List of Mentors for NZSA Mentor Programme

Rosetta Allan

Area: Auckland
Genre: Fiction writing, any kind

Rosetta is a bestselling writer who spent her formative writing years developing strengths in the area of poetry. Her work is widely anthologised, and she has published two volumes of poetry: Little Rock and Over Lunch. Penguin Books published her first novel, Purgatory, in 2014 and was selected as an Apple iBook Top Ten Best Reads of 2014.

Rosetta won the 2010 Kathleen Grattan Poetry Award, 2010 Metonymy Poetry Award, 2011 South Pacific Writer’s Lab Internship. In 2017, Rosetta completed her Masters of Creative Writing at the University of Auckland (First Class Honours) and was awarded a Sir James Wallace Masters of Creative Writing Scholarship. Rosetta was also the first New Zealand writer in residence at the St Petersburg Art Residency in Russia. Her second novel, The Unreliable People, set in Kazakhstan and Russia, was released by Penguin Random House, May 2019. Rosetta was the University of Waikato writer in residence in 2019. In August 2021, Penguin Random House released her latest novel, Crazy Love.

Maxine Alterio

Area: Dunedin
Genre: Fiction – short and long forms

Maxine Alterio is a novelist and short story writer. She has a MA from Otago University and a PhD from Victoria University of Wellington, where she studied the memoirs of First World War nurses. Penguin NZ published Maxine’s first two novels Ribbons of Grace (2007), and Lives We Leave Behind (2012), which Editions Prisma (France) issued in 2013. Penguin Random House NZ released Maxine’s latest novel The Gulf Between in 2019. Steele Roberts NZ published Maxine’s collection Live News and Other Stories in 2005. Several of her short stories have won, or been placed in, national and international competitions. Others have been broadcast on NZ Radio National or appeared in anthologies. Maxine was the 2013 recipient of the Seresin Landfall/Otago University Press Writing Residency, and co-recipient of the inaugural Dan Davin Literary Foundation Writer in Residence in 2019.

Caroline Barron

Area: Auckland
Genre: Adult fiction (literary and contemporary) and non-fiction (including creative non-fiction, memoir, self-improvement). I do not asses children’s, sci-fi/fantasy, or poetry.

Caroline’s passion for helping writers find their voice and improve their writing craft is at the heart of her work. She is an author, manuscript assessor and book coach, book reviewer, and Creative New Zealand peer assessor. Her debut book Ripiro Beach: A Memoir of Life After Near Death (Bateman, 2020) won the 2020 New Zealand Heritage Literary Award for Non-fiction.

Caroline was a trustee of Michael King Writers Centre for four years, where she led the committee responsible for selecting residency recipients, and in 2021 was on the selection panel for the New Zealand Society of Authors Complete Manuscript Assessment Programme. She has a Masters in Creative Writing and a journalism degree.

Other recent awards include: 2021 Ngaio Marsh Award nominee (Ripiro Beach); 2020 National Flash Fiction Day (Auckland region winner); 2020 Surrey Hotel Residency (shortlisted); 2018 New Zealand Heritage Literary Award (winner, short prose); 2018 NZSA CompleteMS programme recipient; and winner of the 2015 NZSA LiIian Ida Smith Award. You can follow her blog at or on Facebook and Instagram at @carolinebarronauthor.

Airini Beautrais

Area: Whanganui
Genre:Poetry, Fiction, Creative non-fiction

Airini Beautrais is a writer and educator living in Whanganui. She is the author of four collections of poetry, and a collection of short fiction, Bug Week, which won the 2021 Jann Medlicott Acorn Foundation Prize for Fiction at the NZ Book Awards. She is currently working towards a collection of personal essays.

Diane Brown

Area: Dunedin
Genre: Memoir, poetry, fiction

Diane Brown is a novelist, memoirist, and poet who runs an online and face-to-face creative writing school, Creative Writing Dunedin, teaching fiction, memoir and poetry.

She has published eight books: two collections of poetry – Before The Divorce We Go To Disneyland, (Tandem Press 1997) and Learning to Lie Together, ( Godwit, 2004); two novels, If The Tongue Fits, (Tandem Press, 1999) and Eight Stages of Grace, (Vintage, 2002) – a verse novel which was a finalist in the Montana Book Awards 2003. Also, a travel memoir, Liars and Lovers (Vintage, 2004); and a prose/poetic travel memoir; Here Comes Another Vital Moment (Godwit, 2006), a poetic memoir, Taking My Mother To The Opera, Otago University Press (2015) and a poetic novella, Every Now and Then I Have Another Child, Otago University Press (2020).

She always likes to straddle the line between prose and poetry and between fiction and non/fiction. She is commencing work on a poetic memoir, Straight as a Pound of Candles, tracing the lives of her maternal ancestors.

She has held the Buddle Findlay Sargeson Fellowship and has had two residencies at the Michael King Writer’s Studio, in 2005 and 2019. She won the Janet Frame Memorial Award in 2012 and the Beatson Fellowship in 2013.

In 2013 she was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to writing and education. She lives in Dunedin with her husband, author Philip Temple.

Catherine Chidgey

Area: Waikato / Ngāruawāhia
Genre: Adult fiction

Catherine Chidgey is a multiple award-winner whose novels have attracted international acclaim. In a Fishbone Church, her debut, won Best First Book at both the New Zealand book awards and the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize (South-East Asia and South Pacific region). In the UK it also won the Betty Trask Award and was longlisted for the Orange Prize. Her second novel, Golden Deeds, was a Best Book in the LA Times Book Review and a Notable Book of the Year in the New York Times Book Review. Her novel The Wish Child won the 2017 Acorn Foundation Fiction Prize – New Zealand’s richest writing prize. Radio New Zealand called it ‘a brilliant, brilliant novel…a masterpiece’, and The Times (UK) ‘a remarkable book with a stunningly original twist’. Other honours include the Katherine Mansfield Short Story Award, the $60,000 Prize in Modern Letters and the Janet Frame Fiction Prize. Her latest novel is Remote Sympathy: ‘You are in the hands of a superb writer…it is profoundly wonderful.’ (Radio New Zealand)

Catherine has translated many children’s books from the German and in 2019 published her first children’s book, Jiffy, Cat Detective. She teaches creative writing at the University of Waikato, where in 2019 she initiated the Sargeson Prize short story competition. She lives in Ngāruawāhia with her husband, daughter and odd-eyed cats.

