Author(s): Keith Douglas Scott
This is the story of the newspaper correspondence column Dot's Little Folk and those who wrote to it. Little Folk was the first correspondence column for children in a New Zealand newspaper. It became the largest feature column of any kind in the history of New Zealand journalism, and it gave rise to a social and literary movement among this country's youth, that can only be called a culture. 'Dear Dot, I was six years old this birthday. I had a party with a cake and icing. Mamma is helping me write this. I have three sisters, two cats and a canary. I had little brother, but the angels took him to live with them in Heaven. Why did they do that Dot? Anyway, I must tell you about ...' 'Dear Dot, I will be sixteen this birthday. Mamma tells me I am now to put my hair up and wear long skirts. I do not want to, but Mamma insists. Why does she do that Dot? Anyway, I must tell you about ...' The letters to Dot go over 50 and more years. They record the triumphs and tragedies of everyday lives. They are the thoughts and feelings of children, teenagers, and young adults in late the 19th and the early 20th century. They present a Personal History of New Zealanders, from the back blocks of the country, the streets of the cities, to the trenches on the battle fields of France. These are the lives and the voices of our parents, grandparents and great-grandparents when they were young.
Keith Scott holds a First Class Bachelor of Arts Honours in History and German from the University of Otago. His fictional piece, Letters from Gallipoli was produced by Radio New Zealand and broadcast on Anzac Day 2008. In the same year Keith performed a season of The Tin Can Tourist, a cycle of original poems written by a labourer in the Great Depression. In 2009 he published Before ANZAC, Beyond Armistice, a social history of Central Otago and its soldiers during World War I. In 2010 his musical drama, set in the Vietnam War, Postmark Vietnam, premiered in Ho Chi Minh City. Keith is a freelance writer and lives in Dunedin.