NZSA President – Mandy Hager
Mandy Hager is a multi-award-winning writer of fiction, predominantly for young adults. In 2019 she was awarded the Storylines Margaret Mahy Medal, for life-time achievement and a distinguished contribution to New Zealand’s literature for young people. She has won the LIANZA Book Awards for Young Adult fiction three times, the 2009 NZ Post Children’s Book Awards for YA fiction, a 1996 Honour Award, and six Notable Book Awards. Her historical novel for adults ‘Heloise’ was longlisted for the 2017 Ockham Awards and she also writes non-fiction and educational resources.
She has also been awarded the 2012 Beatson Fellowship, the 2014 Katherine Mansfield Menton Fellowship, the 2015 Waikato University Writer in Residence and the 2017 D’Arcy Writer’s Grant. She has tutored the novel for Whitireia’s Creative Writing Course for ten years, is a trained teacher and has an MA in Creative Writing. She has been a school trustee and was a board member of Dare Foundation for two years.
Te Ao Māori Representative
He mokopuna ahau no te Iwi o Ngāpuhi, he hononga hoki ōku ki a Ngāti Tūwharetoa ki Kawerau, ki Te Arawa, Ki Ngāti Porou me Ngāti Awa, no reira e aku iti, e aku rahi, ngā tini reo, ngā mana, ngā karangaranga maha o ngā hau e wha, huri noa, tēnā kōutou, tēnā kōutou, tēnā tātou katoa.
Kia Ora, my name is Kim and I am a Māori writer with whakapapa connections to the Iwi of Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Tūwharetoa ki Kawerau,Te Arawa, Ngāti Porou and Ngāti Awa. As an ex-soldier and partner to a current serving soldier, I am also connected to Ngāti Tūmatauenga, the Iwi of the New Zealand Army.
I share an interest in writing peoples stories and cultural histories. I am a great believer in people having access to stories that resonate with them, or have the support to help them write their own taonga pieces. I still have much to learn in the world of writing, especially in Te Ao Tuhituhi or cultural writing, but for now, I am happy to serve Te Puni Kaituhi o Aotearoa and help connect more writers to the NZSA Whānau.
By day I work for the Ministry of Education as a Senior Advisor, and by night, I study by distance through Massey University, have a side-hustle creating delicious oil condiments with kawakawa, love spending time with whānau and friends and with their support, journey through life with my partner Daniel.
Kia Ora mai anō tātou.
Tess Redgrave – Central Districts Regional Delegate
Tess Redgrave grew up in Hawke’s Bay and has recently returned to live there. She is a trained journalist and has worked as a writer and editor for many publications, including the Reader’s Digest, North & South magazine, and as an editor and Publications Team Leader at the University of Auckland. She has published a non-fiction book going the distance: women outdoors in New Zealand (Tandem Press 2002) and her debut novel Gone to Pegasus (Mākaro Press 2018). She is currently working on a creative non-fiction project with the draft title, Behind the curtains: In search of my grandmother.
Susan Battye – Vice President Northern Districts Regional Delegate
Christchurch born, Susan Battye is an Auckland based educational consultant, playwright, teacher, editor, author and developer of children’s books, short stories and educational e and print based resources.
She has written many plays including; The Shadow of the Valley (with Thelma Eakin, OUP 1980), Living In, The Singing Lesson, Easy as Pie, (Longman Paul), Back Where You Belong (Meriwether USA), Jigsaw (Harcourt Reed NZ). Her dramatic sketch, Kiwis in Paradise was a finalist in the USA 2016 ‘Saving Endangered Species’ International Playwriting Competition. Her award winning short story, Mocked was published by NZSA Top in Horizons 3 (2017).
In addition to her educational titles for NCEA English, Social Studies and Drama with Sigma Publications, User Friendly Resources and ESA Publications, Battye has authored two novels in the Scholastic My Story New Zealand series: The Mine’s Afire! (with Thelma Eakin), shortlisted for the 2010 NZ Post Children’s Book awards and Cup Magic.
Tracy Farr – Regional Delegate for Wellington
Tracy Farr is a writer who used to be a scientist. Her debut novel, The Life and Loves of Lena Gaunt, was long- or shortlisted for three prestigious literary awards in Australia, and her second novel, The Hope Fault, was one of NZ Listener’s 100 Best Books of 2017. Both novels were published internationally. Her short fiction has won awards (including the Sunday Star-Times Short Story Award), and been published in anthologies, magazines and literary journals. The Life and Loves of Lena Gaunt and many of Tracy’s short stories have been adapted for radio and broadcast by RNZ, and The Hope Fault was adapted for the stage, premiering in Australia in 2019.
Tracy is co-curator, with Melbourne writer Jenny Ackland, of Bad Diaries Salon, a live literary series that features writers reading, to a theme, from their diaries and unpublished notebooks. She’s taught writing workshops at festivals and writing centres, and has been awarded residencies, fellowships and funding in Aotearoa and Australia, including the inaugural R.A.K. Mason Fellowship (2014), Bundanon Artist in Residence (2019) and Michael King Writers Centre Established Writer residencies (2018, 2021).
Born in Melbourne, Tracy grew up in Perth, Western Australia. She’s lived in Wellington for 25 years, and counting. Through her non-writing work, she has substantial experience in the administration and promotion of professional membership organisations in the science and knowledge sectors.
Heather McQuillan – Canterbury and Top of South Regional Delegate
Heather is the director at Write On School for Young Writers in Ōtuatahi/Christchurch. She has a background in teaching and began her writing career by winning the Storylines Tom Fitzgibbon Award. All three of Heather’s novels for young readers (Mind Over Matter 2006, Nest of Lies 2011, and Avis and the Promise of Dragons, 2019) have been awarded Storylines Notable Books. An, as yet unpublished, YA manuscript was a finalist in the Tessa Duder Award, 2018 and was awarded an NZSA mentorship. Heather hasn’t given up on it but it has joined a number of other ‘Works in Progress’.
In 2015, Heather moved away from fulltime teaching and took up tutoring with Write On, a Master of Creative Writing at Massey University, and writing poetry and flash fiction. In 2016 she won both the National Flash Fiction Day prize and the Micro Madness competition. Heather has had stories selected for the International Best Small Fictions in 2017, 2019 and 2020, Best Microfiction 2019 and was a 2018 Meniscus and Australian CAL Best Prose Prize winner. Her first collection of flash fiction Where Oceans Meet was published in the UK in 2019.
Heather has had a long connection with the NZ Literacy Association and was recipient of the Marie Clay Literacy Trust Travel Award in 2016. As well as teaching writing to young people she regularly presents to teacher groups. Heather enjoys being part of the supportive Ōtautahi/ Christchurch writing community and has a special interest in developing opportunities for young writers.
Vanda Symon – Otago/Southland Regional Delegate
Vanda is the Author of the Detective Sam Shephard crime fiction series and the stand alone thriller The Faceless. Her novels are published internationally. She is a three time finalist for the Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Crime Fiction novel and was shortlisted for the British CWA New Blood Dagger award. A Dunedin resident, Vanda produces and hosts a monthly radio show for the Otago Southland NZSA called Write On, broadcast on Otago Access Radio. Among the many roles she enjoys, Vanda is a writing mentor for the NZSA and is the Chair of the Otago Southland Branch. She was the Chair of Copyright Licensing New Zealand, where she served on the Board for four years. Vanda is a New Zealander of Fijian descent.