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November Newsletter

The Story Mint Newsletter | November 2016

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Newsletter: November 2016

Further down in this newsletter you will see the front and back covers of the Anthology Jasmine Groves designed. It is stunning!
As we intend to publish at least one a year, the design will remain but in different colours for each Anthology.


Ray Stone (Cyprus),                               Flo Ginsburg (USA)              and        Sumanda Maritz (Sth Africa)
have done a remarkable job of getting the serials collated and edited.

Sumanda and our Publisher, Jill Darragh of Rangitawa Press (NZ) are now preparing the layout.
Every author featured in the Anthology is acknowledged on the cover and will receive royalties after expenses are paid.

Beachlands School students are writing their chapters and it is wonderful to see the amazing creativity  in the stories. Matipo School is also under way and their imaginations are breathtaking. Suraya presented the programme to 16 teachers at Western Heights School. They are joining the trial next year.

Rotorua City Council
Rotorua is aiming to become a digital city.  We are forming a relationship with the City Council with a view to being part of this development. Discussions have also begun to establish a branch of NZ Tech of which Edtec is a subsidiary.

Short stories
Did you know you can use the serials for single author stories. If you decide to do that we can set each instalment length according to you. We would prefer that only Premier members use this facility however.

The Story Mint is built on Trust and mutual respect.

We respect each other's work and we work as a team to achieve our goals of becoming the world's best writers.

Happy and successful writing everyone!
A special welcome to all our new writers. We love having you in our community!
See you next month!
Thank you for following The Story Mint.


Latest News


We are very proud to bring you this Anthology which represents writing by over 30 of our valued authors.

Our thanks to Jasmine Groves for her creative work in designing the fabulous cover.

To get your copies
You can buy by emailing,
through Rangitawa Publishing by emailing
or Amazon

Each Anthology will be an estimated US$23  (NZ$32)
We will also produce an ecopy.
More about that once we have produced the hard copy.
Please Note: each author will receive a complimentary copy.

The Story Mint stands by these values :
Integrity. Making sure we are honest with the team and ourselves.
Growing. Always working on becoming better writers and growing The  Story Mint so that writers achieve their dreams.
Supportive. Supporting each other to grow our writing skills.
Community. Being part of The Story Mint community and positively contributing to each other's success.
Resolute. Never giving up despite disappointments.

When you write a chapter or put some work on the Writers' Pad grow your readership by promoting it on your Facebook page!


What people are saying

Leif Rennes (USA and more recently NZ) has this to say

"The Story Mint has been and continues to be a fantastic resource in aiding me as I shape my first novel into its final form. The serials provide a great opportunity to practice, get feedback, and get some exposure to the writing community, while the stylecheck™ is an excellent tool to mold and tweak particular pieces of writing into their ideal form. Being exposed to writers who are passionate and experienced is an invaluable opportunity for would be writers."

Tell us what you think about our community of writers and concept, we’d love to hear from you.

Tell us what you think

Moving forward with...

Suraya presented stylecheck™ and serial writing to 16 teachers from Western Heights School. We have set up their section for their students to start serial writing next year. This is very exciting..

A Digital City

The Story Mint instigated a meeting of all the digital and educational technology companies in Rotorua at a function that aims to set up a Branch of NZTech of which Edtec (Educational Technology) is a subsidiary. Graeme Muller, The CEO of NZTech was the guest speaker.
The tech sector is creating jobs and growth throughout New Zealand, comprising $16.2 billion  of the country’s GDP and contributing over 9% of our exports.
NZTech represents over 400 organisations across the New Zealand technology landscape who collectively employ more than 60,000 people. From start-ups and local tech firms to multinationals, ICT and high tech manufacturing.
Our goal is to stimulate an environment where technology provides important productivity and economic benefits for New Zealand.
Rotorua City Council hosted the function and it was agreed it would be helpful to share knowledge and expertise in this space.

