NZSA Mentorship recipients of 2021


Nicole Colmar

Nicole Colmar – Born when the New Hebrides moved towards independence in 1980, Nicole is a creative whose work stems from her roots as part Ni-Vanuatu and part Kiwi. She worked in news and current affairs before attending the International Institute of Modern Letters in 2017, which was the beginning of her ‘real’ writing life. Her stories can have a South Pacific gothic flavour. Other times, her visceral narratives can relentlessly span space, place and time; caught in a sort of in-between. These are some of the themes that Nicole will explore in her novel-in-progress as part of the mentorship, and she is very much looking forward to it.






Kristene Cristobal

Kristene Cristobal writes and works ‘bi-hemispherically’ in New Zealand and California. Her stories live in the spaces where ‘race’, politics, myth, and family collide. When she’s not writing, Kristene has a consulting practice working with organizations to center equity and social justice; deepen community partnerships; and improve health and well-being. Her work is published or forthcoming in Another Chicago Magazine, Turbine/Kapohau, and Radio New Zealand’s Page Numbers. Kristene has a MA in Creative Writing from Victoria University of Wellington’s International Institute of Modern Letters, a MS in Public Health from the Harvard School of Public Health, and was selected for a VONA/Voices’ Summer fiction workshop. Kristene is completing her debut novel Makibaka! — about the contemporary Filipinx American experience, carrying the history of colonialism in the diaspora.





Carolyn Cossey

Carolyn Cossey is a mother of young adults, and a full-time teacher of English at an area school in north Waikato. She has published creative non-fiction and flash fiction in Headland journal, Landfall and Bonsai: Best Small Fictions from Aotearoa New Zealand.  She completed a Bachelor of Creative Arts from the Manukau Institute of Technology in 2017, and the Masters of Creative Writing at the University of Auckland in 2018, graduating First Class with honours. She has had two excerpts from her fledgling novel Huia produced by Radio New Zealand. It is her fervent wish to complete this project with the assistance of a mentor.






Sally Franicevich

Sally Franicevich is an Auckland writer who has recently completed a Masters of Creative Writing at the International Institute of Modern Letters at Victoria University of Wellington. She has worked as a union organiser, lawyer, mediator and now works part-time as an adviser in employment relations.

Sally mainly writes short fiction and drafts of novels which, so far, she has abandoned. She won the Fish Publishing Prize in 2013 for her story, “The Nut Machine”, which was published in that year’s Fish Publishing anthology, “The Nut Machine and other Stories”. In 2016, her story “Uncle Frank’s Turkeys,” was shortlisted for the Bridport Short Story Prize and published in the Bridport Anthology of stories for that year.



Michael Gould

Wellingtonian writer Michael Gould is a Canadian New Zealander who started taking his poetry seriously (i.e., submitting it) upon retirement from the workforce. In the several years since, his work has appeared in publications, both academic and popular, in Aotearoa New Zealand, Australia and the United Kingdom (e.g., Landfall, Otoliths, The Café Reader, The Spinoff) as well as in several anthologies (e.g., The Friday Poem). He writes light verse, but without the typical frivolity, confessional poetry and the occasional vispo; writing that comes from his experience as a gay man living with depression, surviving with a sense of humour. He has been reading and writing poetry since his early twenties when his main focus had been on film studies (undergraduate degree, York University, Toronto). Out of those wild youthful years came his book Surrealism and the Cinema: Open-eyed Screening (1976). He hopes his wildness now come through in the poetry of his senior years.




Emma Hislop

Emma Hislop (Kāi Tahu) is a Taranaki based writer. In January this year she was the Emerging Māori Writer at the Michael King Centre. She has a Masters in Creative Writing from the IIML. Her work has appeared in Verb, Newsroom, Sport, Hue and Cry, Takahē, Ronald Hugh Morrieson Finalist Stories, Ika and Ora Nui. She is currently working on a collection of short fiction. She is extremely grateful to receive this NZSA mentorship.







