Wikipedia:Meetup/Christchurch/NZ Writers

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A NZ writers workshop was held at Tūranga on 8 June 2019.

Where are the NZ writers in Wikipedia?[edit]

Wikipedia is the place people go to get information, and anyone Googling a writer will see a Wikipedia link in the first few results. Unfortunately, the Wikipedia coverage of New Zealand writers is slim or non-existent compared to overseas. Even major literary award lists, like the Robert Burns Fellowship, are full of gaps where there should be articles. and many writers, especially women and Māori, are invisible. Why? Wikipedia articles are all written and curated by volunteers, and there are only about 250 regular editors in this country; simply not enough to cover everything that needs work. The good news: we can change this. It's not hard. We just need people who care about NZ literature to learn how to edit Wikipedia and commit to improving it.

Dr Mike Dickison is currently New Zealand Wikipedian at Large, on a one-year grant from the Wikimedia Foundation to help people and institutions better engage with Wikipedia. You don't need to be a Wikipedia editor or have an MA in NZ poetry to take part: anyone can help with editing, researching, proofreading, and adding photos.

Edit-a-thon: Let's get NZ writers into Wikipedia![edit]

An edit-a-thon is an event where volunteers tackle a part of Wikipedia that needs improvement. Complete beginners are welcome; training and troubleshooting is provided. All you need to bring is a laptop! Our aim is to get as many contemporary New Zealand novelists, short-story writers, and poets online as possible.

  • Saturday 8 June 2019, 10:30 – 4:00 pm NZST
  • Tūranga, Cathedral Square, Christchurch – Activity Room on level 1 (west end of building)
  • Wikipedians from anywhere in the world are of course welcome to join in remotely. Please feel free to hashtag edits with #NZwriters and add yourselves to the participants list below.


Tūranga, Christchurch, New Zealand
  • 10.30: Meet and greet
    Coffee, introductions, name lanyards, and account creation if needed.
  • 10.45: Wikipedia tutorial
    We'll learn how Wikipedia works and how to improve, create, and reference articles. Experienced editors present will be buddied up with newcomers.
  • 11.30: Editing
    Our goal is to improve Wikipedia's coverage of NZ writers. You can improve existing articles, add to Wikidata, or create stub articles for people missing from Wikipedia.
  • Lunch: take a break whenever you like; there's an excellent cafe in the library
  • 17.00: Finishing up
    Make sure you fill out an evaluation form and add your contributions to the list below.

To attend[edit]

  • The edit-a-thon is presented as part of the Word Christchurch Autumn Season. Tickets are $10, and can be purchased here.
  • This workshop will be following "friendly space" guidelines; check them out. Harassment and disruption won't be tolerated, online or offline.
  • There's also a public Facebook event you can share; please use the #NZwriters hashtag on social media.


  • Use the link if you want a short, shareable link to this page.

People attending[edit]

In person[edit]


What to bring[edit]

  • Laptop. Laptops are definitely easier to edit on than iPads. There may be a computer you can use if you don't have a laptop, but BYO if you can.
  • Any snacks or drink you want. Covered drinks only; no smelly or greasy food please! Morning and afternoon tea is provided, and there's a cafe for lunch.
  • Any resources such as books, journals, magazine or newspaper articles relevant to the artists you're interested in. You also have an entire library handy!
  • Photos you've taken, especially of writers that could illustrate articles; you'll learn how to donate these to Wikimedia Commons so other Wikipedia articles can use them.


  1. If you're coming, try to create a Wikipedia account beforehand: don't wait until the day to do it! Here's a form you can use if you like. Creating an account makes editing much easier (here's more info on why you should). You'll need to pick a "handle" for your username; you could use your real name, but it's nice to have the option to be a bit anonymous if you want. Here's some advice on picking a username.
  2. The more you prepare, the more you'll be able to get done. You may want to read up on avoiding common mistakes, but Wikipedia has a "don't bite the newbies" policy, and we'll be there to troubleshoot.
  3. Have a think about topics you'd like to work on; do a little research first so you're prepared. You don't have to be an expert; anyone who can do library research and write clearly can help improve Wikipedia. The best candidates for Wikipedia articles are people who are "notable". In Wikipedia terms, "notable" usually means they're been covered in a number of reliable independent sources, such as news, books, authoritative websites, or magazine interviews. If you're proposing to add someone to Wikipedia it's important to make sure they're "notable"; talk to us if you're not sure – we can help.
  4. If you want to bring photos along and add them to Wikipedia, they need to be free of any copyright or released under a Creative Commons license that lets anyone use them. (What's Creative Commons?) If not, you must be the creator/copyright holder – ask us if you're not certain what's allowed, and we'll help. We will ask you who holds the copyright for all your photos, so make sure you know! If you've have photos of art you've created and are happy to donate these images under an open licence, great! Bring them along.


To work on[edit]

To improve[edit]

To create[edit]


NZ Writers edit-a-thon Jun 2019 MRD 1.png
Participants in the "Get NZ Writers into Wikipedia" workshop, Tūranga, 8 June 2019


We'll be taking photos for the record. If you don't want to be in a photo, just choose a red name lanyard; if you don't mind, pick a green one.


Many thanks to Rachael King of Word Christchurch for making this event possible.