Return to 4th Floor 2015


Kia ora koutou,

A few months ago I read the 4th Floor tasks sheet and thought that looks interesting. That’s the sort of recipe I like. I checked my utensils: eyesight not as good as it was but still pretty okay, hands not perhaps as supple as they once were and looking a bit the worse for wear but still tapping on the keys. A brain that enjoys challenges. An ability to work. Only a little jar of patience but spread thinly it might do. A tiny pinch of tech knowledge but over in the corner was the woman known as Kasey waving a big clove of garlic in her hand. You can’t cook anything much without garlic. Over to the side was a set of very lively new spices called the Publication Team.

Then whoosh – in came the submissions. These were the unknown ingredients without which I wouldn’t have the delicious smorgasbord I was aiming for. I wanted a mixture of dishes: sweet and sour, hot and cold. Some had to be set aside because they weren’t quite ripe, others had to have bits grated off and viewed from another angle, others were a word or two away from ready. Some arrived ready to go.

I learned all over again that here at Whitireia is this thriving company of writers, all at different stages on the way, all mad about words, all heading for gold.

On the table, now called simply 4th Floor 2015, the dishes are waiting. You can work your way through the entire banquet or you can dip and savour wherever and whatever you like, go back for second or third helpings at your leisure.

Bon appétit,

Ngā mihinui ki a koutou,




Kei te pai to Kasey Burns who sent out the submissions call, received and documented submissions, dealt with grizzles (get over it, Renée) and whines, (do not ask for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee, Renée).

Kei te pai to TJ Hoekstra for her finesse and diplomacy, to Holly Hunter, Lindy Monrad and Sarah Yankelowitz for their ideas and hard work.

Kei te pai to Odessa Owens, Publishing Tutor for setting the pace and for her supervision.

Kei te pai to Mary-Jane Duffy, Programme Manager and Tutor, who, when I asked if I could shorten the journal’s name, agreed ‘If you have to say it’s literary, it probably isn’t.’

Kei te pai to Lynn Jenner for her time and her good wishes as I set out on the journey.

Kei te pai to all the writers who submitted work, keep writing. Kei te pai to those who generously wrote on process.


He toka noa iho te toka

He rākau noa iho te rākau

Māna, kua waihangatia hei pūrākau.


A rock is only a rock

A tree is only a tree

Unless it is made into a story.


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