10 Jun 2013
The New Zealand Society of Authors (PEN New Zealand INC) welcomed a new President of Honour on Sunday the 2nd of June and new President on Saturday the 8th June. Kyle Mewburn, was announced President at the National AGM in Dunedin and Gavin Bishop, President of honour at the Te Tai Tamariki Hui in Christchurch. The pair hopes to lead NZSA into the future with a desire for a new identity and change within the organisation.
Kyle Mewburn and Gavin Bishop have both achieved success internationally as children’s authors. This is an indication of both growth and change for PEN, for the first time two children’s authors hold leading positions. Creative backgrounds may be the answer to creating a new identity for NZSA and is timely with their strategy to rebrand themselves.
The election itself proved the first move towards change. For the first time on record three nominees were put forward for president. With over 400 hundred PEN members’ voting the election was an extensive process.
On appointment, Kyle Mewburn has already made clear his motivation for change “The NZSA’s role as the voice of the literary community needs to be ramped up to raise its public profile and garner wider support."
The literary industry faces an approaching digital tidal wave and now change is inevitable. With the digital age putting pressure on publishers, NZSA has been looking to create a new identity for itself. The appointment of the two new presidents, NZSA believes will be an opportunity to see the agenda for growth come into fruition.