NZSA Mentorship recipients of 2022
Marianne is a researcher and writer based in Wellington. Her work has been published in Landfall, Mimicry, and in government reports. She first started writing as a way to work through ethical tensions in work and life while living in Togo and Ghana in her early twenties. Now she is working on a series of personal essays focused on her time spent working as a researcher in prisons. These essays cover issues like workplace bullying and vicarious trauma, how to empathise ethically, and how to hold other people’s stories while also trying to deal with your own.
Shelley (Ngāti Mutunga, Ngāti Rārua) is a fiction writer and graduate of both Te Papa Tupu and the MCW at the University of Auckland. A finalist in the 2021 Voyager Media Awards, Shelley is a regular writer for e-Tangata. Her nonfiction has been published in the anthology Strong Words (Otago University Press 2021) and her short fiction has appeared on Radio New Zealand, the Newsroom site and in various anthologies, including Huia Short Stories 14 (2021).
Residing in North Canterbury, Fran Cain is a mother of two children and a spotty Dalmatian Ron. She has spent 11 years on and off studying a variety of things such as Psychology, Natural Medicine, and Education. She left a career in ECE to follow her passion of writing. Fran is currently a Freelance writer for an online newspaper focusing on writing articles about positive things happening in NZ.
Aside from her kids, Fran’s bookcase is her pride and joy. Her favourite writers are quirky and magical (Roald Dahl), or original, hard-hitting, and raw (James Frey and Quentin Tarantino and Guy Ritchie scripts). It wasn’t until she embarked on the NZIBS Writing Stories for Children course that she began to believe that her dream of being an author of children’s books could be a reality.
“I am deeply grateful and beyond excited for the opportunity to have a mentor help me with my children’s chapter book. I hope to spark imagination, make reader’s giggle, and of course… believe in all things magic.”
Scott Andrew Fack (he / him) is an American-born resident of Christchurch and graduate of Massey University and Hagley Writers’ Institute. After growing up as a gay nerd in a majorly white heteronormative Chicago suburb, he moved to Aotearoa in his early-20s to live with his now-husband Noel. Excluding his blog rants, his writing bounces between speculative and contemporary fiction. After a lengthy battle with dissociation and a lifelong relationship with high-functioning depression, he’s discovered the courage to share his work publicly. His recent short stories have been published in Quick Brown Dog and the SpecficNZ anthology Aftermath. Scott is humbled, honoured, and excited to receive the opportunity to work with a mentor to help complete his debut novel Plague (working title) about a gay teenager in late 80s / early 90s rural America learning to cope with loss and make his voice heard in the time of HIV/AIDS.
Ben Fagan is a poet and producer from Te Matau-a-Māui & Te Whanganui-a-Tara. He has performed his poetry across the UK, USA and Aotearoa, including writing and performing two poetry shows at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. He released his first full collection of poetry Some Traveller in the UK in 2017, and is part of the team behind Motif Poetry | Ruri Tūtohu, New Zealand Poetry Slam and Choirs Aotearoa New Zealand. Ben was a guest curator of Verb Readers & Writers Festival 2019 and in 2020 released poetry video collection Pākehā 2020.
Since 2020 he has been bottling up his poetry (ill-advised) and instead working on a project of creative non-fiction. He’s been collecting stories of Pākehātanga and traditional Pākehā culture, then using them to talk to his people about decolonisation. www.benfagan.nz ”
Holly Fletcher is a poet based in Ōtepoti/Dunedin. She spent the last decade in London undulating in words and distances. During that time, she gained a BA in Creative Writing from Goldsmiths University and worked in a second-hand bookshop in Bloomsbury.
She is interested in exploring honest lying within her text. This is Investigated through memory, dialogue and potential futures, which navigate the poetic voice. Holly embraces her dyslexia to explore the duality of meaning through text, whilst also engaging with humour and surrealism. Her writing can be found in The Spin Off, HCME, Lemony Lemons and elsewhere.
Holly works at the public library and is working towards her first poetry collection. She is grateful for this opportunity to be mentored by an accomplished New Zealand author.
Trish Harris’s draft manuscript is strongly anchored in her desire to see more realistic (and interesting) stories featuring disabled characters in children’s books.
She says: To receive this mentorship is a huge boost. Not only will I benefit from my mentor’s skills and experience – that’s precious enough – but it gives my project, which began as a germ of an idea, a big dose of encouragement.
She’s written two books, The Walking Stick Tree (memoir) and My wide white bed (poetry) and edited the pocket book Here we are, read us: Women, disability and writing, produced by Crip the Lit, of which she’s co-founder.
Trish has worked as a writer, editor and tutor and has a degree in Creative Writing.
Eleanor Lornie is an emerging fiction and children’s writer from Northland. After studying a Bachelor of Communications from Auckland University of Technology, majoring in journalism, Eleanor worked as a news reporter, feature writer and sub-editor for newspapers, lifestyle magazines and other publications. She lived and worked abroad for more than a decade before resettling in her hometown, Whangārei, with her family. Eleanor enjoys exploring relationships and change in her fiction writing. Her stories have a spiritual undertone and hark from an overall theme of human connectedness. She is currently working on a YA/NA novel called Dark Sand, which she looks forward to developing with guidance from her mentor. Eleanor also writes children’s picture books that explore life’s greatest wonders with themes relating to nature, consciousness, belonging and more. Eleanor is honoured to have been selected as a 2022 NZSA mentee.
