Heather McQuillan

For a long time I was a teacher who wrote- now I am a writer who teaches- the two roles keep getting tangled.

I write for young people as well as short fiction and poetry. I have a Master in Creative Writing with distinction from Massey University.

When I'm not writing in my studio at the top of a spiral staircase I can be found as the Director and a tutor with Write On School for Young Writers in Christchurch, New Zealand. For the first six months of 2021 I am the Otago University College of Education/ Creative NZ Chidlren's Writer in Residence, based in Dunedin. 

I am available to speak to school groups, teachers, writers and also run writing workshops.

For writing workshops or PD in schools please contact: schoolforyoungwriters@gmail.com

For any other queries please contact: heathermcq112@gmail.com


  • Children's Fiction
  • Flash Fiction
  • Poetry


  • Competition Judging
  • Mentoring
  • Public Speaking
  • Readings
  • Readings (adults)
  • Workshops (adults)
  • Workshops (children/schools)






Where Oceans Meet and other stories

A collection of small stories in which characters yearn for connection but sometimes find, as in the title story, that ‘when the vectors of the oceans’ wave fronts meet at an angle, sometimes they cancel each other, sometimes they compound with spectacular results’.

" Where Oceans Meet and Other Stories is a strong course in the art of exceptional flash writing. Heather McQuillan cements her place as a premier storyteller in this challenging genre, crafting pieces that stand up beautifully to subsequent readings and emotionally resonant but comforting stories of love and loss, and what we still yearn for in the deepest parts of ourselves."               
Amanda McLeod.  Read the Review

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

Avis and the Promise of Dragons

A 2020 Storylines Notable Book.

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

Nest of Lies was a Storylines Notable Book for 2012. It was included in Maryland University’s Environmentalist: Children and Young Adult Books from around the Globe programme, and the Salisbury University’s Read Green programme.

​A modern-day fairy story – with a dark side …Ashlee is terrified of birds. Everybody in the Citadel is. In their stories birds are blamed for the Plague that destroyed civilisation and now, over sixty years later, the Sanctuary Guards patrol the reclaimed city and keep it free of birds and other dangers – such as the Outsiders who live free in the wilds, the Egghead scientists who challenge the truth of their stories, and ideas that lie in books and technologies. Without birds to keep them in check, the bugs take over the gardens and become immune to the chemical sprays, so Ashlee’s Papa, an Elder in the Council, is sent to other ruined cities to search out a solution.During his long absences Ashlee becomes a slave to her wicked stepfamily, but when a yellow-hammer bird comes tapping at her window it leads her to a message of hope from her lost brother, Felix. He has become a legend, a boy who talks to and flies with the birds. Ashlee has to confront her own beliefs and sift through the lies and fairytales to find the truth about herself, the past and her own father.


Mind Over Matter

Scholastic NZ 2006 winner of the Tom Fitzgibbon Award 2005 and a 2007 Storyline Notable Books List book.


What if an actor came from another universe? Life’s been pretty tough lately for Jono Hettie. He doesn’t fit in at his new school, the class bully is making his life miserable, and then there’s his dad. So when an alien actor named Arial-Su enlists Jono’s help to save the world, he’s not sure that Arial’s got the right guy for the job. But Arial knows better.