CompleteMS Recipients 2016

Karen Zelas

Karen Zelas_opt

Karen Zelas is a Christchurch writer and former psychiatrist and psychotherapist. She has been Fiction Editor of takahe for 8 years. Her poetry has been published and anthologised in New Zealand and Australia, including in Landfall, Poetry NZ and JAAM, and in Essential New Zealand Poems (Random House, 2014) and several NZ Poetry Society anthologies. She has won or been placed in a number of poetry competitions, including Poems4Peace 2014, the NZSA/Heritage Week 2015 poetry competition and the 2015 Casselberg awards. Her third book of poetry, I Am Minerva, will be published in August this year by Makaro Press. Her verse biography play, Geography of Loss, was produced in Christchurch in 2014, directed by Martin Howells, and her novel, Past Perfect (Wily Publications), was published in 2010.




Rebecca Wixon

Rebecca Wixon_opt

I am very passionate about writing, and I always find the time. I find time within the chaos of family life, surrounded by the comings and goings of my family, the comings and going of myself, the constant need to move and make, and stir and wipe, the constant need to flick the sheets, and bake the cakes, I find the time to write.

I have done many things in my life, and a good majority of them have made me feel like the fish beneath the tree. But when given the opportunity to work and play with words, I am the fish, and before me lies an expansive sea.

I am grateful for this opportunity with NZSA, and hope to use it to its full potential.

I was raised on West Coast, and attended Buller High School. Currently living in Nelson, New Zealand with my husband and two children after a decade long experience in Europe.




Elizabeth Welsh

Elizabeth Welsh_opt

Elizabeth Welsh is an editor and poet from Auckland, New Zealand. She attended the University of Auckland and received her Master of Arts on Katherine Mansfield and Edmund Husserl. She has just returned to New Zealand after five years living and working in London as an editor. Over the intervening years, she has been creative editor and founder of The Typewriter – an online poetry magazine for emerging poets – as well as co-editor of Flash Frontier. Her poetry has been published in Landfall, Takahe, Poetry NZ, Hue & Cry, JAAM, Magma and South Bank Poetry. In 2012, she won the Auckland University Press – Divine Muses emerging poet award. She is absolutely delighted to be part of the CompleteMS assessment programme and will be working on completing her first poetry collection, And over there a mountain.


Gayna Vetter

Gayna is a writer in Wellington, where she teaches reflective practice and ePortfolio preparation at Victoria University of Wellington. She was born and matured in the USA but has now spent more than half her life living outside of the US.
One summer many years ago, she volunteered on a former concentration camp in northern Poland, Stutthoff, where she sorted buried shoes to help prepare the camp as a museum. There she was exposed to artwork and photographs that wept their stories and inspired her to listen to images and to write her first novel, Residual Images, which was the work submitted for the Complete MS Assessment in 2016.
Gayna has completed the Advanced and Graduate Diploma’s at Whitireia Wellington.


Emma Timpany

Emma Timpany_opt

Emma was born and grew up in Dunedin and now lives in Cornwall. She attended her first creative writing summer school at the University of Otago in 1991 and later studied in London and Cornwall. Alongside raising her family and other work, she runs a writing group, is a live literature event organiser and is a reader for the Brighton Prize 2016. Her short stories have won the Sara Park Memorial Short Story Competition 2013, the Society of Authors’ Tom-Gallon Trust Award 2011 and the Society of Women Writers and Journalists’ Theodora Roscoe/Vera Brittain Award 2011 and have been published in literary journals in England, New Zealand and Australia. Her publications are Over the Dam, a pamphlet of five short stories, (Red Squirrel Press, 2015) and The Lost of Syros (Cultured Llama Press, 2015), a collection of sixteen short stories. With the help of an experienced assessor, the Complete MS Programme 2016 will allow her to improve and fine-tune Three Roads, her second short story collection. Three Roads will be published by Red Squirrel Press in 2017.