Majella Cullinane

Area: Port Chalmers
Genre: Fiction and poetry. Especially historical fiction and short stories

Majella Cullinane writes poetry, fiction and essays. Her debut novel The Life of De’Ath was shortlisted for the NZSA Heritage Book Award and long-listed for the 2019 Ockham/Acorn Prize for Fiction. Otago University Press and Salmon Poetry, Ireland, published her second poetry collection Whisper of a Crow’s Wing in 2018. It was chosen as The Listener’s Top Ten Poetry Books of 2018.  She was Robert Burns Fellow at the University of Otago in 2014, and has been a Writer in Residence at the Pah Homestead in Auckland, the Caselberg House, Dunedin,  and joint Dan Davin Writer in Residence at Yule House in Invercargill. She has also been awarded residencies and fellowships in Ireland and Scotland. Her short stories have won, been shortlisted or highly commended in national and international competitions: the Bloomsday ‘Kerrygold Prize’ for Short Fiction, the Fish Short Story Prize, the Historical Association Short Story Award, UK, the Seán O’Faoláin International Short Story Competition, The Sargeson Prize, The Graeme Lay/NZSA Short Story Competition, and published in Ireland, the UK and the US. In 2020 she graduated with a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Otago and also received a Copyright Licencing NZ grant, and in 2021, an Auckland Museum Research Grant and Creative New Zealand Arts Grant to work on her third poetry collection, which will be published in 2023. Her first collection of short stories will be published in 2024. She lives in Port Chalmers with her family.

Bronwyn Elsmore

Area: Auckland
Genre: Adult fiction, short story, non-fiction, plays

Bronwyn is an award and prize winning writer of short stories, books, plays and articles. She has been an occasional teacher of creative writing.

Bronwyn is the author of 12 books and hundreds of other publications. Her short stories have been published in the Listener, Radio NZ, Takahē, and many other publications, her most recent book is a collection of 32 stories. She has also had numerous plays staged. In a past life she was a university lecturer and has authored work for academic publications. These days, however, she concentrates on writing fiction and patting cats.

Michelle Elvy

Area: Otago
Genre: fiction (novel, short story, flash fiction); hybrid novella or novels in flash fiction/ poetry; creative nonfiction and travel; memoir; YA

Michelle Elvy is a writer and editor in Ōtepoti Dunedin. Her poetry, fiction, travel writing, creative nonfiction and reviews have been widely published and anthologised. Her book, the everrumble, is a small novel in small forms and called ‘an homage to our beleaguered planet’.

Michelle is founder of National Flash Fiction Day NZ and Flash Frontier: An Adventure in Short Fiction. She is also Reviews Editor of Landfall. Her current anthology projects include Ko Aotearoa Tātou | We Are New Zealand, co-edited with Paula Morris and James Norcliffe (OUP, 2020), and Love in the Time of COVID: A Chronicle of a Pandemic, which she is curating in 2020/21 with Witi Ihimaera ( Other anthology work includes Bonsai: Best small stories from Aotearoa New Zealand (CUP 2018) and the Best Small Fictions series (annual since 2015).

A Fulbright scholar and Watson Fellow, Michelle is also a Pushcart nominee and recipient of the NZ Society of Authors/ Auckland Museum Library grant and the NZSA Mentorship programme award. She has judged various competitions hosted in Aotearoa New Zealand and abroad, including the South Island Writers’ Association, the International Writers’ Workshop, the Whangarei Poetry Walk, NorthWrite’s collaboration competition, the NYC Challenge and the Bath Flash Fiction Award, as well as the 2021 Bath Novella-in-Flash Award.

Johanna Emeney

Area: Auckland
Genre: Poetry

Johanna Emeney works at Massey University as a teacher of creative writing. She co-facilitated the Michael King Young Writers Programme with Rosalind Ali 2009-2020, and was a senior school English Literature teacher 1998-2010. Jo holds a doctorate in creative writing. Her three books of poetry are Apple & Tree (Cape Catley, 2011), Family History (Makaro Press, 2017). and Felt (Massey University Press (2021).

Giovanna (Gigi) Fenster

Area: Ōtaki
Genre: I am open to all prose genre. Not poetry.

Gigi has a PhD and Masters in Creative Writing, and various law degrees. Her first book, a novel called The Intentions Book was published by VUP in 2013. Her second book, Feverish was a work of nonfiction, published in 2017. Her novel, A Good Winter was the winner of the 2020 Michael Gifkins Award, and will be published by Text Publishing in 2021. She has published stories in various literary journals and she has facilitated creative writing workshops.

Mandy Hager

Area: Paraparaumu, Wellington
Genre: all except fantasy, short fiction or poetry

Mandy Hager is a multi-award winning writer of fiction for young adults. In 2019 she was awarded the Storylines Margaret Mahy Medal, for life-time achievement and a distinguished contribution to New Zealand’s literature for young people. She has won the LIANZA Book Awards for Young Adult fiction 3 times (‘Smashed’ 2008, ‘The Nature of Ash’ 2013, ‘Dear Vincent’ 2014), the NZ Post Children’s Book Awards for YA fiction (‘The Crossing’ 2010), an Honour Award in the 1996 AIM Children’s Book Awards (‘Tom’s Story’), Golden Wings Excellence Award (‘Juno Lucina,’ 2002), Golden Wings Award (‘Run For The Trees’, 2003) and Six Notable Book Awards.

She has also been awarded the 2012 Beatson Fellowship, the 2014 Katherine Mansfield Menton Fellowship and the 2015 Waikato University Writer in Residence.

