NorthTec Student Makes Waves in New Zealand Writing Scene

15 November 2019

NorthTec Student Makes Waves in New Zealand Writing Scene

NorthTec Creative Writing student, Marino-Moana Begman, has had literary success since beginning a Diploma in Applied Writing at NorthTec.

In September, Marino’s short story Botched was accepted for publishing by Huia Publishers and included in their latest anthology – Huia Short Stories 13.

Marino explains: “I entered this story in the Pikihuia Awards this year and although I wasn't a finalist, my story was selected to be included in the anthology. The Pikihuia awards in partnership with Huia publishers publish all finalist's stories and a selected few other author's stories as an anthology.”

Since then, Huia publishers have been approached by professional writer Steve Braunias seeking permission to publish this same short story in the Reading Room, part of the Newsroom website.

In October, Marino attended the Te Hā Māori Writers Conference in Wellington with funding by Creative Northland. She was able to rub shoulders with New Zealand literary greats, including James George, Witi Ihimaera and Patricia Grace, as well as fellow published authors, poets and playwrights.  Marino describes this experience as finding her “purpose, confidence and community.”

She says, “I left the hui a little sad to say haere rā but equally buzzed, energised and focused with a new purpose. I found my future, my writing community, my peers, my role-models, my whānau.”

Marino wrote a children's play in 2018 as part of her studies, which has recently been accepted for publishing with Drama Notebook – an American-based teacher resource website.

Marino started studying at NorthTec in early 2018 and completed a NZ Diploma in Applied Writing – Level 5, and is now about to complete a NZ Diploma in Creative Writing – Level 6. She says she is looking forward to continuing on to the Diploma in Advanced Applied Writing - Level 7 where she will be working on a novel and short story collection.

NorthTec Creative Writing tutors say Marino’s success is no fluke. One of her tutors, Zana Bell, explains: “Marino is talented but, equally important, she is extremely hardworking and takes every opportunity to extend herself. She is always open to feedback and works tirelessly to improve every aspect of a manuscript.”

Tutor Lesley Marshall says: “Once her manuscript was recrafted, edited several times and polished she took the next courageous step in submitting her work and risking rejection – an inevitable part of a writer’s life. All of her tutors are delighted she has been successful in being published – tutors and students alike have been celebrating with her. It is a huge confidence booster but it also means that even though she is still a student, Marino is already beginning to forge her identity as a writer.”

Marino credits NorthTec with opening up pathways and opportunities for her as a writer. She says: “NorthTec has given me confidence and a belief in myself that I didn’t have before and has opened up networking opportunities and doors to success.

“The dedication of the tutors is exceptional. They’re so passionate and professional and genuinely want to see us succeed,” says Marino, “With the support from NorthTec and my family, the sky is the limit now on my path to become a professional writer.”

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