National Bookshop Day 2018

We love bookshops!

This weekend you have our full permission to give your favourite bookshop haunt a hug. It’s National Bookshop Day and stores up and down the country are participating with all kinds of events. Head to the Booksellers website to see what is happening near you.

If you are in the Wellington region then come by Paper Plus North City in Porirua on Sunday 28th of October at 1pm and you’ll spot a few of our authors:

Trish Harris The Walking Stick Tree

Rudy Castañeda López Open Your Eyes, Jackson Ryder

Erin Donohue Because Everything Is Right but Everything Is Wrong

Adrienne Jansen The Score, A Line of Sight, A Change of Key 

National Bookshop day poster

L.J. Ritchie at Unity Books

L.J. Ritchie will be appearing in conversation with editor/YA aficionado Madeleine Collinge at Unity Books as part of their author talk series.

They will discuss L.J. Ritchie’s upcoming novel Monsters of Virtue and the themes he has explored around the topic of eugenics in New Zealand.

author L.J. Ritchie


12 – 12.45pm on the 24th of October

Unity Books Wellington

This is a free event and all are welcome.


Book Launch for Monsters of Virtue

You are warmly invited to the launch of Monsters of Virtue by L.J.Richie.

Tuesday, October 23rd at 6pm
Te Auaha, Level 5 Studio, 65 Dixon Street

Please let us know if you would like to attend via our Facebook event page.


Monsters of Virtue cover

New Zealand, 1932. The height of the Great Depression. In the wilds of the Ōtaki River Gorge, the newly formed Eugenics Department gathers the best and brightest in an attempt to create perfection.

… But what makes a perfect person?

Fifteen-year-old Eve knows she’s not one – but with her sister’s life on the line, she’d better onvince her new classmates that she could be. Together with uneasy allies Orion and Nyx, she’ll pry into the dark heart of this fledgling utopia. Will the future that awaits them there be one worth fighting for?


Monsters of Virtue will appeal to fans of thought-provoking, action-filled YA fiction like The Hunger Games and Lord of the Flies, as well as readers who want to explore the darker side of New Zealand’s past.

About the author:
L.J. Ritchie is a Wellington-based author of young adult fiction. His previous jobs include secondary school performance arts co-ordinator, lighting and sound technician, garden labourer, web designer, domestic cleaner, data-entry operator, and publicist for an Elvis impersonator. One perk of becoming a writer is that what was once a motley curriculum vitae can now be called professional development. He completed the Whitireia Creative Writing Programme in 2013. His debut novel, Like Nobody’s Watching, was a finalist in the Young Adult Fiction and Best First Book categories at the 2017 New Zealand Book Awards for Children & Young Adults.

Creative Writing for Youth

Hutt City Libraries is offering young Wellington writers a great opportunity to get some writing done and pick the brains of local authors, scriptwriters, publishers, poets and lyricists. The line up includes three of Escalator Press’ own authors.

The sessions will run from the 10th of August until the 21st of September and are free to ages 13 to 21.

You can catch Rudy Castañeda López, artist, novelist and author of Open Your Eyes, Jackson Ryder, on August 17th, Trish Harris, poet and writer of the memoir The Walking Stick Tree, on August 24th, and Rob Hack, performer and poet of Everything Is Here, on August 31st.

For more information see the Hutt City Libraries website.

New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults News

We’re very excited to have another Escalator Press author shortlisted in the New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults this year.

Erin Donohue’s Because Everything Is Right but Everything Is Wrong is up for both Best First Book and the Copyright Licensing NZ Young Adult Fiction Award. The awards kick off on the 8th of August.

You can find out some of Erin’s writing secrets, and those of her competition, in this wonderful article by The Sapling.

Ebook Deal: Open Your Eyes, Jackson Ryder

We would like to invite you to download a free copy of Rudy Castañeda López’s Open Your Eyes, Jackson Ryder which at the beginning of this promotion jumped to the top of two of Amazon’s free ebook bestseller lists. It appeared as #1 for US Historical fiction and #4 for Literary Fiction.

Fifteen-year-old Jackson Ryder has always loved art, but in the wake of his mother’s death, he must choose between his passion and his grieving father’s approval. Pulled from his New York home and thrust into the melting pot that is San Sebastiano, California in the 1960s, Jackson finds himself embroiled in an era of assassination, an emerging art scene, the Civil Rights Movement and The Beatles. As he learns how to deal with life, death and a new found interest in girls, drawing is the only thing stopping his world from spinning out of control.

Now is your chance to read this captivating novel for free. Just click here. Available until 7pm Sunday 3rd of June.

Ebook Deal: Because Everything Is Right but Everything Is Wrong

For the last week of May, Erin Donohue’s debut novel Because Everything Is Right but Everything Is Wrong will be available to purchase on Amazon for $1.14.

Click here to take advantage of this amazing price.

Erin recently took part in the Auckland Writers Festival on a panel with Guardian Fiction Prize winner Alex Wheatle and Eileen Merriman called Can We Be Frank? which explored the difficulties of writing about big issues for a younger audience.

This ebook deal will last until midnight on May 31st.


The Apology: Stories on the Four Winds: Ngā Hau e Whā.

Helen Margaret Waaka, author of Waitapu, is continuing to write about this small fictitious town. Her short story  ‘The Apology’  which is included in a new collection from Huia Publishers, explores an event occurring in Waitapu in more depth.

The collection, Stories on the Four Winds: Ngā Hau e Whā, edited by Brian Bargh and Robyn Bargh is a finalist in this years Massey University Ngā Kupu Ora Awards, in the Te Tuhiinga Auaha – Creative Writing Category. It brings together twenty short stories from eighteen New Zealand writers.

The Apology’ will appear in some form in the book Helen is currently working on, Still Waters, a novel and sequel to Waitapu.

More on L.J. Ritchie’s NZCYA Award Nomination

Image via New Zealand Book Awards TrustEscalator Press have recently been celebrating the success of their author, L. J. Ritchie. His first novel, Like Nobody’s Watching, has been shortlisted for the Copyright Licensing NZ Award for Young Adult Fiction as well as the Best First Book Award in the 2017 New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults (NZCYA). The winner of each award walks away with $7,500.

We caught up with L. J. Ritchie to see how he is taking the news. Currently hard at work on his second novel, Ritchie said it was ‘a big surprise’ to be told he was a finalist in the NZCYA, especially in such esteemed company as Maurice Gee in the Best Young Adult Fiction category. Ritchie hopes that the positive buzz around the prestigious awards will encourage readers to engage with his next Young Adult novel, an alternate-history thriller about eugenics in New Zealand during the Great Depression.

Publisher Adrienne Jansen expressed her delight at the nomination, saying she is ‘very proud of Like Nobody’s Watching’ as a ‘great read that also asks big questions’. As Ritchie’s first book, she thinks it is ‘just the start’ of a successful career. The 2017 NZCYA winners will be announced on 14 August. We wish Ritchie, and all other finalists, the greatest of luck.

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