Monday, February 18, 2013

Young Writers Anthology

Walking a Tightrope in Bare Feet, selected by Tessa Duder and  James Norcliffe, edited by Glyn Strange, Clerestory Press for the School for Young Writers (

This is the 12th book (published 2013)  in the Re-Draft anthologies, which aim to publish the best of New Zealand young writing. The anthologies have been published since 2001, presenting the winning stories and poems from an annual competition for young writers aged 13 to 19.

Also supplied were The World’s Steepest Street (no.10, dated 2011) and The Temptation of Sunlight (no.11, dated 2012). Each volume has an eye-catching photographic cover, and includes up to 47 contributions, with some writers having multiple entries. Inevitably there is a huge variety of themes and styles, focusing on both teenage and adult preoccupations – but all of them are very readable, and many will surprise with their skill. But considering the judges have to choose from around 600 submissions, I guess this isn’t so surprising.

These books should be in all public, secondary school and tertiary institution libraries. Teachers, librarians, authors, bookshop owners and reviewers are often asked by families how young people can get their work published, and these Re-Draft anthologies should be the first resource provided.

One interesting postscript – I was intrigued to see in the latest volume that the judges are asking for more stories to make them smile. Hint to young writers – try writing humorous stories!

Available from all good booksellers, and from The School for Young Writers, PO Box 21-120, Christchurch 8143. Can be ordered direct from the School for Young Writers website where the RRP includes postage and packaging.
ISBN 978 0 9582888 9 7 $34.50 Pb
Read a story about one of the young authors here.

Reviewed by Lorraine Orman

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