In 2015 her novel ‘Singing Home the Whale’ was awarded the Margaret Mahy Book of the Year award, and the Best Young Adult fiction Award from the NZ Book Awards for Children and Young Adults. It has also been named a 2016 IBBY Honour Book, an international award. Her historical novel for adults, ‘Heloise’, was long-listed for the Ockham Book Awards. Her latest novel is political thriller ‘Ash Arising’ (Storylines Notable Book and shortlisted for the NZ Book Awards for Children and Young Adults.)

She is a trained teacher, with an Advanced Diploma in Fine Arts (Whitireia) and an MA in Creative Writing for Victoria University. She also writes adult fiction, short stories, non-fiction, educational resources, blogs and articles, and tutored the Novel Course for Whitireia’s Creative Writing Programme for ten years. She is currently President of NZSA.

Cassie Hart

Area: New Plymouth
Genre: Sci-fi, fantasy (including urban fantasy, paranormal romance, magical realism, etc), horror, anything that is a mash of these things, with or without romance elements. Any length, including short story collections.

Cassie Hart is a multi-award-winning Māori (Kāi Tahu, Makaawhio) speculative fiction writer who enjoys delving into human nature in all its beauty and disarray.

In 2021 alone she was a Hugo finalist for Best Related Work with the CoNZealand Fringe team, an Australian Shadow Awards finalist for Best Collected Work with the awesome T Wood (Black Dogs, Black Tales), and a Sir Julius Vogel Award finalist for Best Novella (Hexes & Vexes, published under Nova Blake). She won the SJV for Best Fan Production/Publication for her FIYAHCon Guest of Honour speech, as well as Services to Science Fiction and Fantasy for her work during the prior year.

In 2018 she was selected as one of six emerging Māori writers to participate in the Te Papa Tupu incubator programme, where she worked on her novel, Butcherbird, a supernatural suspense set under the watchful gaze of Mount Taranaki. Butcherbird released from Huia in August 2021.

As well as publishing a range of novellas and novels, Cassie has co-edited three short fiction anthologies, worked as a freelance editor, and is always looking for new ways to collaborate with others.

Siobhan Harvey

Area: Auckland
Genre: Poetry, stories, novels, nonfiction (including creative nonfiction).

Siobhan Harvey is an author of eight books, including the poetry and creative nonfiction collection, Ghosts (Otago University Press, 2021) . She was awarded 2021 Janet Frame Literary Trust Award for Poetry, 2020 New Zealand Society of Authors Peter & Dianne Beatson Fellowship, 2020 Kathleen Grattan Award for a Sequence of Poems, 2019 Robert Burns Poetry Prize, 2016 Write Well Award (Fiction, US) and 2013 Kathleen Grattan Award. Her previous books include Cloudboy (Otago University Press, 2014 and, as co-editor, Essential New Zealand Poems (Random House, 2014). She has been shortlisted for many other international and local awards and prizes, including third- and second place in 2020 and 2012 Landfall Essay Competitions respectively, long-listed for the 2019 Australian Book Review Peter Porter Poetry Prize, runner up in both 2015 and 2014 New Zealand Poetry Society International Poetry Competitions, runner up in 2012 NZSA Kevin Ireland Poetry Competition and runner up in 2012 Dorothy Porter Poetry Prize (Aus). Her work has been published in international and local anthologies and journals , including Acumen (UK), Arc (Ca), Asia Literary Review (HK), Best New Zealand Poems 2020 and 2012 (NZ), Feminine Divine: Voices of Power & Invisibility (Cyren US, 2019), Griffith Review (Aus), Strong Words #2: the best of the Landfall Essay Competition (Otago University Press, 2021), Stand (UK) and Tarot (NZ). The Poetry Archive UK holds a Poet’s Page of her work. Presently she’s a Lecturer in Creative Writing at The Centre for Creative Writing, Auckland University of Technology where she holds a PhD in Creative Writing.

Whiti Hereaka

Area: Wellington
Genre: Novel, Literary fiction, YA, Spec fiction, Drama, Film, TV

Whiti Hereaka (Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Te Arawa, Ngāti Whakaue, Tūhourangi, Ngāti Tumatawera, Tainui, Pākehā) is a novelist and script writer. She teaches “Writing for Children” at the IIML and has been a mentor for writers in Te Papa Tupu.

Lynn Jenner

Area: Kerikeri
Genre: Memoir, personal and lyric essays, non-fiction articles, prose poetry

I have had some amazing writing mentors. The thing that made each of them amazing was that they could see and feel what I was trying to do in my writing, and they set themselves to helping me get there. It was as if they could see what my work wanted to be, see its possibilities, sometimes before I could see them myself. That’s what I think the job of a mentor is. All of them shared what they had learned, whether it was about form and structure or language or even looking after files and versions of my work. But more than that, they shared their excitement about writing, and their warm welcome for me as a new writer.

Anne Kennedy

Area: Auckland
Genre: Fiction, poetry, screenplays

I have taught and mentored creative writing for 20 years in tertiary institutions (University of Hawai`i at Manoa, Manukau Institute of Technology, and Massey University), in high schools (for Auckland Writers Festival), and in community workshops. I am a fiction writer, poet and screenplay editor. I enjoy working with writers at all stages of the creative process, from concept to drafting to polishing.

Caroline Lark

Area: Auckland
Genre: Fiction – Novel, Novella, Short Stories, Stage Plays, Radio Plays, Poetry, Memoir

Caroline Lark is a fiction writer, poet and playwright, published in UK, France, NZ and Australia. She was the winner of the Hazard Press/Quote Unquote Fiction Award in 1995 with her novella, Days; her poetry collection, A Messy Affair, was published by Steele Roberts in 2011; three radio plays have been produced by Radio NZ; her latest stage play, Eros, was performed at The Court Theatre in Christchurch in 2010. She was born in London, studied at the University of Cambridge, UK, (Fine Arts, Philosophy, Psychology of Education tripos, BEd Hons) and Anglia Ruskin University, UK, (Postgraduate Diploma English Studies). Her work is collected in the Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Poetry Library, London, and on the Aotearoa New Zealand Poetry Sound Archive, Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington. Caroline has taught Creative Writing (Poetry, Fiction, Playwriting, Writing for Radio) at the University of Canterbury, the University of Auckland, Waiheke Island Summer Schools 2013 and 2014 and over the last decade at the University of Otago Summer School. She runs writing courses on Waiheke Island where she lives: Fiction & Memoir 2019; Radio Writing 2019; Fiction, Autofiction & Memoir 2020/21. She provides supervisions and gives tutorials for short story writers, novelists, poets, playwrights, radio writers and memoirists.

