Six years after the loss of her 10-day-old grandson, retired NorthTec tutor, Diana Menefy, began on her journey to writing the Storylines Notable Book 2020 Award winner I Had a Brother.
I Had a Brother details the loss in 2005 of newborn baby Conner through the eyes of his big brother. Menefy says: “So many families go through this grief and siblings see their parents grieving… It is difficult for a child to understand that life moves on and happiness returns. As there was nothing similar on the market, I felt there was a need for this book.”
Menefy began her tenure at NorthTec in July 2000 running the pilot programme for online writing papers. Along with Janine McVeagh, creator of the original classroom programme, Menefy was instrumental in the development of NorthTec’s Applied Writing programme portfolio that has been offered fully online since 2001.
Already established as a professional author, Menefy went on to have a further two non-fiction books and three novels published while working part-time on the NorthTec programme. She stopped tutoring in 2012 and took over as programme coordinator until retiring in 2015.
For Menefy, NorthTec offering online programmes was always important. “The online programme suited Northland students, most of whom lived far from a campus. Students who couldn’t afford to travel could study from home or their workplace.” Ensuring accessibility was always a priority for Menefy and was a key push for an online programme.
Successful in becoming the first writing programme to run a full portfolio of online courses, NorthTec offered students from all over New Zealand the opportunity to study remotely. This has become essential during the current pandemic, with all New Zealand tertiary students moving to online studies.
Menefy, who has another novel currently in the works, is still recognised as one of the key drivers to successfully getting the NorthTec writing programme online. Her dedication to both her students and her craft is praiseworthy. “Without the team of specialist authors and our professional editor, the NorthTec writing programme would not have the reputation of excellence that it has achieved,” she says.
NorthTec offers three online applied writing programmes: New Zealand Diploma in Writing for Creative Industries (Level 5); New Zealand Diploma in Creative Writing (Level 6); and Diploma in Advanced Applied Writing (Level 7).
To purchase I Had a Brother, go to https://www.onetree-house.com/product-page/i-had-a-brother-diana-menefy