September newsletter

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September newsletter

Newsletter September 2014

Hi everyone,
Thank you for following the The Story Mint.
More exciting things are happening again this month. The Story Mint Google Hangout is now open and flying – it’s an innovative project, come around to enjoy a live chat with us!  And there’s a Hangout for students too!!

Our Facebook page is getting revamped; more fun, more interesting and always open to your thoughts.

Find out how our Style Guide™ can be approached differently by the corporate world.

We’re also showcasing our September blogger and website worth a look for any writers. Time to find out what’s happening on the Serials, Writers’ Pad and of course our monthly short story competition winner. Finally, re-discover our rubric "The how to guide of.." into the section "Writing tips"

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Latest News

As briefly introduced in our last newsletter, The Story Mint has started a Google Hangout project to showcase your work. Want feedback on your writing from our worldwide community of writers? What are your critics saying? Behind the camera, our Publishing Manager, Ray Stone and Film maker/Script Writer Azadeh Nafissi will lead discussions, film you reading your work and post the best on You Tube. A live meet up with our worldwide community of writers. Take your chance, all you need is a Google+ account.

Students, here’s an opportunity for you to get your work checked by professional writers, to interact live with them and let them help you to keep improving your writing skills. Contact Azadeh to get started.

Now check out our Facebook page which is getting a facelift - Donna and Leif are putting some thought into how we can make The Story Mint Facebook page more fun and interesting. Let us know what you would like to see.

What people are saying

What a great comment we got this September on another creative way of using our Style Guide™! Thanks a million Christine, so proud our tool can reinforce your marketing medium.
Sometimes our website needs a bit of housekeeping. Have you thought about checking your own case studies and your competitors by using Style Guide to see if they are reaching the correct targeted audience? We recently completed some experiments and had some very interesting results. Our case studies are very important as they are really a sales tool, but if they are not interesting or reaching our audience then we need to reconsider how they are written.” Christine Reeve
Share your ideas, comments or feedback; we love to hear from you.


Moving Forward With...

We are forming a user group to test Style Guide™ in its current form and as we develop the new version. If you would like to be part of the group, please contact Suraya ASAP
Now here’s a new approach to the Style Guide™. Corporates have to produce Annual Reports. These are often large documents with new authors for different sections. The company can agree on what part of the Style Guide™ closely resembles the ‘voice’ of the corporate brand and set that as being where they want reports to land.  By running all the submissions against the agreed position in the Style Guide™ any inconsistencies in writing style can be resolved.

What’s hot with the Serials?

Chapter 3 of What’s In There  combines pathos with mystery. Riveting reading.
Cold has two new chapters. This is Kristin School’s serial and it is atmospheric and full of suspense. Fabulous writing.
After reading Chapter 2 of Hostage all I could do was gasp, ‘crikey’. Read it and find out why.
Chapter 6 of The Vacant Room will be posted soon. Here’s what our editor, Flo said about of Joe Labrum’s writing: ‘What a fabulous opening! This is an incredible chapter.’
If you have a starter you would like us to consider, send it to our serials manager, Mary-Liz Corbett They can be up to 500 words long and in any genre except erotica.

Fabulous reading on the Writers' Pad

‘Last Train out of Oakland’ by Redbeard starts ‘My last and hardest teaching job in California ended in death and destruction…’ The story received comments like; ‘it was a good and easy read’ and ‘you had me hooked.’

Post some of your writing and see what encouraging comments readers leave. There’s plenty of excellent reading on the Writers’ Pad

Writing Competition

Congratulations to Angelique Jurd for her short story ‘Sneakers’.A story about how we become frustrated by someone close and complain about their bad habits. But what happens if they leave?
Love this line ‘Our little stretch of forever will still be happening’. Congratulations Angelique.
Next month’s competition
The prize will go to the writer of the best Serial chapter or starter.

