The Habit of Art

Date: 10am – 3:30pm, Saturday 17 November 2018
Location: Waikanae Baptist Church, Te Moana Road, Waikanae
Faculty: Pip Adam and Rebekah Rasmussen
Cost: $75 including lunch
To register contact: [email protected]

Fiction writer Flannery O’Connor worked for years as a cartoonist. She suggested that disciplines outside literature can help our writing. ‘Anything that helps you to see,’ she said. ‘Anything that makes you look’. We’d like to extend O’Connor’s idea to, ‘Anything that makes you look or listen or touch or taste or smell.’ In this one-day workshop we’ll be exploring what working in one art form (visual art) will bring to another (writing).

This workshop, co-taught by writer Pip Adam and visual artist Rebekah Rasmussen, is an opportunity to make visual art and then write.

Rebekah says, ‘In our house we draw on our bodies and paint with our fingers. We use colours. Red. Blue. Yellow. And we mix. Sometimes there is more water than there is paint. It gets messy. But we use sponges and paper to soak it all up. This is how we play. It’s spontaneous, exploratory, sensory and fun.

In this workshop we will be children again. Feeling and making through the use of hands. We will squish, smear, mold and explore different materials (associated with kids craft’s or activity’s). Through playful enquiry we will observe how different materials behave and can determine the various shapes/forms we construct. And discover how the process of letting go and having fun might inform or inhibit specific outcomes.

Caught between the throws of trial and error at any given moment, art like motherhood, like life, can’t be summed up into one final statement. They are a resolution of sorts, of what works and what doesn’t. They are a work in progress.’

After making and playing we will sit together and write prompted by the experience.


Saturday 10.00am – Noon – Drawing Class

Saturday Noon – Lunch

Saturday – 12.30pm – 2.30 Writing

Saturday – 2:30pm – 3.30pm discussion (this could be sharing work, discussing the experience, talking about issues that have arisen.)

Limited to 25 participants. To reserve your space contact Kirsten Le Harivel at [email protected]

Pip Adam has published a collection of short stories, Everything We Hoped For (VUP, 2010) and two novels, I’m Working on a Building (VUP, 2013) and The New Animals (VUP, 2017). Her work has appeared in literary journals and anthologies in New Zealand and overseas. In 2012 Pip received an Arts Foundation of New Zealand New Generation Award and her first book Everything We Hoped For won the NZ Post Best First Book award in 2011. Pip facilitates writing workshops in universities and other settings including with people affected by crime in prisons and communities. Pip makes the Better off Read podcast where she talks with authors about writing and reading.

Rebekah RasmussenRebekah Rasmussen is a mother of two young children and a visual artist living and working from her home in Wellington. She completed a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts from Wellington Massey University in 2013 and has exhibited regularly since. You can see more of her work at

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An Interview with Ananya Sarkar

asAnanya Sarkar is a short-story writer, book reviewer, and poet from Kolkata, who teaches at the Kolkata Writers’ Retreat.

Her work has been published in such magazines as The Times of India, Woman’s Era, New Woman, 4indianwoman, Children’s World, KidsWorldFun, Muse India, Induswomanwriting, Conversations Across Borders, Indian Ruminations, Earthen Lamp Journal, Spark and The Madras Mag

Ananya won the first prize in both the Story Writing Contest by the American Library, Kolkata, as thrt of the Fiction Festival 2008 and the Induswomanwriting Poetry Contest, 2012. She was also a prize winner in the LoudReview Review Writing Competition, 2012 and Writers’ HQ Story Competition, 2016. 

Reading books, watching sitcoms and going for long walks are her favourite hobbies.

Jordan Hartt: Who are your literary influences? 

Ananya Sarkar: I like Charles Dickens, the Brontë Sisters, Mark Twain, and D. H. Lawrence. R.K. Narayan is a veteran Indian writer whom I like too. Among contemporary authors, Chitra Divakaruni, Mohsin Hamid, Jhumpa Lahiri, Khaled Housseini, and Amitav Ghosh are my favourites. I’m also fond of Haruki Murakami.

All of them and many more have influenced me in multiple ways. Be it the focus on the marginalized sections of society by Dickens or the use of descriptive detail by Ghosh or the poignant narration by Divakaruni, I’m inspired by all of them. I find it fascinating how they breathe life into the pages of their books. Some of the characters such as Mariam in Housseini’s “A Thousand Splendid Suns” and Gogol in Lahiri’s “The Namesake” will always be close to my heart.

Read more.

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Register Now for the Desert Writers’ Conference in the Novel

tahiti village nightDates: July 28-August 3, 2019
Faculty: Megan Kruse
Registration (Tuition and private condo):
Non-Members; Non-Subscribers: $1,800
Magazine Subscribers: $1,200
Kahini Members: $1
Contact: [email protected].

The workshop takes place at Tahiti Village in Las Vegas. In order for each participant to receive maximum attention, this workshop is limited to twelve writers.

Live and write in the beauty of the Mojave Desert, near the pulse and energy of Las Vegas. Our desert writing retreats are where Kahini began, in 2014. After six consecutive sold-out retreats, we’ve decided to add another one: the Desert Writers’ Conference in the Novel, which will serve as one of our central events. This Conference is all about a mix of craft, inspiration, individual retreat time–and results in your work. Learn more or register here.

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