your space contact Kirsten Le Harivel at [email protected].

Lynn Jenner started her writing career at 50 with a year’s full-time study at Whitireia Polytechnic. Since then she has completed an MA and a PhD at the International Institute of Modern Letters and written two books, Dear Sweet Harry (AUP) in 2009 and Lost and Gone Away, (AUP), published in 2015. Dear Sweet Harry won the NZSA Jessie MacKay prize for the best first book of poetry and her memoir Lost and Gone Away was a finalist in the non-fiction section of the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards in 2016. Lynn teaches creative writing and mentors writers. In 2017 she published research into the teaching of creative writing. Lynn’s author website is

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Recapping The 2017 Jamaica Writers’ Retreat!

threepeoplesMarch 19-25, 2017–a week of intensive writing around the theme of water, of great community developed–especially around the kitchen!–and the sun setting over the Caribbean.

We came together from all over the Americas to explore how water shapes our lives in manycaribbean different ways, reading the work of such artists as Derek Walcott, Kwame Dawes, Hone Tuwhare, Katherine Mansfield, Kim Chinquee, and Edward Baugh, and finding new inspiration into our own writing.

We wrote poetry, we wrote fiction, we wrote nonfiction, we wrote cross-genre. We had the time of our lives through both community and individual writing retreat time.

peoplesWe’ll be doing this again in 2018!

Next Kahini event in the Americas: the 2017 Hawai’i Writers’ Retreat, which happens December 10-16.

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The 2017 Kāpiti Writers’ Retreat: A Recap

Over 60 writers from across Aotearoa gathered to workshop, talk and get stuck into writing at the second-annual Kāpiti Writers’ Retreat. From established writers to people just starting out, there was a space for everyone to develop an existing idea, start a new project or just pick up a pen (or start pressing those keys!).

Talking Hard at work

“The Kahini Retreat is the ultimate recharge for writers of all levels. It provides community (Wow! So, this is how writers en masse behave – cool!), structured workshops, the time, space and impetus to write, entertainment in the form of the readings of others, and inspiration. Everywhere you turn, there’s an interesting conversation to be had, and the body is taken care of with yoga, great food, fine facilities, and gorgeous surroundings to rest in and explore. I came away with a renewed dedication to bear witness to the voices that can certainly be heard by listening, and conviction that emotional honesty is the key to connection across diversity. Meeting so many published writers also gave me a inspiring sense of what is possible. Most tangibly, I have several drafts to progress with, and even a couple of finished pieces. Looking forward to the next Kahini.”  ~Bee Trudgeon


“Space and time to write, think writing, talk writing, away from the bustle and commitments of everyday life is a fantastic gift. I’ve come away with new friends, new ideas, and new tools to enrich my writing. Thank you, Kahini.”  ~Trish Veltman

“The Kahini Kapiti Writers retreat was an event that went well beyond my expectations. The enthusiasm and knowledge presented was inspiring.”  ~Liz Homes

Talk at the tablesWriting

“Stimulating, interesting and well worth while. You couldn’t meet a nicer group of people.” Lesley Webb

Find out more about the 2017 event here. The next Kāpiti Writers’ Retreat will happen in March 2018. More details to come. Contact Kirsten to join the mailing list: [email protected]

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