Fiona Summerfield

Fiona Summerfield is a freelance writer with a journalism and science background. Her written work has included articles in many different publications from daily newspapers, trade and children’s magazines to educational scientific web content as well as scripts for a children’s educational television programme. She has worked as an editor for Chemistry in New Zealand (journal for the New Zealand Institute of Chemistry) and for a bimonthly magazine of a non-profit organisation. She was short listed for the 2013 Kobo/NZ Authors E-Publishing Prize. In fiction she has had short stories, flash fiction and poetry published in print and online publications. She has also organised three No More Excuses Writers’ Weekends in Nelson.




Heather McQuillan

Heather McQuillan_opt

Heather McQuillan is a writer and teacher from Christchurch, New Zealand. She is the Associate Director of The School for Young Writers and is undertaking a Masters of Creative Writing with Massey University. Heather has two novels for young people published by Scholastic NZ and she was the winner of the Tom Fitzgibbon Award in 2006. In 2016 she took first place in both the National Flash Fiction Day and Micro Madness competitions. Her flash fiction regularly appears in Flash Frontier where she won the 2015 Summer Writing Award and was nominated for the 2015 Pushcart Prize. Her poetry has appeared in various publications including the Landfall 231,  Scattered Feathers (NZPS 2015), and Beyond the Red Zone. She is looking forward to re-crafting a YA novel that has been many years in the making, and which she needs to get finished before fiction becomes fact.




Jeannie McLean

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Jeannie McLean grew up in Australia, moved to New Zealand, raised two girls and for many years taught in a number of Auckland secondary schools. She is a published YA author and continues to write for that age group. A long-time fan of crime novels, Jeannie is encouraged by the growing interest in NZ crime writing. In 2010 she met a dedicated group of writers on a Creative Hub Advanced Fiction course (the members continue to meet for regular critiques of their work) and these factors led her to try her hand at an adult crime novel. While her first crime novel is at the assessment stage, she is working on her second.



Anne Ingram

Anne Ingram_opt

Anne Ingram has loved writing, books and words from an early age. “I suppose that’s why I enjoy writing for young people, because reading gave me such pleasure, took me into other worlds, foreign places, other cultures where people lived in different ways to us but were in the most important ways the same.”

My first novel SeaRobbers, published by Mallinson Rendel, was set in Borneo where a NZ boy on holiday meets a young Malay of similar age. Together they have an adventure with dangerous modern day pirates who still swarm the fringes of the South China Sea.

I was living in Singapore at the time and working as a freelance editor. Heinemann Asia commissioned me to collect and retell traditional legends of Korea, Vietnam and the Philippines for a series they were publishing for schools. This was an amazing time as I was able to travel to these countries and experience something of their cultures.

My last novel, Lucy Bee & the Secret Gene, set in NZ, was self-published under the imprint of White Gull Press. Lucy believes she is adopted or was swapped at birth because she looks nothing like her parents and, in particular, has very frizzy hair, which none of her relatives seem to have. With the help of her best friend she goes on a gene hunt, desperately wanting to know if she really belongs to her family.

I have just finished a fourth draft of a sequel to Lucy Bee & the Secret Gene in which Lucy goes to France to meet her extended French family. During the summer spent in the French countryside, some of it on the canal boat, the Elisabet, Lucy takes it upon herself to help a refugee from Afghanistan. She also gets caught up the dangerous aftermath of a burglary in the local château.


Emma Hart

Emma Hart_opt

Emma Hart is a freelance writer living in the remains of Christchurch. She is a columnist at the Public Address website. A collection of her columns, Not Safe for Work, was published in 2009. Her non-fiction content and articles have appeared in a number of magazines, including Matters of Substance and Metro. She also works and writes for a speculative fiction site, Bardic Web. Her short story, “Bodies”, won the 2015 Sunday Star-Times Short Story Competition.








Trisha Hanifin

Trisha Hanifin_opt

Trisha Hanifin has worked in adult education and adult literacy for over 25 years teaching a range of subjects including reading and writing at both foundational and academic levels.

