Shirley Corlett

Shirley’s first novel was The Hanging Sky, an adult NZ historical fiction. Since then she has had eight children’s /  Y/A novels published. Her first The Stolen, won the Tom Fitzgibbon Award. The Weather-Makers and You’ve Got Guts Kenny Melrose, were both shortlisted for NZ Children’s Book Awards.  The Wahine and Fire in the Sky followed - (the hugely popular Scholastic My story series). Then came, Addie Accident, Through Thick and Thin, (also published in Germany) and In the Spotlight. She assists the NZ Society of Authors as a mentor and manuscript assessor, something she enjoys.  She also takes on private work in this field and has held creative writing courses. She takes an active interest in the Central District’s Branch of NZSA and belongs to the NZ Writers’ in Schools Scheme. Shirley shared the Children’s Writer in Residence at the Dunedin College of Education in 2006. She  loves walking, theatre, gardening, reading, sport and catching up with her family. She runs Quill, a Writing Group in her home town Masterton and lives with husband Laurie and cat Hymie.




Central Districts




The Hanging Sky

Adult NZ Historical novel. A remarkable novel that takes the reader from the time of the moa hunters to present day New Zealand. Warfare, volcanic eruption, tribal intrigue; the story of a family who, despite all the odds, survive because in each generation there is one who possesses the power to help the family regain its mana.

The Stolen

Y/A fantasy. Won the Tom Fitzgibbon award in 2000. Tori has always felt close to her great-great Aunty Joy who died on her wedding day sixty years ago. When Joy's ghost appears asking her to find Joy's fiance Tom, Tori and two friends are whisked away into a fearful afterworld to save Tom from the clutches of Agathorea - Creator and Master of he World of the Stolen dead.

The Weather-Makers

Children's fantasy novel. Shortlisted in the NZ Children's Book of the Year Awards 2002. Peter Brown is tired of bad weather - it's annoying. So Altus gives Peter the power to control the weather. Awesome! But then the forecast turns from showers to . . . Cyclone Cecilla

Abandon Ship - now renamed The Wahine Disaster

Scholastic - My Story series. At home sick with glandular fever, Debbie feels transported back in time. Is it a feverish hallucination, or is her long-dead relative trying to tell her something? Then following a trip to visit relatives, Debbie boards the ferry to return homne to Wellington. It is April 1968. The ferry's name is WAHINE

Fire in the Sky

The Mt Tarawera Volcanic Eruption. Scholastic My Story Series. It is 1886 James and his artist father travel to the famous Pink and White Terraces in Rotorua. Out on the lake they see the eerie sight of a Maori war canoe (waka). Is it a spirit canoe? And all the while, beneath Mt Tarawera, volcanic forces gather. James does not know he is about to witness these terrible forces first hand.

You've Got Guts Kenny Melrose

Children's novel. Short listed in the 2002 NZ Children's Book of the Year Awards. Rescued from an orphanage, Kenny believes he and his sister will finally get the normal life they have longed for. Then their late father's mysterious past catches up with them. Kenny is accused of theft and finds himself caught up in a web of secrets. It will take guts fo find the answers and for Kenny to prove his innocence.

Through Thick and Thin

Children's novel. Published Scholastic also DTV Junior Germany. When some lowlife steals Matthew's brand new BMX bike, even his best mate Caleb can't cheer him up. Then after the events of one terrible night, Caleb becomes his enemy. Matthew's family falls apart. It's going to take a desperate act to bring everyone to their senses. But first Matthew has to get his best mate back . . .

In the Spotlight

Junior Children's novel. NZ Historic. Giltedgepublishing As a new apprentice for a comic opera company in which only children are the actors, Ada has to start from the bottom - in the chorus. But she is determined not to stay there for long. She wants to be a star. This novel was inspired by the real story of a comic opera company that toured NZ in the late 19th century.

Addie Accident

Junior children's Fantasy novel. No matter how hard Addie tries, mishaps just seem to happen to her. "Born under an ill wind," her father reckons. Bullied and struggling to fit in, Addie finds comfort in Imagination Land. Together with her imaginary friend, Hubert the hapless, Addie is determined to nreak the accident spell . . . But first, she has to learn to believe in herself.