NZSG Writing Challenge

Topic: Write about either Asia or Accidents
Entries due: 3 October 2023
Word limit: 900 – 2500 words
Submissions: Email with the subject line October 2023 Writing Challenge by 12pm 3 October NZ time and attach your writing as a Word file, with images attached separately. You will receive an acknowledgement of receipt.

Further Information

The challenge of ‘Asia/Accidents’ offers a wide scope for writing. You can combine the topics, or address one of the topics. Some possible ideas are:

  • ‘How to’ type articles – researching in Asia is something that many members may not have experience with. What have you used? What were the challenges?
  • Choosing an accident and tell the story of the accident – supported with good research and sources. How did the archive come to exist? Who was involved? Why does it matter to you? What does it tell you about the social history of your family?
  • What records have you used to research accidents? How did you locate them? What were the challenges? How did family stories match up to the "official" versions?
  • Please do ensure that you are writing to the topic of the challenge. Make it clear in your introduction how you are doing that. This helps the reader to understand the purpose of your writing.

Judging Criteria

We will be looking for writing that has a clear purpose – it tells a story, it explains ‘how to’, it helps to solve a genealogical mystery / problem. To achieve this, your writing will demonstrate:

  • Clarity of structure and style – see also Writing Articles for the New Zealand Genealogist
  • Effort to provide a broader context for the story – why is this important to you, your family, genealogists in general, social history
  • Organisation and evaluation of evidence
  • Evidence of sources through references and/or bibliography – see Barbara Wyley’s excellent article, listed below
  • Read through the submission process for articles to The NZ Genealogist. They will also apply to Writing Challenge entries. 

The winning article will receive a $50 voucher for use in the NZSG Store, and may be offered the opportunity to be published in the New Zealand Genealogist. Articles submitted must be previously unpublished and not submitted for consideration in any other competition or publication, until after the winner is announced.

Useful Reference Articles

Referencing: Citing sources is important for many reasons, including credibility of information. Your sourcing should enable readers to locate where you found your information. Please read the guidelines in the following article:

Wyley, Barbara. ‘A simple guide to citing your sources’ and ‘A simple guide to citing your sources – templates and examples.’ New Zealand Genealogist, Vol 51 No 384, 2020, pp: 147-154. See Citing Your Sources.

Examples of well written articles: (alphabetical order by author)

  • Clarke, Catherine. ‘Felonious, wicked and diabolical?’ New Zealand Genealogist, Vol 51, no 385, 2020, pp: 207-209
  • Hewitt, Sarah. ‘My grandad’s notes.’ New Zealand Genealogist, Vol 47, No 357, 2016, pp: 26-27.
  • Jaffe, Sam. ‘Searching for Nate.’ New Zealand Genealogist, Vol 51, No 382, 2020, pp: 64-67.
  • Palmer, Stephen. ‘Adventure ahead? First World War experiences of Philip Palmer, organist.’ New Zealand Genealogist, Vol 52, No 387, 2021, pp: 7-10.
  • Weeks, Pauline. ‘Remembering women who served in World War Two.’ New Zealand Genealogist, Vol 51, No 386, 2020, pp: 230-233



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