Trisha writes short stories and flash fiction as well as working on her novel, Ghost Travellers. She gained a Masters of Creative Writing from AUT in 2010.

Her stories have been shortlisted in a number of New Zealand competitions, including the Sunday Star Times and the BNZ literary awards. In 2014 she won the Auckland University’s Ingenio magazine’s short story competition with her story, Me and Bobby Magee, and she was the Auckland Regional winner, and second place getter, in the 2014 National Flash Fiction Competition. Her flash fiction has been published in Turbine and Flash Frontiers, and will be in the forthcoming 2016 Bath flash fiction anthology


Suzanne Day

Suzanne Day_opt

Suzanne Day is currently writing a tween series inspired by the wonder, beauty and magic of nature. Located in a volcanic New Zealand landscape, the narrative explores the relationship between humans and the natural world, in both a physical and meta-physical sense. In 2014 she graduated with first-class honours from the AUT Master of Creative Writing programme, and is actively involved in the AUT Alumni writing group. She has worked in advertising and graphic design for over twenty years, on a plethora of projects, with an emphasis on creating brand stories. She lives in inner city Auckland with Alfie the cat.


Tina Clough

I have been writing since childhood; to me it is an important outlet for all the ideas and thoughts that unbidden pop into my head. I was born, raised and educated in Sweden, so perhaps I am a link in the long tradition of Scandinavian storytelling. I mostly stick to the linear story tradition (also promoted in Alice in Wonderland as a good, simple device for telling a story). So far my ratio of published versus unpublished books is pretty even: I have published three crime novels/thrillers and have one more nearly finished, as well as a Junior fiction sci-fi novel and a rhyming picture book which is currently with an illustrator. Getting the free assessment from the NZSA was a lovely surprise and I am ever grateful to Paddy Richardson, who wrote a report full of generous good advice and ideas.



Catherine Clarke

Catherine Clarke_opt

An ancestral heritage replete with stories of adventure, scandal, and lunacy started Catherine Clarke on an extramural degree in English and History which she completed in 2010. Her manuscript The Aerial Queen is a work of fiction based on two daredevil sisters who risked their lives for fame and fortune by parachuting from smoke balloons throughout Australia and New Zealand in the 1890s. Catherine received a NZSA Mentorship in 2014 and her manuscript was shortlisted for the Lilian Ida Smith Award last year. She lives in Wellington and works as a Medical Laboratory Scientist.






Jane Blaikie

Jane Blaikie_opt

Jane Blaikie edits a magazine for the New Zealand Educational Institute. She trained as an accountant and worked as a financial journalist before becoming more interested in culture and heritage. She’s also a mum and lives in Wellington.








Noeline Arnott

Noeline Arnott 1

Noeline Arnott was born and educated to UE level in Nelson. Now lives and previously raised her family in Palmerston North where she completed a BA and PGDip in Social Anthropology as a mature student and tutored at Massey University until 2009. Her short stories have been published in New Zealand and the United States and anthologised in both countries. Awards: 1986 First in American Express Short Story Award; 1988 first and second runner-up [Manawatu] Evening Standard short story contest; 1989 first Mobil Dominion Sunday Times Short Story Award; 2013 second CD Short Story Competition; c. 1985 – 1989 inaugural secretary of newly formed Central Districts Branch of PEN (NZ Inc.). Other Mothers’ Sons is her first novel.






Geoff Allen

Geoff Allen, artist, actor and Whitireia writing school graduate, grew up in west Auckland in the 70’s.
He mostly writes dialogue for a living – mostly for Devonport Drama.
His play Sister Anzac toured New Zealand, lastly at Q theatre in 2016.
He was a finalist in the 2017 James Wallace short story award and his fantasy novel (now named The Girl with the Snow White Hair) was born on a cold night at Helm’s Deep surrounded by orcs – and from his love of how myths travelled to early New Zealand.
He is married with four sons and lives in Northcote.