A chat about books

A review of Twisted Wire by Raymond Stone
Super glad to receive ‘Twisted Wire’ for review before it is published. After reading ‘Isia’s Secret’, I couldn’t wait to read another Enda Osin mystery.
Enda, now married to Jessica, gets involved in industrial espionage. After receiving a strange phone call regarding delivery of a package, Enda decides to investigate and uncover a good story for the Herald. In this part of the trilogy Fish who is an ex con joins the team. Enda and Jessica discover that two giant companies are competing to get access to advanced technology in order to develop a hyper-speed aircraft. Everything gets complicated when intelligent agencies become involved and little by little Enda and Jessica enter into a web of political intrigue without knowing who they can trust.
As I expected, ‘Twisted Wire’ is another well-crafted thriller by Raymond Stone. New characters like Fish are described vividly and the plot is so thrilling that you will read it nonstop. Stone keeps the style of his previous book as Enda’s POV mixed with an omniscient POV.
If you haven’t read the first book make sure to do so before ‘Twisted Wire’ comes out. I look forward to reading the last book of the Enda Osin trilogy soon. 5 out of 5 stars
Azadeh Nafissi
Screenwriter/Filmmaker (Paris) 

Blog across the Spectrum

Our favourite blogger this September: Annie Murphy Paul

Annie Murphy Paul writes excellent blogs on the impact of technology on learning. NZIE (New Zealand Institute of Education) sent the following article to us.

Computers Don’t Judge Although it starts by discussing whether automated essay marking is as reliable as human marking it goes on to say that students learning outcomes improve if they engage in self-directed learning using computers.

This strongly supports our efforts to develop the Style Guide™ as a tool for English Second Language learners (ESL).

To read her blogs go to her website, follow her on Twitter, and join the conversation on Facebook. Be brilliant!

Writing Tips

We started this rubric with the aim to provide guidance over any challenges a writer could face, so how about to simply call it “Writing tips”?! Let us know what you think, for now here are our tips for this month:

  1. Your opening sentence should make the reader hungry to find out more
  2. Give the reader one character to root for (Kurt Vonnegut)
  3. Make your main character suffer. Show the reader what he/she is made off
  4. Make sure every object and character plays a part. If the sea is choppy show the reader how that influences the story’s outcome

At last but not least, make every word count and kill off the extras!

Let's Slideshare

Sharing the work that is being done at the Story Mint.
The Style Guide™ is the last step in achieving writing mastery: spell check, grammar check, style check™. See how style changes as writing moves around the Style Guide™
If you want to know more about the company, please visit: for any comments, ideas, suggestions, interest please email:

Writing "Meetup" this month

Here’s a selection of events, writers and readers could be interested in attending this month:

  1. Green Bay Writers meet every 1st and 3rd Tuesday of the month at the Green Bay Community House, 7.15 pm. All welcome.
  2. NZSA North Shore City Branch meets quarterly at Massey University Albany Campus. 2 to 4pm. Contact Maria Gill for more information: 09 422 9456.
  3. Hibiscus Coast Writers Club  meets at 1pm, 2nd Saturday of each month, Pohutukawa room, Whangaparaoa Library, The Plaza, Whangaparaoa. Contact: John Henderson 09 424 3820.
  4. Mairangi Writers of North Shore. Contact Pam Laird.
  5. NZSA Manukau Counties Writers' Group. Contact Jocelyn Watkin Tel 027 493 9851 or email
  6. North Shore Writers' Group.  Meets first Thursday of the month, 7.30pm Highbury House, 110 Hinemoa Street, Birkenhead, North Shore. Contact Vonney Tel 09 473 6216.
  7. Piha Writers Group meets fortnightly 7.30pm in the Piha library. For more details contact Kath Dewar 09 8128 406.
  8. International Writers' Workshop meets on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of each month, February to November inclusive, from 10.30am to 12.30pm in the Tindall Room at the Lake House Arts Centre, 37 Fred Thomas Drive, Takapuna.
  9. Waitakere Writers meet the second Saturday of each month (excluding January) at the St John Hall, 247 Edmonton Rd, Te Atatu South. 1.30 - 4pm.   Fees: Annual membership: $20 We welcome new members to our friendly, diverse group. Writing expertise is not a prerequisite – just enthusiasm. Contact info:  and Clarke James
  10. Rose Centre Writers meets monthly on the second Saturday of each month at the Rose Centre, School Road, Belmont, Takapuna. For more info contact Hazel Roff Tel 09 489 7203

More writing meet ups happening around the world, check out this website: Creative Writing meetup - They have 204,000 members, meeting in 741 cities in 41 countries. There is bound to be one near you

If you'd like to see your event featured in this section, please contact: Leif (


Website Recommendation

Want some help on publishing and marketing your book? Ask David.

This is an excellent website offering book reviews and promotions: His pointers help writers prepare promotional material and gives prompts for promoting your novel. He also sets writers up to send out their twitter and Facebook up dates.

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Our mailing address is: PO Box 453330, Te Atatu Peninsula, Auckland 0610, New Zealand

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