We encourage members to let us know about their successes. Your success gives us all heart and motivates them towards achieving their writing goals. If you can do it they know they can too.


What's hot with the Serials?
The serials are a core part of our business. Those who get involved see a marked improvement in their writing skills. The writers who leave comments also discover how to analyse writing and this gives them excellent transferable skills.

Over 20,000 readers look forward to reading these thanks to Donna McTavish's excellent management.

We also welcome our new writers. You inspire us with your storytelling skills. 
Donna McTavish, Serials Manager.
Thanks to all the writers submitting starters. These are a range of genres and it is great to give writers a chance to experiment.

Serials to Book
Lawnmarket by Anna Zhigareva is a historical story based in Scotland. There are tremendous possibilities for this story which starts in a family market with royalty coming to visit.
Welcome to Halloween by Rosemary Wakelin. Holiday time. Why does Georgina need immediate extraction? This is a lot fun, ironic and clever. Three chapters left.
Mirror Mirror by Sumanda Maritz. The Attic is a little shop but what happens to Alice when she buys a mirror from it? Three chapters left.
Josephine by Jasmine Groves. A carriage thundering through the night overturns and crashes into a river. What happens to the traveller inside? You decide. Two chapters to book.
Retribution 2 by Jasmine Groves. The first in this series was about prehistoric  warring factions.The curse was broken and Dilara married the Chief. But another threat stalks her. What? Three chapters left to book.
Rest in Peace by Hemali Ajmera. Two life long friends at war over winning places at the Olympics and who should have the best coach. Two chapters left.

If you write a serial chapter you join an elite group of writers who are working together to encourage each other. You are also giving future readers of your writing an opportunity to read your work and to follow you.

Serials underway
The Beauty Contest is underway. Look out for the first hilarious chapter.
It was a Game Samantha leaves the crowded commuter train and she sees her father waiting at a gate. But he was dead wasn't he? The first writer will shortly pick up the story.
Sailing Is also about to start. Jasmine is nervous as she and her friends start sailing in Kurt's father's yacht. Is her nervousness a premonition? We will find out as soon as the first writer starts the story.
Captive Leandra's captor tells her he has a story.  And what a story! Priya has taken us to a different part of the world which is a challenge but what an excellent challenge.
The Way Home Why does the Snark say,"he'll bide his time?" We'll find out soon.
Ghost Ship The ship is sailing again. Well, not exactly as the hold is filling with water...what will the pirates do?
Moonlight  Watch the romance unfold in the lift. Dr Batra is the true gentleman and this leads to a dinner invitation.
The 640 Express Charlotte appears and Art is left to pay a long forgotten debt to Clarke.
Gacgon the Sorceror  This wonderful serial is about to be wrapped up. Gacgon prepares to create his final spell.

Who to send your starters and chapters to.
If you have a starter send it to
If you've written a chapter send it to
Chapters for 
The Assault go to Anna Zhigareva  E.
Chapters for Cent-ed go to Tulika Saha.  E.

We ask that you consider the following as you write your chapters.
1. Please make sure you read all the chapters preceding your chapter so that your chapter follows on logically. At the moment there are some recurring continuity issues.
2. Remember to put your chapter through the stylecheck
before submitting it.
3. Each chapter does not need to end with a hook. This is especially true of the first four which are setting the scene.

If you have a starter you would like us to consider, send it to

They can be up to 500 words long and in any genre except erotica.

Fabulous reading from the Writer's Pad

This month there is exceptional writing on the Writers' Pad and some really valuable feedback for the writers:

Shocked by the USA Election Result?
Read Joe Labrum's excellent summary on why American's voted Trump as President despite predictions he would not get in. Joe explains why he did. Very interesting and insightful.

