• Heather McQuillan

    Heather writes for young people as well as writing short stories, flash fiction and poetry. She is Director at WRITE ON School for Young Writers in Christchurch, and also works with teachers in various settings to develop their understanding of the writing process and the teaching of writing. Heather has a Masters of Creative Writing with distinction from Massey University.

    Awards and Publications

    Short Story and Flash Fiction:

    Where Oceans Meet and other stories, Reflex Press, UK 2019

    The Best Small Fictions 2019, The Sonder Press, USA

    Best Microfiction 2019, Pelekinesis, UK

    Highly Commended and Longlist National Flash Fiction Day, 2019

    Third Place, Micro Madness, 2019

    Bonsai: best small stories from Aotearoa, New Zealand, University of Canterbury Press, 2018

    Third Place, Micro Madness, 2018

    Longlisted, National Flash Fiction Day, 2018

    Blue Fifth Review: Blue Five Notebook Series Spring Issue (Spring 2018 / 18.1)

    Takeh? Issue 92. Feature short story writer

    Flash: the International Short Story Magazine, Vol 10, 2, 2017

    Nominated for The Pushcart Prize in both 2016 and 2017

    Best Small Fictions, 2017, International.

    The Raven Chronicles Vol 25: Balancing Act ( Seattle US) 

    Sleep is a Beautiful Colour, NFFD 2017 (UK),

    The Lobsters Run Free Anthology. Bath Flash Fiction, Summer 2017 (UK)

    Reflex Flash Fiction, Spring 2017, Third place (UK)  Long List Autumn 2017 and Winter 2018.

    Shortlist, Micro Madness (NZ), 2017.

    Third place, Cooney Insurance Short Story Competition, 2017

    Third equal, The Sunday Star Times Short Story Awards, 2016.

    First Place, National Flash Fiction Day, 2016,

    First Place, Micro Madness, 2016 .

    Flash Frontier Summer Writer Award, 2015.

    Heather's flash fiction regularly appears online in Flash Frontier and has also appeared in Headland and Pure Slush (Aus) 

    Novels for Young People:

    Avis and the Promise of Dragons, The Cuba Press, 2019

    2018, Tessa Duder Award- Shortlist. For Even if Your Voice Shakes. YA manuscript

    Recipient of a NZSA Full Manuscript Assessment, 2016, for a YA novel.

    2005, Storylines Tom Fitzgibbon Award. Heather's first book Mind Over Matter, Scholastic NZ was released in 2006 and was selected for the Storylines Notable Book List 2007 Junior Fiction list.

    2011,  Nest of Lies Scholastic NZ  selected for the Storylines Notable Books List 2012 Junior Fiction list. Included in Maryland University’s “Environmentalist: Children and Young Adult Books from around the Globe” programme, and part of the Salisbury University’s “Read Green” programme.

    Other Awards and Grants:

    Recipient of the Marie Clay Literacy Trust/ NZLA Travel Award for 2017.

    Recipient of Full Manuscript Assessment award from NZSA, 2016.

    Recipient of a CLNZ/NZSA Open Research Grant, 2015.


    Heather's poems appear in Landfall 231 (OUP, 2016), Leaving the Red Zone (Clerestory Press, 2016), Scattered Feathers (NZPS, 2015), We Society Poetry Anthology, (Printable Reality, 2015)


    • ChildrensFiction
    • Fiction
    • Poetry
    • Short stories
    • YoungAdult


    • CompetitionJudging
    • Poetry readings
    • Readings (children/schools)
    • Readings (adults)
    • Short story writing
    • Tutoring
    • Workshops (adults)
    • Workshops (children/schools)




    Christchurch, New Zealand


    Where Oceans Meet and other stories

    A collection of small stories.

    “Deeply absorbing, these stories creep under your skin with their pressing sense of longing. McQuilllan subtly uses the gaps between people – and the space between the words on the page – to bring characters and moments to life.”
    Michelle Elvy; editor of Flash Frontier: An Adventure in Short Fiction, Blue Five Notebook, Bonsai: Best small stories from Aotearoa New Zealand and assistant editor for the international Best Small Fictions series.

    Reflex Press, UK, 2019 https://www.reflex.press/product/where-oceans-meet/

    Avis and the Promise of Dragons

    Avis has a dream to work with animals, so when a scientist with a witchy-looking house offers her a job as a pet-sitter she jumps at the chance. But it turns out Avis is not looking after pets at all – the animals in Dr Malinda Childes’ backyard are as eccentric as she is and Avis has to promise to keep them a secret.
    But one promise and one secret leads to more promises and more secrets and before long Avis finds herself overwhelmed by promises and secrets and responsibilities and one very BIG chocolatey dragonish problem.

    a novel for 9-12 year olds
    The Cuba Press, NZ, 2019 https://thecubapress.nz/product-category/ahoy/

    Nest of Lies

    Scholastic NZ, 2011

    Mind Over Matter

    Scholastic NZ 2006
    winner of the Tom Fitzgibbon Award 2005

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