Born in the UK, Christina wanted to travel as soon as she could to the places she read and dreamt about as a young child. Studying social anthropology and later public health, she travelled to sub-Saharan Africa. Here she lectured in medical anthropology and HIV/AIDS and worked for charities in some of the remotest parts of the world, with some of the most amazing people on earth.
Fortunate to be able to take a break from the heart-breaking realities of the AIDS pandemic, Christina took her training as a SCUBA diving instructor to the Caribbean and Seychelles where she shared the magic of the ocean with newly qualified Merfolk, tagged turtles and conducted shark research. During this time, she wrote three children’s books, two educational story books on HIV/AIDS and bereavement, and a third about a turtle with low self-esteem, which was read on children’s TV in South Africa. She also created and wrote the first 105 episodes of Dsiders, the first mobile phone soap opera in Africa, which is now freely available on WorldReader. In 2014 Christina moved to New Zealand to give her children the barefoot carefree childhood of 1950s story books.
Christina is currently working on her first novel set between modern day and the 1950s. It weaves together her interest in Aotearoa and Pacific history, kinship and identity. Christina is delighted to be selected for the Mentorship programme and can’t wait to get started.
Elena is Auckland born of Rakahanga, Atiu, Aitutaki and Scottish heritage. Her work history includes dance performance, TESOL and as a Pilates practitioner at a clinical practice. She published articles on the Pilates Method in health and fitness magazines.
Writing has been an integral part of her life since childhood; short stories, poetry, travel memoirs and journaling. In 2014 Elena attended John Cranna’s creative writing course at ‘The Hub.’ She returned to complete the novel course which inspired her to pull out her dusty memoir on living with lupus. ‘Wolf at my door’ was published in August 2021. Her weaving of poetry and stories is informed by the combined heritage of a Highland tartan and a pandanus mat.
Perena Quinlivan (Ngāti Ranginui, Ngāi Te Rangi) is a Tāmaki Makaurau based writer.
With Māori, Irish, and French whakapapa, an upbringing infused with zealous Catholicism and a mother whose first language was Te Reo Māori, Perena’s worldview was shaped by the magical power of language.
Perena became a professional actor and wrote for theatre after finishing English Literature and Drama studies, and he later pursued post-graduate studies in international business, politics, and management. His fluency in Bahasa Indonesian enabled him to work in the Asia-Pacific region, on diplomatic postings and as a Sydney-based management consultant.
As a public servant in Australia and New Zealand, Perena has worked in foreign affairs, international development, Māori economic development, and the arts sector, where he had responsibility for major cultural diplomacy programmes in Europe and Asia. Perena is very grateful to receive support from the NZSA. This mentorship will help him focus on completing his most recent poetry collection.
For five years, Lucy Revill interviewed and photographed Wellingtonians on her blog, The Residents. The experience taught her about her hometown of Poneke, its resilience, and how people’s personal style and values are reflected in their private spaces. Her first book, The Residents: Made in Wellington, was the culmination of this project. This coffee-table book shared 38 inspiring stories from Fat Freddy’s Drop’s Chris ‘Mu’ Faiumu, twentyseven names’ Anjali Burnett and Rachel Easting, Eboni Waitere of Huia Publishers, Sophie Kasoylides of The Greek Food Truck, Vijay Parbhu of Dixon Street Shoe Repairs, and Monique Fiso of Hiakai, amongst many others. The book was a Unity Books/Spinoff bestseller in November 2020 and sold out its 1500 print run.
Lucy is currently completing a post-graduate diploma in journalism. She has been published in Sunday Star Times, the Spinoff, Vice, The Dominion Post and Home magazine. In March 2022 Lucy moved to London to take up the role of content manager for UN Principles for Responsible Investment. She also works part time for the popular Australian youtube channel Never Too Small as a tiny apartment researcher and is working on a novel set in a law firm.
Lynda Scott Araya has a background in teaching and has a passion for encouraging literacy and a love of reading. She has always been interested in writing but began taking it seriously in 2018, following the death of her oldest son, Adam. Lynda has published short stories in a range of journals and magazines, most notably in Landfall 240 in 2020. She has had many poems published including in Prospectus: A Literary Offering, a fine line, The Pangolin Review and The NZPS Anthology in 2021. Her foci include mental health, suicide awareness and bereavement, domestic violence, relationships, and the quirkiness of everyday life. Lynda’s next goal is to put together a collection of her poems.
Emma is a Wellington-based poet and student. She loves translating life to art and combining wordplay with meaningful messages that connect with people. As a fourth-generation Asian New Zealander, she is passionate about representation and ensuring that all voices are heard. Emma regularly performs slam poetry around Wellington. In 2020 she won the Spirit of the Slam award at the Regional Finals, and in 2021 she came joint runner up, qualifying her for the National Finals. Last year, Emma was included in the AUP Anthology: A Clear Dawn and the VUP anthology: Middle Distances. She has previously had writing published in Confetti, Capital, and Asterism. Emma is currently running poetry workshops for refugee youth with Red Cross and filming poetry for a Local Government campaign.