Please Note: Ray Stone is writing Book 2 of The Bal Maid of Condurrow, not reworking his original excellent story.
Bal Maid of Great Condurrow You might remember Ray Stone's  author only serial. He is now writing the next part of this marvellous story.
Bal Maid a Knocking  Give yourself a moment and take the time to read this wonderful story. The characters and the style belong in their time. They are wonderfully well drawn and the historic background on which they are set interesting and well described without giving us a history lesson.
Bal Maid a Knocking (cont) A woman is the recipient  of Mr Jeddler's attentions. Does she accept his offer? We don't have time to find out because there is an incident at the mine.

A Dented Disc by Anna Zhigareva. Chapter 4. The friends are warned not to go near the ice. Read what happens when they disobey the warning.
A Dented Disc Chapter 5 The story continues and this chapter ends with the chilling realization that the young boy's future is unknown. Monsieur Jacques has plans for his young charge but we only hear part of what his intentions are leaving all sorts of possibilities.
A Dented Disc Chapter 6 The boy has resolved to leave but what holds him back, the memory of having been well treated for the first time in his life. What is it Monsieur wants to give him?
A Dented Disc Chapter 7 This wonderful story concludes and we learn the boy's fate.

Comments and feedback are essential for a writer's progress. This is how writer's help each other to grow their skill. So keep it coming!

If you want to give the writer more detailed feedback than the comment box allows send it to me, and I'll pass it on.

Chapter Writer winner


Rosemary Wakelin's chapter 6 of 640 Express wins
Best chapter of the month.
This sums up the way she cleverly tells the story so far and suggests where it might go:

Horror overwhelmed Art. And as his mind began its downwards spiral, he thought of an old, childhood rhyme.

For want of a nail the shoe was lost
For want of a shoe the horse was lost…

And all for the want of a…

… promotion. 


A chat about books and New Releases


While Finna battles in the crusades for Eleanor of Aquitaine, a time traveler kidnaps her to fight in a feudal Steampunk war across the galaxy.  
THE SEEKER - Science Fiction by E L Russell (110.000 words)
Volume 1 – Finna’s Quest is the first in the Origin Series to the Epic collection of Evolutis Rising stories about the emergence of the next human species. Already named, Homo Evolutis, the self-healing – self-evolving being eventually discovers its galactic destiny as the master of time and space. 
The protagonist, FINNA MAGNUSSON, born in 1122, the same year as Eleanor of Aquitaine, is the daughter of a single parent, former Knight Templar, MAGNUS MAGNUSSON, who currently repairs the cathedral of Vézelay as a Master Mason.
Finna observes ELEANOR of AQUITAINE praying in the cathedral before the celebrated Abbé Bernard of Clairvaux. She watches Eleanor make a public offering to the church of thousands of her vassals in support of the Second Crusade and it enthralled by her gift of a golden urn and a crystal chalice to the abbot.
Finna watched Eleanor, accompanied by several women dressed as Amazons, gallop through the crowded streets of Vézelay encouraging more to join the cause. Finna makes the decision to be one of her three hundred in the Woman’s Crusade.
To impress the queen and demonstrate the fighting skills her father has taught her, she enters and wins a Squires’ Tournament. He gives her his blessing and joins the Second Crusade. The night of her joining, a voice entered her head and promised to protect her, warning of the dangers ahead. She soon discovers the voice belongs to a time traveler and her life changes forever.
Due for release in December. Available from
Short Sample
Chapter 1 - It Begins
Jerusalem, 1099
He swung his long sword and another Persian head fell to the bloody floor of the small sanctuary. His backstroke fatally sliced the intestines from the next attacker and a step forward impaled the long blade in the throat of a third. Drained, he retreated to a corner to catch his breath. Read on

 For sale through Amazon $2.99

by Greg Rochlin
Reviewed by Suraya Dewing.

There are some wonderfully ironic poems in this collection such as The Man Who Cried Wolf OR What we can learn from the war.
This poem is constructed like a parable with a tongue in cheek story about a warring family. It is of course using the War on Weapons of Mass Destruction for its caricature. Red headed boys and brown headed boys fight for the dominion and claim the goose that lays the golden eggs.