Dr Susanna Lyle

Area: Northland
Genre: non-fiction, science, academic, education, natural history

In addition to being an artist, Susanna is the author of numerous non-fiction books and magazine articles on a series of wide-ranging topics.  Her first book “Discovering Fruit and Nuts” was published in 2006 and is released in NZ, Australia, USA and Europe.

She has extensive tutoring experience (including in creative writing) and hold a BSc Hons and PhD in Biological Science.

Janice Marriott

Area: Auckland
Genre: Children’s novels and picture books, adult novels, and memoir

Janice Marriott is a writer of fiction, poetry and non-fiction for adult and child readers. Her children’s novels have won the Supreme Award, Senior Fiction Award, the Junior Fiction Award, and been a finalist in the Non-Fiction section of the New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults. She has been awarded the Ester Glen Medal for her children’s writing and the Margaret Mahy Medal in 2018. She’s written children’s material for TV, radio, and the educational market.

For adults she has written four books of memoir, Common Ground being the first, and Changing Lives the most recent. She has been a weekly columnist for the Herald on Sunday, and a gardening columnist for the last nine years. Her short fiction has appeared in magazines and on radio. Her most recent book is Grandparents Talk, published in 2016.

Her main focus now is helping others write their stories. She is a member of the NZ Association of Manuscript Assessors, and runs a popular online tutoring business for emerging writers, through  Several of her students have won book awards themselves.

Lesley Marshall

Area: Northland
Genre: Editing (non-fiction, fiction, short story), Member of NZAMA
Website: Editline

Lesley Marshall runs Editline, a freelance editing service in Northland. She has over 40 years’ experience in editing and assessing general fiction, short stories, thrillers, romances, historical novels, women’s fiction, sci-fi, plays and family histories. She always tries to edit within the writer’s voice and style. Lesley has edited many award-winning short stories one of which was made into a film. She is currently teaching on-line writing and editing papers for NorthTec, and co-editing a national magazine. On an occasional basis she has edited manuscripts for various publishing houses, and is a regular appraiser, assessor and mentor for the New Zealand Society of Authors. Lesley is a member of the Institute of Professional Editors and was a founding member of the NZ Association of Manuscript Assessors.

Cilla McQueen

Area: Otago/Southland
Genre: Poetry

Cilla (MA Hons, Hon Litt D (Otago) has published fourteen collections of her poetry, most recently Markings (2000), Axis (2001), Soundings (2002), Fire-penny (2005), a CD of poetry and music, A Wind Harp (2006), The Radio Room (2010), Edwin’s Egg (2014), the letterpress book ‘An Island’ (2014), ‘In A Slant Light, a poet’s memoir’ (2016). Poeta (Otago University Press) 2018She has taught English, modern languages and creative writing.

Her poetry has won three New Zealand Book Awards and she has been the recipient of several travel awards and fellowships, notably the Robert Burns Fellowship in 1985 and 1986, the inaugural Australia-New Zealand Writers’ Exchange Fellowship, a Fulbright Visiting Writer’s Fellowship and a Goethe Institute scholarship to Berlin. She was the 2009-11 New Zealand National Library Poet Laureate and in 2010 received the Prime Minister’s Award for Literary Achievement in Poetry. Cilla works full-time as a writer.

Jacquie McRae

Area: Wellsford
Genre: Adult Fiction, Young Adult, Short Stories

I was fortunate to be mentored by Renēe in 2010 on Te Papa Tupu, an emerging writers programme. The skills I learnt then, have helped turn me into a writer. I now mentor on this same programme, and want to give back what was given to me.

Diana Menefy

Area: Northland
Genre: Fiction, non-fiction, adults, children’s and YA. I prefer not to cover science fiction or fantasy.

In addition to being an experienced tutor and course designer, Diana has had novels and short stories published and numerous articles for newspapers, magazines and educational organisations. She has written five commissioned local histories, the last being the centenary history of Whangarei Hospital for Northland Health, two non-fiction books aimed at the tourist market, and four novels.
Her second novel ‘Shadow of the Boyd’ was shortlisted for NZ Post Children’s Book Awards and won the LIANZA Esther Glen medal in 2011. Her novel ‘1915 Wounds of War’, was the second book in the Scholastic WW1 Series Kiwis At War, and has recently had its third reprint.
Diana’s first picture book ‘I Had a Brother’ came out in July 2019 with OneTree House Publishing and was awarded a Storylines Notable Book Award for 2020. She has another junior historical novel Chasing Silver with a publisher and is now working on a contemporary YA novel and researching and writing script for her local museum exhibitions.

Kyle Mewburn

Area: Central Otago
Genre: Picture books, general children’s fiction

Kyle Mewburn has published numerous picture books, junior fiction and School Readers. These books have been published in 23 countries and won numerous awards.

Old Hu-hu (Scholastic 2009) won the 2010 NZ Post Children’s Book of the Year. Melu (Scholastic 2012) won the NZ Post Best Picture Book category at the NZ Post Children’s Book Awards in 2013 and was a White Raven title for 2012.  Kiss! Kiss! Yuck! Yuck! (Scholastic 2006) won both the Best Picture Book and Children’s Choice categories at the NZ Post Children’s Book Awards in 2007, as well as the Flicker Tale Award in North Dakota, USA. Kyle’s best-selling junior fiction series Dinosaur Rescue has been sold into over 20 countries. Kyle was Children’s Writer-in-Residence at Otago University in 2011 and was President of the NZSA till 2017. Kyle’s first junior novel, A Crack in the Sky (Scholastic 2010), was written while participating in the NZSA Mentorship programme, under the guidance of David Hill. Her memoir: Faking it. My life in transition, was published by Penguin in 2021.