Lily Holloway

Lily Holloway (born in 1998, they/she) is a forever-queer English postgraduate student. In her spare time she enjoys reading New Zealand literature, eating nachos, and visiting second-hand markets with her girlfriend (to collect vintage Teletubbies paraphernalia, of course). Her creative writing has been published in Starling, Scum, Poetry Lab Shanghai, The Pantograph Punch, Midway Journal and other various nooks and crannies (see a full list at In 2020 she was honoured to receive the Shimon Weinroth Prize in Poetry, the Kendrick Smithyman Scholarship for Poetry and second place in the Charles Brasch Young Writers’ Essay Competition. She is an executive editor of Interesting Journal and has a chapbook forthcoming in AUP New Poets 8.

Lily is based in Tāmaki Makaurau, is a hopeless romantic and probably wants to be your penpal!




Mandy McMullin

Mandy lives in Auckland. Having previously worked as a farmer, landscape architect and actor, she has recently followed her heart into writing full-time. Mandy writes both non-fiction and fiction. Her stories have won the Graeme Lay Prize 2019, the Heritage Literary Award for short prose 2020, and been shortlisted in other competitions. Farming years ago on the Kaipara Harbour, Mandy fell under the spell of plants and now finds them making their way into her stories. She is working on a collection of short prose connected by trees which she hopes to publish. She is excited at the prospect of having a mentor and grateful to the NZSA for providing this opportunity to further her work.






Airana Ngarewa

Born and raised in Pātea, Airana Ngarewa (Ngāti Ruanui) is accomplished in multiple sporting codes. Throughout his athletic career, he won six national championships in four different sports and was selected as a finalist for the Manawatu Sportsman of the Year. Airana now spends his time teaching at Te Kura Tuarua O Ngamotu, studying a Master of Education and Teaching Leadership with Ako Mātātupu, and writing. In the past twelve months, his work has or has been selected to appear in The Stand, Mayhem Literary Journal, Turbine, Takehē Magazine, Newsroom, Mātatuhi Taranaki, Kaupeka, and an anthology of stories by Māori authors to be taught in kura.







Talia Parker

Writing has always been my passion, and this mentorship is an incredible opportunity to turn it into my career. I’m from Matamata, New Zealand, but I moved to Auckland four years ago. I love to write plays and scripts, and my ultimate ambition is to write and perform my own work. I have a degree in Media and English, and am currently working on my Honours year. In my spare time, I love to bake, read, and find new places to eat. You can usually find me (badly) painting my nails, and/or watching Chicago Med.






Bethany G. Rogers

Bethany G. Rogers is a freelance writer and editor based in Queenstown, New Zealand.

Originally from Newcastle-Upon-Tyne (UK), she was first published when she was nine years old – it was a revenge poem written about a teacher who’d bullied her dyslexic brother. She’s grown up a bit since then, expanding her work into quirky and creative writing for readers, publications and businesses. Bethany is a trustee of the Queenstown Writers Festival and heavily involved in the development of creative writing participation in the Queenstown area.

She was shortlisted for the 2011 Manchester Fiction Prize (UK) and longlisted for the 2018 National Flash Fiction Prize (NZ). Bethany is currently working on a collection of short stories on a speculative fiction theme. She’s thrilled to receive the mentorship and is looking forward to developing this body of work.


Rochelle Savage

Rochelle has written and performed for theatre, television, film and radio as well as stand-up. Radio New Zealand commissioned her and Mel Johnston to co-write a full-length radio play – Deep Vein Thrombosis: A romantic comedy in which she also acted in. She was awarded an Honourable Mention for the Lilian Ida Smith Award in 2017 and The Robert Lord Cottage Residency in November 2019. She is currently focused on writing novels and plays and has just finished the 3rd draft of her Novel The Big Shoe and the 2nd draft of a new play. She is working on a new novel that made the shortlist for Steve Braunias’s 2020 Surrey Hotel Writer’s residency and the focus of the mentorship. rochellesavage





Ariana Sutton

Ariana Sutton (Kai Tahu, Kati Mamoe, Waitaha oku Iwi) poems have been published in

Melbourne’s Work and Tumble, Dunedin’s

Unesco Possibilities Project, Awa Wahine and was the winner of 2020 Dan Davin Literary Award. She is inspired by healing, sovereignty and the hidden, beautiful of antics bats.

Currently Ariana is working on a Iwi poetry project collection, on growing old and growing up in the Southern heart-land of Murihiku.