There are memorable lines throughout this collection but there are some that stand out.
Like this one from A debt
But still I, fully clothed with trials of life...
This is a tender poem and these moments are mixed with wisdom like this:
Accept a brother's love, in purest form,
Untainted by disputes one might regret.

Then there are poems that use metaphor brilliantly like:
Past reflections
....But the roaring sea continues to attack
the sand and its layer of shells,...

I recommend this wonderful collection of poems.
For sale from Collected Works Bookshop, Nicholas Building, Level 1, 37 Swanston Street., Melbourne,
or email Greg at $22 plus postage
 The publisher is Littlefox Press, Kyneton.

Blog across the Spectrum

Thoughts From an Editor’s Point of View.
Flo Ginsburg,
editor for The Story Mint
First the commonplace and most obvious problems:
Make sure that you remain in the chosen Point Of View and Tense – unless there is a reason for the story to make changes at specific times.
Remember who your characters are: their names (yes, I know, that should be obvious; but I often get a change of spelling, or even an entirely changed name, in the middle of the story! Even a him instead of a her!), their descriptions (if he is wearing jeans earlier in the scene, he can’t suddenly be in ‘smart corduroys’), and any other specific identifications. Same with locations.
Proper nouns are capitalized; common nouns are lower case. The Waikato River is capitalized; the river is not. Read more

9 Ways to Improve Your Story's Chance of Winning

 Kathryn Burnett is a professional screenwriter, playwright and workshop facilitator who delights in creatively inspiring others.

"Having been on more than a few judging panels, I have a good idea how entries and applications look from the judges' perspective – and how entrants can unknowingly thwart their chances of winning.

So whatever it is that you write or whichever type of competition you’re entering – consider these 9 ways of improving your chances of winning." Read more

Kathryn has worked in the arts industry for 20 years and runs popular writing workshops for both new and experienced writers - check them out here
©Kathryn Burnett 2016  

As writers, whose stories should we tell?
Suraya Dewing's latest blog discusses this:
As writers we mix our experiences, associations and stories in a unique way. No-one else will tell a story like each of us does even if it is on the same topic.

So why did Lionel Shriver offend so many people in her recent speech “fiction and identity politics”? In it she said that writers who “include unauthorised use of another culture’s dance, dress, music, language, folklore, cuisine, traditional medicine, religious symbols, etc…” should be able to without seeking permission.

When we use cultural material we have not grown up with, we are probably not aware of the nuances within a cultural practice or story. For this reason alone we owe those from whom we borrow the respect of, at the very least, acknowledging them.  It is common courtesy.
This topic frequently came up at a recent writers’ symposium ... Read on

We recommend the blogs on our website.

Our writing tips

Ray Stone is a prolific English writer with five published books to his name. Born on the outskirts of London, he has lived Washington for fifteen years, traveled over Europe, and written articles for the press with a byline. Over half of the Story Mint serials include at least one chapter he has contributed, and he is currently working on a collection of short stories. Ray has spent time in the entertainments industry and worked in theater, an experience that has given his creative talent inspiration. He was the first of many writers, it is hoped, to post a complete ‘one author’ serial on the Story Mint and continues to write from his home in Cyprus.

This is his writing tip:

Every word in a sentence must have a reason for being there. If you can't find one throw it away. Ray Stone  Please Note: Ray has a new and exciting website coming.

Writing Meetup this month

International Writers Groups
New Zealand
New Delhi

Check this website out!

Enos Russell's website: Welcome to my world for Writers who Read.
He has reviews of books he's read and he challenges writers to answer the question: Why do you write?
I would be keen to also know why people read.
Send your listWe are keen to get your answers to that question so send them to and we'll put them in the next newsletter.
If you have any websites you’d like to recommend send us the link.

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