Judy L Mohr

Area: Christchurch
Thrillers (including Romantic Suspense), Fantasy (including Paranormal Romance), Science Fiction, Crime, Novels and Short Story

Kiwi Judy L Mohr is a writer, developmental editor, and writing coach. Judy has worked with writers from around the world, helping them reach for their own publication goals. Her preferred genres for editorial work include thrillers, mystery/crime, fantasy, and science fiction. She holds an editorial accreditation from OpenColleges Australia, in addition to her academic qualifications, and is a Professional Member of the Institute of Professional Editors, Inc. (IPEd). For some tips and tricks for writing fiction, visit the Editor’s Blog at

Affiliations: Member of NZSA, RWNZ, Sisters in Crime (Guppy chapter), Australian Crime Writers Association, Professional member of Institute of Professional Editors, Inc. (IPEd)

Lee Murray

Area: Tauranga
Genre: Fiction, adult/YA/MG, short story. Special interest in speculative and dark fiction projects

Lee Murray is an author, editor, screenwriter, and poet from Aotearoa-New Zealand. She is the winner of 12 Sir Julius Vogel Awards, 3 Australian Shadows, two Bram Stokers, and a Shirley Jackson Award, and has been a finalist in the Aurealis, British Fantasy, Imadjinn, Skoutz (Germany), and Ladies of Horror Fiction Awards, among others. Her books include military thrillers, the Taine McKenna Adventures, supernatural crime-noir series The Path of Ra (with Dan Rabarts), and short fiction collection, Grotesque: Monster Stories. Other works include non-fiction title Mark My Words: Read the Submission Guidelines and Other Self-editing Tips (with Angela Yuriko Smith) and several books for children. Named Lit Reactor’s Editor of the Year for 2021, Lee is curator-editor of eighteen volumes of speculative fiction, among them Black Cranes: Tales of Unquiet Women (with Geneve Flynn). She is co-founder of Young NZ Writers and of the Wright-Murray Residency for Speculative Fiction Writers, HWA Mentor of the Year for 2019, NZSA Honorary Literary Fellow, and Grimshaw Sargeson Fellow for 2021. Lee’s first poetry collection, Tortured Willows, a collaboration with Angela Yuriko Smith, Christina Sng, and Geneve Flynn was released in October 2021.

James Norcliffe

Area: Canterbury
Genre: Poetry, fiction for young people, short story

James has had many years’ experience as a writer and editor. He has published ten collections of poetry, most recently Villon in Millerton, Shadow Play, Dark Days at the Oxygen Café, Deadpan and a collection of poems for younger people Packing A Bag for Mars; twelve novels for young people, including the YA fantasy The Loblolly Boy which made the USSBY list of best foreign children’s books published in the USA, its successor The Loblolly Boy and the Sorcerer, and more recently The Enchanted Flute, Felix and the Red Rats, The Pirates and the Nightmaker, Twice Upon a Time, and the just released Mallory, Mallory: the Revenge of the Tooth Fairy which will be followed by a second Mallory novel next year. Another novel for young people The Crate is also scheduled for 2021.

He has written a collection of short stories, The Chinese Interpreter. A novel for adults The Frog Prince is forthcoming from Penguin Random.
He is an editor for the on-line journal Flash Frontier and has edited anthologies of poetry and the annual ReDraft anthologies of writing by young people. He has co-edited major poetry and short fiction anthologies most recently Bonsai (with Michelle Elvy & Frankie McMillan) and this year’s Ko Aotearoa Tatou: We Are New Zealand with Michelle Elvy & Paula Morris..

He has twice won the NZ Poetry Society’s International Poetry Award, been short listed for the Montana poetry awards for Letters to Dr Dee, and won an honour award for The Emerald Encyclopaedia at the NZ Children’s Book Awards. The Assassin of Gleam was short listed for the Esther Glen Medal, and won the Sir Julius Vogel Award. In 2010 The Loblolly Boy also short listed for the Esther Glen Award and won the NZ Post Children’s Book Awards Junior Fiction Award. The Loblolly Boy and the Sorcerer, Felix and the Red Rats and The Pirates and the Nightmaker were shortlisted for the NZ Post Children’s Junior Fiction Awards.

James has been invited to a number of international poetry festivals and has been awarded a number of residencies including the Burns Fellowship, the Iowa International Writers Programme, and the University Of Otago College Of Education Creative New Zealand Fellowship for Children’s Writing.

With Bernadette Hall, he was presented with a Press Literary Liaisons Honour Award for lasting contribution to literature in the South Island.

Mikaela Nyman

Area: New Plymouth
Genre: Fiction and non-fiction, all genres except romance and children’s books.

Mikaela Nyman writes fiction, non-fiction and poetry in English and Swedish. Her work has been widely anthologised and has appeared in World Literature Today, Sport, Minarets, Turbine, Strong Words #1 and #2: the best of the Landfall Essay Competition, Lumière Reader, SWAMP, More of Us, Ko Aotearoa Tātou|We Are New Zealand, Trasdemar and Horisont.

Mikaela is a co-editor with Rebecca Tobo Olul-Hossen of Sista, Stanap Strong! – the first Vanuatu women’s anthology of fiction, non-fiction and poetry, published by Victoria University Press (VUP) in 2021. The project entailed mentoring new and emerging writers. Her collaborative poems with ni-Vanuatu writers have been exhibited as art at the Fondation Suzanne Bastien in Port Vila, Vanuatu, and appear in A Game of Two Halves: The Best of Sport Magazine 2005-2019 (VUP) and in the Climate Change Poetry Anthology (forthcoming on Auckland University Press).

