Unique Rotorua Museum collection items which have gaps in their stories can serve as inspiration for those in the community who love to write.

Rotorua Museum events and engagement co-ordinator Tori Williams says What's The Story? is a fun creative writing challenge the museum is hosting throughout August and September.

"We will showcase some unique items from the Rotorua Museum collection and then people will use these objects as the inspiration behind their story.

"We will have a range of items on display, from a photo of the first-ever electric kettle in Rotorua from 1910, to a writing case belonging to Seymour Mills Spencer which includes a set of fleams (for blood-letting - withdrawal of blood to prevent or cure illness and disease), along with various train, boat, theatre and racecourse tickets."

Writing case and contents, date unknown. Maker unknown, Rotorua Museum Te Whare Taonga o Te Arawa (1991.81.1). Photo / Supplied
Writing case and contents, date unknown. Maker unknown, Rotorua Museum Te Whare Taonga o Te Arawa (1991.81.1). Photo / Supplied

Tori says with more than 50,000 items in the Rotorua Museum collection they are always finding out interesting and quirky stories about their history.

"We decided using those objects to inspire some creative writing would be a great way to share some of these items with the community."

A What's the Story? information session is being held on August 4.

She says the information session is for people to view the selected items and hear more about their history.

Once people have decided on the piece that inspires them the most, museum staff will explain more about the writing challenge.

Participants will have until September 1 to write a fictional short story - no longer than 4000 words - relating to one or several of the objects.

A selection of stories will be chosen by the museum team and then shared online for others to read.

Participants will be invited to a special evening where the finalist stories will be read, alongside the collection piece that inspired the story.


For those unable to attend the information session the item images and information will be on www.rotoruamuseum.co.nz from August 5.
The details
- What: What's the Story? Information Session
- When: August 4, 2pm
- Where: Te Rūnanga Tea House (Government Gardens)
- Cost: Free