Sandra Arnold holds a MLitt (High Distinction) and a PhD In Creative Writing from Central Queensland University, Australia.
She is the author of three books: Sing No Sad Songs: Losing a daughter to cancer (Canterbury University Press, 2011); Tomorrow's Empire (Horizon Press, 2000); A Distraction of Opposites (Hazard Press, 1992).
Her short fiction has been broadcast on National Radio, published in Landfall, Sport, Takahe, Meniscus, Fictive Dream, Words for the Wild, Fairlight Books, Foliate Oak, X-RAY Literary Magazine, Unlikely Stories, Potato Soup Journal and anthologised in The Best New Zealand Fiction 4, Dreadlocks, Other Voices, Antipodes New Writing, Vital Writing 1, Nuestra Voz, Sleep is a Beautiful Colour (UK National Flash Fiction Day, 2017), Fresh Ink (Cloud Ink Press, 2017), Retreat West Books 2018 Anthology and Bonsai: Best Small Stories from Aotearoa New Zealand (Canterbury University Press, NZ, 2018).
Her essays have appeared in Corpus, Deep South, Social Alternatives vol 31, Atlas 1,The Spinoff, Connotation Press, Night Garden Journal, TSS Publishing.
Her academic research on parental bereavement has been published in The Australasian Association of Writing Programmes Conference Proceedings (2010), TEXT 14 (2010), TEXT 14 Special issue 7 (2010), TEXT 13 (2009) and Research into 21st Century Communities (Post Pressed, Australia, 2007).
She won the Louis Johnson New Writers Bursary in 1989 and in the same year co-founded Takahe with David Howard and was its fiction editor from 1989 to 1995. She was the recipient of the 2014 Landfall/Otago University Press/Seresin Writing Residency and the winner of the 2015 New Zealand Heritage Week Short Story Competition. She was short-listed for the 2016 Grimshaw-Sargeson Fellowship and was an honourable contender for the 2016 Bristol Prize. She was a finalist in the 2018 Mslexia Flash Fiction competition and second in the 2017 University of Sunderland Short Story Award. Her story, Favouretta Pratt (Fictive Dream) was nominated for the 2018 Pushcart Prize, The Scent of Lemons (Flash Frontier) for the 2017 Best Small Fictions and The Golden Balloon (Cloud Ink Press) for the 2018 Best Small Fictions. Her flash fiction won second place in the June 2016 Flash 500 competition and the September 2016 Zero Flash competition.
Her flash fiction has been published in Jellyfish Review, Flash Frontier, The Linnet's Wings, Flashflood (2016), The Story Shack, Fewer than 500, Fictive Dream, Headland, Zero Fiction, Olentangy Review, We are a Website, North and South, Spontaneity, The Baby Shoes Project, Spelk, The Incubator, Firefly, The Airgonaut, The Flash Fiction Press, Alluvia, Blue Five Notebook, Lagan Online (NFFD Feature), Connotation Press, Dime Show Review, Peacock Journal, Flashflood (2017, 2018), Foxglove, Flash: The International Short-Short Story Magazine, 10.1 (2017), New Flash Fiction Review, The Creative Process, With Painted Words, Lost Balloon, Night Garden Journal, Wordlife, Bending Genres, Popshot Quarterly, The Drabble, Meniscus, Former Cactus, Blue Fifth Review Fall Quarterly, Tales from the Forest, 100 Word Story, The Sunlight Press, JMWW, Here Comes Everyone.
She has worked as an editor, book reviewer, PhD examiner, literary judge, reviewer of academic papers and has been an invited speaker to conferences and literary festivals.
She is a member of the International Advisory Board and a guest editor for Meniscus Literary Journal (Australasian Association of Writing Programs). She was an Executive member of the Australasian Association of Writing Programmes, 2009 - 2012; Chairperson of the Canterbury Branch of New Zealand Society of Authors, 1993 - 1994; Executive Member of the National Council of NZSA 1987 - 1990.
She lives in rural North Canterbury with her husband, alpacas, hens and dog. In 2019 her third novel, Ash is forthcoming from Makaro Press, NZ and her flash fiction collection Soul Etchings from Retreat West Books, UK. She is currently working on a collection of short stories.
- Adult Fiction
- Adult Non-Fiction
- Short stories
North Canterbury, New Zealand
A Distraction of Opposites
Flattered by the attention of a major literary figure, Catherine soon learns that all is not what it seems in New Zealand’s world of ‘letters’, as she is drawn deeper and deeper into Broadbent’s sinister web of paternalistic fantasies.
A Distraction of Opposites is a compelling new work. Moving between dream and reality, it skilfully explores the abuse of male literary power and should be read by all aspiring writers, especially women.
Tomorrow's Empire is a multi-layered story set in England, Turkey, New Zealand and the USA. It is forged from the themes of cultural conflict and misunderstanding, through the relationship of the two main characters – Sarah, a feminist and atheist, and Celik, whose beliefs, rooted in the strict moral code of Islam, drive his ambition to establish a global Islamic society.
Sing No Sad Songs
At the age of 22 Rebecca Arnold, an art student from Greendale in Canterbury, was diagnosed with a rare and vicious cancer. Thirteen months later this vibrant and talented young woman was dead, her family left to copy with a tidal wave of grief and loss.
Sing No Sad Songs is a heart breaking and yet beautifully composed memoir by Rebecca’s mother, Sandra Arnold. It is a haunting story of bereavement, survival, courage and acceptance, as well as a fiercely tender account of a close mother-daughter relationship cut far too short.
The story begins with the family’s move to live in Brazil for a year, during which time we get to know Rebecca and her family, and watch her blossom into womanhood in this colourful and challenging environment. Her subsequent decline and death are all the more shocking in contrast.
This profoundly moving and compelling memoir is neither sentimental nor voyeuristic. It is a restrained telling of a personal journey – ‘the map I have constructed for myself’ – that is ultimately powerfully redemptive.
Death, motherhood, the nature of reality, and the gender expectations of cultural conditioning are woven through these biting little stories in Sandra Arnold’s debut flash fiction collection. Sometimes sad, surreal and sinister, they’re also shot through with love and a deep understanding of humanity.
In gorgeous, spare prose that paints a vivid picture, Sandra Arnold gives voice to characters that are often unheard. From Daisy in Fireworks Night, willing to do whatever it takes to protect her little sister; to Martha in The Girl With Green Hair who has her body in the world we live in and her mind in the one that not many people see; and Ruby in Don’t Mess With Vikings who finds strength in a diagnosis of illness to stand up to bullies. With the stories in this collection, Sandra Arnold etches marks on your soul that will last.
The Ash, the Well and the Bluebell
Losing her daughter to the Christchurch earthquake sends Lily back to her childhood village in Northern England to scatter Charlie’s ashes. It’s a place of ghosts for Lily after the mysterious drowning of a school friend at the old village well – a tragedy somehow linked to the death of a local woman accused of witchcraft three hundred years earlier. Now Lily’s back, she wants to find out what happened at the well and the truth behind the swift departure of her friend Israel
The Ash, the Well and the Bluebell spans three centuries and three countries, exploring the love and history that makes a community, and the hate and secrets that can destroy.