Her novel Sado was published by VUP in 2020. Her first poetry collection När vändkrets läggs mot vändkrets (in Swedish) was short-listed for the Nordic Council Literature Prize 2020 and she was awarded a Nordic Debutante Seminar residency at Biskops-Arnö in Sweden. In 2021 Mikaela was the Visiting Artist / Writer in Residence for Massey University, Palmerston North City Council and Square Edge Community Arts Centre. She has facilitated and participated in creative writing workshops and literary events in New Zealand, Sweden, Finland and Vanuatu. She holds an MA with Distinction (2012) and a PhD (2020) in Creative Writing from Victoria University.

Vincent O’Malley

Area: Wellington
Genre: History, non-fiction

Vincent O’Malley is a historian who has written and published extensively on the history of Māori and Pākehā relations in nineteenth century New Zealand.

Born and raised in Christchurch, he moved to Wellington in 1993 on a short-term contract researching Treaty claims and more than 25 years later remains in the capital, working for iwi, the Waitangi Tribunal and other parties in the claims resolution process.

It is through that work that he realised that this rich seam of New Zealand history was virtually unknown outside a relatively small group of claimants, lawyers and Tribunal officials. And so he began to publish some of his own research findings, including his widely-acclaimed and best-selling 2016 work on the Waikato War, which drew in part on earlier research for the Tribunal’s Rohe Pōtae (King Country) inquiry. It was through a similar desire to make this history accessible to a wide audience that he established this blog in 2012.

His books include: Agents of Autonomy: Māori Committees in the Nineteenth Century (Huia, 1998); The Beating Heart: A Political and Socio-Economic History of Te Arawa (Huia, 2008); The Treaty of Waitangi Companion: Māori and Pākehā from Tasman to Today (Auckland University Press, 2010); The Meeting Place: Māori and Pākehā Encounters, 1642-1840 (Auckland University Press, 2012); Beyond the Imperial Frontier: The Contest for Colonial New Zealand (Bridget Williams Books, 2014);  Haerenga: Early Māori Journeys Across the Globe (Bridget Williams Books, 2015); The Great War for New Zealand: Waikato 1800-2000 (Bridget Williams Books, 2016); and The New Zealand Wars/Ngā Pakanga o Aotearoa (Bridget Williams Books, 2019).

He was the 2014 J D Stout Research Fellow at Victoria University of Wellington, where he worked on his new history of the Waikato War (The Great War for New Zealand), and is a founding partner of HistoryWorks, a Wellington-based research consultancy specialising in Treaty of Waitangi research. He holds a BA (Hons) from the University of Canterbury and a PhD from Victoria University of Wellington.

Lawrence Patchett

Area: Paraparaumu
Genre: Short fiction, fiction, nonfiction

Lawrence Patchett is a Pākehā writer of fiction. His books are I Got His Blood On Me and The Burning River, both published by Victoria University Press. His awards include the NZSA Hubert Church Award for Best First Book of Fiction (for I Got His Blood On Me) and the CNZ Todd New Writer’s Award. His short fiction has appeared in Landfall, Sport, Overland, and on RNZ National. He has worked as an external examiner and mentor for Victoria University and Whitireia, and an editor for Hue & Cry.

Kiri Piahana-Wong

Area: Whanganui
Genre: Poetry

Kiri Piahana-Wong is of Māori (Ngāti Ranginui), Chinese and Pākehā (English) ancestry. She is a poet and editor, and is the publisher at Anahera Press. Anahera publishes and promotes the work of Māori and Pasifika poets, and has also published one novel. Anahera’s books have been frequent award nominees, including two longlist placings and one shortlist placing in the Ockham NZ Book Awards, and finalist placings in the Ngā Kupu Ora Aotearoa Māori Book Awards.

Kiri’s poetry has appeared in over forty journals and anthologies, including Landfall, Essential NZ Poems, Poetry NZ, Puna Wai Kōrero, Bonsai: The Big Book of Small Stories, Atlanta Review, Set Me on Fire (Doubleday anthology, UK), Ora Nui, Tātai Whetū: Seven Māori Women Poets in Translation, Takahē, A Treasury of NZ Poems for Children, Dear Heart: 150 New Zealand Love Poems, Solid Air, and more. She has one full-length collection, Night Swimming (2013), and a second, Tidelines, is forthcoming. Kiri was an MC at Poetry Live, NZ’s longest-running live poetry venue, for six years.

Kiri has worked in the publishing industry, primarily as an editor, for over fifteen years. She started her editing career working in legal publishing and went on to work as a freelance editor and book project manager. She has also worked for AUP and Huia. For the last five years Kiri has specialised in poetry editing and manuscript assessment. She has a particular interest in writing by poets of colour and those who are marginalised by the mainstream.

Ruby Porter

Area: Auckland
Genre: Fiction, Creative Nonfiction and Poetry

Ruby Porter is a prose-writer, poet and artist. She was the winner of the Wallace Foundation Short Fiction Award in 2017, and the inaugural winner of the Michael Gifkins Prize in 2018, with her debut novel Attraction. Attraction was written during her Masters of Creative Writing at the University of Auckland, published in 2019 by Melbourne-based Text Publishing, and longlisted in the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards in 2020. It is distributed throughout Australia, New Zealand and North America. Her poetry, short fiction and nonfiction has been published in Newsroom, Milly Mag, Recess Mag, Geometry Journal, Antithesis Journal, Aotearotica, The Wireless and The Spinoff. A recorded selection of her poetry is available on New Zealand Electronic Poetry Centre.

Ruby teaches creative writing at the University of Auckland, The Creative Hub, and in high schools. She has over fifteen years’ experience as a tutor, and has been a writing tutor since 2016.

