Our first ‘Navigating Journeys Writing workshop’ for teens started yesterday with a school high school group from a local Otahuhu high school.

The neat thing is that it allows me to share our vision and passion for writing with a workshop designed to encourage our youth to write about their journeys using their own authentic voices.

And that’s been the reason for setting up these workshops and especially for publishing our latest anthology collections of short stories and poetry, in the hope that these books will provide a sense of community and connectedness of the voices of those who live, work and study in Mangere and Otahuhu to the rest of the world.

I mean that in the sense of having been educated in Mangere through to high school and then continuing to taking several University courses, apart from newspaper articles (often negative) and TV news coverage, there was hardly a time that I could refer to or reference stories from our communities in the different places and spaces that I walk in.

Our first book was called “Mana Mangere Voices” (2017) which was the first collection of short stories and poetry from our Mana Mangere Writers collective and our second book “Sense of belonging” (2018) featured our writers group with some guest writers who also live, work or study in Otahuhu including primary school children and Wananga students.

Now we are on to our third collection and I’ll be visiting some local schools to speak to writing groups or teachers in the hopes that there’s an individual/s out there with the gift of writing, just waiting to be discovered, encouraged and will join our collection.

If you are interested in attending these workshops or know of any interested in joining please contact me on: helentauaufilisi@gmail.com or contact your nearest Mangere/Otahuhu library to find out the details of upcoming workshops this month of September and in October.

And the fun begins…