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Dan Davin Literary Foundation – Short Story Conference

The Dan Davin Conference on the New Zealand Short Story – its traditions and departures – will be held 1-3 September 2017.

The conference is an opportunity to celebrate Southland-born author Dan Davin as one of the fathers of the modern New Zealand short story, and the development of the New Zealand short story to today. The short story has always been of significance in New Zealand literature, and continues to be an important form of writing.

Some of New Zealand’s foremost writers of the genre including Owen Marshall, Dame Fiona Kidman and Tracey Slaughter will attend. Janet Wilson will be key note speaker. It will be the first conference for many years devoted entirely to the short story and its place in New Zealand literature.

The programme will begin on Friday 1 September with the annual Dan Davin Award presentation – this is a local Award in three categories – junior and senior student and adult. Janet Wilson will give the key note address focusing on Dan Davin’s war stories while also touching on Katherine Mansfield and examining the New Zealand-overseas and international frames for reading and interpreting short stories with a local origin.

Saturday 2 September will be held in the drawing room of Invercargill’s majestic Civic Theatre. Throughout the day papers will be presented from a variety of writers and academics. Dame Fiona Kidman and Tracey Slaughter will present papers as well as participate in a panel discussion with Janet Wilson and Owen Marshall. Saturday evening will be a chance to relax and enjoy some local entertainment and cuisine.

Sunday 3 September will begin with a bus trip to Bluff and the magnificent Te Rau Aroha Marae where you will be welcomed onto the Marae and into the Wharenui and treated to the stories of the carvings. This will be followed by several more papers and finally a delicious lunch featuring Bluff’s famous seafood.

For those able to stay into the afternoon (which we highly recommend) the bus will take you to Stirling Point and Motupōhue (Bluff Hill). And then you will head out to Riverton to visit Southland’s thriving coastal community.

For more information and to register visit our website:

Presenters List

Majella Cullinane

A Foot In Two Countries: Writing Short Stories as an Irish-Kiwi

Paula Morris

Short Story Writers or Readers?

Tom McLean

The intended audience of mid-twentieth century New Zealand short stories have been relatively little discussed.

Thom Conroy

‘Images that Wouldn’t Leave’: A Typology of Pleasure in Tracy Slaughter’s Short Fiction

Anna Smith

Ghosts on Dee Street: Scaring the crap out of the short story

Tim Jones

“Below the Thunders of the Upper Deep": The Visibility and Invisibility of New Zealand Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror

Frankie McMillan

'Every sentence, every phrase, every word has to fight for its life.' - Crawford Kilian

Craig Cliff

The moves in contemporary New Zealand short stories

Rebecca Styles

‘Show don’t tell’ and endings

Katie Wilson

Short stories of Phillip Wilson

James Eunson

Ballard of a Scarfie: A Love Letter to the Dunedin Literary Scene

Maggie Rainey-Smith

Reading short stories in prison

Kevin Ireland

Putting a gloss on a glossary

Keynote Speakers:

Dame Fiona Kidman

Digging for Truffles: Why New Zealand short story anthologies are important.

Tracey Slaughter

‘Something Very Red Comes Very Close’: Intensity and Short Fiction

Janet Wilson

Imagining New Zealand/Aotearoa; A Century of the Short Story

Panel Discussion:

Topic: Short Stories – How We Make Them

Chair – Paula Morris; Panel – Dame Fiona Kidman, Tracey Slaughter, Janet Wilson and Owen Marshall


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