Vivienne Plumb

Area: South Wairarapa
Genre: general fiction, poetry, drama

Vivienne Plumb is an award-winning poet, fiction writer (long and short), dramatist and creative nonfiction writer, with a B.A. (English Lit, Art History), M.A. (Creative Writ) and D.C.A. (Aust, Doctor in Creative Arts). She is based in South Wairarapa, and since she began writing at age 40 years, she has been the recipient of many residencies (Sargeson, University of Auckland/Michael King, University of Iowa, Hong Kong Baptist University, Varuna Writers Centre Australia, Massey University, University of Canterbury, 2018 Creative NZ Berlin Residency). She has worked in the arts all her life (previously working in the theatre) and has over nineteen publications in the areas mentioned above. Her interests include reading historical texts, food and its historical and sociological importance, theatre, poetry, state housing in Australia and NZ, jazz, NZ missionaries, and journals, daybooks, logbooks and diaries.

Paddy Richardson

Area: Dunedin
Genre: Short story, Crime fiction, Historical fiction

Paddy Richardson is the author of two collections of short stories, ‘Choices’ and ‘If We Were Lebanese’ and eight novels, ‘The Company of a Daughter’, ‘A Year to Learn a Woman’,’ Hunting Blind’, ‘Traces of Red’, ‘Cross Fingers’, ‘Swimming in the Dark’, ‘Through the Lonesome Dark’ and, her latest, to be published in 2021,’By the Green of the Spring’. ‘Traces of Red’ and ‘Cross Fingers’ were long-listed for the Ngaio Marsh Crime Fiction Award and ‘Hunting Blind’ and ‘Swimming in the Dark’ were short-listed. Her novels have been published in Germany and in Australia. ‘Through the Lonesome Dark’ was short-listed for the New Zealand Historical Novel Award and long-listed for The Dublin International Literature Award.

Paddy has been awarded Creative New Zealand Awards, the University of Otago Burns Fellowship, the Beatson Fellowship and the James Wallace Arts Trust Residency Award. She has been a guest at many writing festivals and was one of the New Zealand writer representatives at both the Leipzig and Frankfurt Book fairs in 2012 when New Zealand was the guest of honour. In 2019, she was awarded the Randell Cottage residency in Wellington where she spent 6 months writing and researching her latest novel. In 2020, she was awarded a virtual writer’s residency in Norwich.

Paddy has judged many writing awards and is an experienced mentor and teacher of creative writing.

Catherine Robertson

Area: Hawkes Bay
Genre: Commercial fiction, contemporary fiction, romantic comedy

I am a best-selling author of humorous contemporary fiction, and the 2020 IIML/CNZ Writer in residence at Victoria University. I can give advice on structure, character development, dialogue, pacing, editing and managing feedback. I work best with writers who are open to working collaboratively to learn and improve. I will be very invested in your success.

Joan Rosier-Jones

Area: Whanganui
Genre: Fiction and Non-Fiction

Joan Rosier-Jones writes fiction and non-fiction. She has also written and had three plays produced. She began her working life as a teacher, and now combines her two passions – writing and teaching by running classes and writers’ retreats for adults and working with the NZA programmes for emerging writers. She has taught creative writing for several institutions – University of Auckland, UNITEC, and local community education services. Several of her students have gained success in the world of publishing. Her popular, So You Want to Write, a guide for aspiring authors, was updated and reprinted in 2018. Other similar subjects include family history writing, book publicity and marketing. She is the author of several courses for the NZ Institute of Business Studies, and has published a number of novels since her first book, Cast Two Shadows, described as a ‘powerfully realistic novel’, was released in 1985. A true murder mystery, The Murder of Chow Yat, was published in 2009. Her last novel, Waiting for Elizabeth, was set in Tudor Ireland. Doing it My Way is an Egyptian memoir, which she co-wrote with Egyptian entrepreneur, Elhamy Elzayat and her latest publication is Literary Whanganui which is based on literary walks and bus tours she has organised over the last 15 years.

Tina Shaw

Area: Taupo
Genre: all genres except for romance and picture books

Tina Shaw is the author of literary novels: Birdie, Dreams of America, City of Reeds, Paradise, The Black Madonna and The Children’s Pond. She has held the Buddle Findlay Sargeson Fellowship, the Creative New Zealand Berlin Writers’ Residency, and the University of Waikato Writer-In-Residence. Tina has published junior fiction and in the children’s educational market, and her 2009 YA novel About Griffen’s Heart (Longacre Press) was named a Storylines Notable Book for 2010 and was shortlisted for the 2010 LIANZA Children’s Book Awards.

Her YA manuscript, Ursa, won the 2018 Storylines Tessa Duder Award and was published in 2019 by Walker Books. Ursa went on to claim a 2020 a Storylines Notable Book award and was a finalist in the 2020 NZ Book Awards for Children and Young People. Tina was also editor of the Bateman NZ Writer’s Handbook (6th edition). She is a creative writing tutor, manuscript assessor, mentor, external examiner for AUT’s Master of Creative Writing, editor of NZ Author and has been a NZAMA member for more than 18 years. Her latest work, Ephemera, was published in March 2020 with Cloud Ink Press.

Elizabeth Smither

Area: New Plymouth
Genre: poetry, short story, novel

Elizabeth Smither has published 18 collections of poetry, was Te Mata poet laureate (2001-3), and was awarded an HonDLitt by Auckland University and the Prime Minister’s Award for Literary Achievement in 2008. She also writes novels, journals and short stories, and is widely published in Australia, Britain and USA. Her latest poetry collection, ‘Night Horse’ won the Ockham poetry award 2018.

Vanda Symon

Area: Otago
Genre: Crime fiction/ general fiction / non-fiction

Vanda Symon has had four crime fiction novels in the Detective Sam Shepherd series and a stand-alone crime fiction novel, The Faceless, published by Penguin New Zealand. Her novels have also been translated into German and are being published in Britain. She is a three-time finalist for the Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Crime Novel. Overkill was short-listed for the 2019 British CWA John Creasey New Blood Dagger Award.

Vanda is also involved in broadcasting – producing and hosting a monthly radio show on books and writers, and has reviewed books for National Radio. This has given her experience in critiquing both fiction and non-fiction work. She has been a book awards judge for the NZ Post Book awards, and the Ngaio Marsh Awards for Best Crime Novel. Vanda has a PhD in science communication, and a professional background in Pharmacy.

