Marion Day


Posted on 30th Nov, 2017

A 'Right' Writer's Year

The months of 2017 have whisked into Christmas. And as the pohutukawa in the garden bursts into bloom, I can say … what a year! When I sit at the keyboard, head down, tapping away, what is in fact an hour, could be ten hours. So a lot has happened.

I’d like to share with you some of my writing highlights of the year:

The first right happened in June where books two and three of my Nature Series were published – The Little Feijoa Tree and Black Shag. The first was Spiny Sebastian Starfish. These have been extremely successful, so I am very excited about the fourth title – The Butterfly and the Tui – in 2018, which is being illustrated as I write. I was lucky enough to have a sneak preview of the first picture and my immediate response? Tears. I can’t wait for this beautiful book that showcases the forest ringlet, a rare New Zealand butterfly. And accompanying it, something totally different and humorous – Skiddies. This is another to watch for, as the illustrations are pure Kiwiana.

I submitted two manuscripts – The Chestnut Mare and Uncle Tappit – to New Zealand boutique publisher CreateBooks. To my surprise, both were accepted. So instead of two books for the year, I had four. “Forthright!”

Another big right was the inclusion of my poem “Heightened Tones” in Bird Words – New Zealand Writers on Birds published by Random House New Zealand Ltd. There was a huge number of submissions, and to see mine accepted and then sit alongside names such as Janet Frame, Michael King, Owen Marshall, Frank Sargeson, Brian Turner, Sam Hunt and Witi Ihimaera, was an honour – and pretty hard to believe, as poetry is something I only dabble in.

The next right thing was a late decision to enter the Rural Women New Zealand Enterprising Rural Women Awards. These awards showcase the talent and business skills of women living and working in rural communities and how they can run very successful rural enterprises.

I’d been encouraged to enter by our Kenepuru group over the last few years, but reviewing the previous business winners, I did not think being a writer was entrepreneurial and innovative enough. A reminder email popped through, advising entries closed in five days, so I thought, What the heck? Nothing ventured, nothing gained. I spent three solid days compiling my entry and selecting supporting materials and books. By Monday, I had a huge parcel to go out in Tuesday’s mail!

You can imagine my surprise when I was notified that I’d been highly commended (with one other entrant) for my writing of children’s books.

The second-to-last right was finally being able to afford a website – one I could showcase my books on. And even blog. Thanks so much to local Sounds man Stefan Schulz, of Professional Web Solutions. I’ve had so many compliments on the site.

And the final right for 2017 – a building. Yes, the one that Steve built – Mam’s Writing Shack! The story on how this came about is on a previous blog. Pop into it, and have a squiz.

Well, that’s it for 2017. Thanks to you all. Without little pushes and shoves, inspirations and ideas, I would not have been able to achieve the right writer’s year.

Merry Christmas, Marion

PS: I hope I’ve got this story right!


Contact me

Marion Day
801 Manaroa Road, Clova Bay
Picton 7282
P: (64) 03 579 8448

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Marion is thrilled her story Belladonna has been accepted for Flash Frontier (an adventure in short fiction) July edition Moana/Ocean. Pakupaku Pīwakawaka, a new book in Marion’s popular nature series was released in October 2023, and her debut young adult novel, Whakaari, was released in March.

See news from 2022

See news from 2021

See news from 2020

See news from 2019

Marion is a member of:

  • New Zealand Society of Authors (NZSA)
  • Storylines
  • Rural Women New Zealand
  • NZSA Top of the South
  • Writers of Marlborough
  • Writers in Schools Programme