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“To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.” – Audrey Hepburn

The first seedling idea for an East Coast writers’ garden was planted in the rich and fertile soil of a Tairawhiti Writers Hub meeting, when Gillian Moon (wait up, that’s me!) brought to the table an idea of putting together a collection of writing from the shores of Tairāwhiti.  Nurtured with encouragement and enthusiasm by fellow members and by securing and applying a generous amount of compost via a grant gratefully received from the Margaret King Spencer Writers Encouragement Trust Fund, Kaituhi Rāwhiti;  A celebration of East Coast Writers began its journey.

During the early months of 2020,  the four Editors; Aaron Compton, Christopher McMaster, Gillian Moon (me again) and Claire Price put out the call for submissions of work to be sent in, with the opportunity to appear in a published anthology of East Coast writing.  Under the unexpected yet auspicious circumstances of lock-down, writers around the region had their pens scrolling across pages and fingers tapping at their keyboards, with the hope of getting published in this celebratory first volume of writing.

The motivation behind Kaituhi Rāwhiti was to bring together and showcase the diversity of people who call Tairāwhiti their home and to provide a platform for writers to share their stories and their craft in a safe, creative and nurturing environment.  And with thirty four contributors (nine of those Rangatahi from our region), the foreword by Witi Ihimaera, a sell out book launch, and ongoing book sales – it can be proudly deemed that Kaituhi Rāwhiti was and is a great success!  With that in mind and a “let’s do volume two” ringing loudly in the ears of the editors, the call has gone out for submissions to Kaituhi Rāwhiti Two!

With a slight change of the original line up of Editors,  Regina de Wolf-Ngarimu has stepped in to fill the shoes of Claire Price, who is busy with other business and creative projects this year.  Regina is a contributor in the original Kaituhi Rāwhiti and brings a wealth of skills in the form of publishing, writing and marketing.  

What are the Editors looking for?  Submissions!  Any genre will be considered!  We want diversity, we want stories that celebrate different cultures, we want poems, photos with words, drawings that tell a story, essays, memoirs, speculative fiction.  Dig out those old, forgotten jotted down stories, notes and words – blow off the dust, re read, re visit, re write and let your imagination go. Gizzy’s sizzling summertime is just the time to chillax at the beach, river or park under a shady, leafy tree and work towards the March 01 2022 deadline for submissions.  What will your words bring to the garden of Kaituhi Rāwhiti Two?

Check out our Tairawhiti Writers Hub Facebook page and request to join – we love welcoming new members.  Or if you want to check out a copy of the original Kaituhi Rāwhiti, the H.B. Williams Memorial Library has a copy to loan or they can be purchased from the Tairāwhiti Museum and from all our supportive bookshops.  Alternatively drop us an email at tairawhitiwrite@gmail.com for any questions or comments.

Story by Gillian Moon

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