Melinda Szymanik

Area: Auckland
Genre: Picture Books, Junior Fiction and Young Adult Fiction

Melinda Szymanik has published children’s and YA novels, picture books, and short stories (in both trade and educational publications). Her picture book, Fuzzy Doodle, was a 2017 White Ravens selection, a 2017 Storylines Notable Book, a finalist in the 2017 NZ CYA Book Awards and was selected for the 2017 Queensland Premier’s Reading Challenge. Her novel, A Winter’s Day in 1939, won Librarian’s Choice at the 2014 LIANZA Awards, was a Storylines Notable Book and was shortlisted for the 2014 NZ Post CYA Book Awards. Her second picture book, The Were Nana, won the 2009 NZ Post Children’s Choice Award, was a Storylines Notable Book and was short listed for the 2010 Sakura Medal.

Melinda was the 2014 University of Otago, College of Education, Creative New Zealand Children’s Writer in Residence, and completed her first novel Jack the Viking (Scholastic 2008) while on the NZSA’s mentoring programme in 2005. Melinda runs creative writing workshops for adults and children, blogs regularly on writing (at ) and is one of a group of New Zealand writers taking part in an innovative on-line novel writing experiment –

Geoff Walker

Area: Auckland
Genre: I prefer non-fiction, but happy to work with fiction too. Not children’s or Young Adult.

Geoff Walker was for many years Publishing Director of Penguin New Zealand, where he worked with many leading New Zealand authors whose books won a large number of awards. Geoff is now working as a freelance publishing consultant, editor and manuscript assessor. He is also a former commissioning editor on the BWB Texts series of books published by Bridget Williams Books. Geoff offers sound and expert advice on manuscript assessment, writing, rewriting and editing. He can also advise on the best way to publish and which publishers to approach.

For authors who wish to ‘indie’ publish he offers a wide array of advice on how to proceed. He can also project manage a book from the original manuscript through its editorial and design stages to finished printed copies or e-books. Geoff’s personal interests lie in contemporary fiction, biography, memoir and history but he also works with all kinds of books across a broad range.

Philippa Werry

Area: Wellington
Genre: children’s literature, non-fiction

Philippa is a Wellington writer whose non-fiction, poetry, stories and plays have been widely published, anthologised and broadcast on radio. Eight of her books have been named as Storylines Notable Books and a number of titles, both fiction and non-fiction, have been shortlisted for the NZ Book Awards for Children and Young Adults: Enemy at the Gate (2009), Anzac Day: the New Zealand Story (2014, and also shortlisted for the Lianza Book Awards 2014), Waitangi Day: the New Zealand Story (Children’s Choice section, 2015), The New Zealand Wars (2018), The Telegram (2019) and This is Where I Stand (2021). Her work has also appeared in the School Journal and other educational publications.

Philippa was runner up in the Playmarket Plays for the Young Competition 2010 and a Finalist in the Storylines Joy Cowley Award 2015. She has been shortlisted for the Text Publishing Prize and the Manhire Prize for Creative Science Writing (three times) and was the recipient of the New Zealand Society of Authors Mid-Career Writers Award in 2010 and a CLNZ/NZSA research grant in 2015. In April 2014, she travelled to Turkey as a member of the Gallipoli Volunteers program to help out at the Anzac Day ceremonies. In April 2016, she was awarded the Anzac Bridge Fellowship, and in December 2016, she went to Antarctica with the Antarctica NZ community engagement programme (formerly Artists and Writers to Antarctica). She was awarded the Easter residency at the Michael King Writers Centre in 2019 and shortlisted for the NZSA/Auckland Museum research grant in 2020 and the NZSA Peter & Dianne Beatson Fellowship in 2021. Philippa is a frequent speaker at book-related events and seminars and visits schools around the country as part of the Writers in Schools programme. She is passionate about the need to tell our stories and our history to our children and young people.

Ella West

Area: Otago/Southland
Genre: Junior and Young Adult Fiction
Website: ellawestbooks

Ella West is the pen name of Karen Trebilcock. She writes Young Adult fiction including Night Vision and the thriller series Thieves, and has been published here and overseas. She is a multi-award winning novelist and in 2010 was the University Of Otago College Of Education Creative New Zealand Children’s Writer in Residence. She enjoys teaching in schools and helping people develop their writing skills.

Alison Wong

Area: Geelong, Victoria
Genre: Poetry, non-fiction, memoir, novel

Alison Wong is a fourth-generation Chinese New Zealander. She currently lives in Australia but returns to NZ regularly, particularly to Wellington. She writes novels, creative non-fiction/memoir and poetry. Her work has been translated and published in French, Spanish, Polish, Hungarian, Italian and Chinese.

Alison spent several years in China in the 1980s and 1990s. In 2014 she was the inaugural NZ writer on the Shanghai International Writers’ Programme and in 2016 she held a Sun Yat Sen University International Writers’ Residency. She was the 2002 Robert Burns Fellow.

Her novel, As the Earth Turns Silver, won the 2010 New Zealand Post Book Award for Fiction and was shortlisted for the 2010 Australian Prime Minister’s Literary Awards. In 2018 it was voted by NZ booksellers as one of their top twenty bestsellers of the decade.

Her poetry collection, Cup, was shortlisted for Best First Book for Poetry at the 2007 Montana New Zealand Book Awards and her poetry appeared in Best NZ Poems 2015, 2007 and 2006. Her essays/memoir pieces have been published in Australia, China, the US and Mexico. She has taught poetry and novel-writing workshops.

In 2018 she was one of the poetry judges for the Ockham NZ Book Awards and in 2020, a consulting editor for the Asian culture site Hainamana. She is coeditor of A Clear Dawn: New Asian Voices from Aotearoa New Zealand (AUP, 2021), the first anthology of poetry, fiction and creative nonfiction by Asian New Zealanders.