Laura Borrowdale

Laura Borrowdale is short story writer, with a focus on the unsettling and the sensual. Her work has appeared in Landfall, Sport, takahē, Turbine, and Vice, among others, and her short story collection, Sex, With Animals, was published by Dead Bird Books in 2020. She is a Hagley Writers’ Institute graduate, an English teacher, and, along with Isla Huia and Josiah Morgan, has established the micropress ngā pukapukapekapeka.

Ben Brown

Photograph by Sophie Taylor-Brown.

Ben Brown (Ngāti Mahuta, Ngāti Koroki, Ngāti Paoa) is an award winning children’s author, a nonfiction writer, a poet and performer. He was appointed inaugural Children’s Reading Ambassador for New Zealand, Te Awhi Rito in May 2021. Born in Motueka more years ago than he cares to remember, he now lives in Lyttelton, writing for his supper, reading for the love of it and otherwise reflecting on a new coalescence of words and where they might lead him. He is also the father of two, which he regards as his finest work to date.

Doc Drumheller

Doc Drumheller was born in Charleston, South Carolina and has lived in New Zealand for more than half his life. He has worked in award winning groups for theatre and music and has published ten collections of poetry. His poems have been translated into more than twenty languages, and he has performed in Cuba, Lithuania, Italy, Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania, Japan, India, China, Nicaragua, Mexico, El Salvador, USA, and widely throughout NZ. He lives in Oxford, where he edits and publishes the literary journal Catalyst. His latest collection is: Election Day of the Dead, Seventy Haiku from the Americas, Cold Hub Press 2020.

AJ Fitzwater

A unicorn disguised in a snappy blazer, AJ Fitzwater lives between the cracks of Christchurch, New Zealand. Their short fiction has appeared in a variety of SFF venues of repute. They are the author of rodent pirate escapades in The Voyages of Cinrak the Dapper, and the WW2 land girls shape-shifter novella No Man’s Land. They were an artist in residence at the Christchurch Arts Centre in 2021.

Nod Ghosh

Nod Ghosh attended the Hagley Writers’ Institute in 2012 (year one) and 2014 (year two), and has had work published in N.Z. and overseas. Nadine Rubin Nathan at High Spot Literary represents Nod’s novels. Nod’s books include novellae-in-flash, a short fiction collection and novella: The Crazed Wind (2018), Filthy Sucre (2020), Toy Train (2021), Love, Lemons and Illicit Sex (2023) from Truth Serum Press, Throw a Seven (2023) Reflex Press and The Two-Tailed Snake (2023) Fairlight Books. A handbook on creative writing How to Bake a Book is forthcoming from Everytime Press in 2024.

Karen Healey

Karen Healey is the award-winning author of young adult novels When We WakeWhile We RunGuardian of the Dead, and The Shattering. She is the co-author of The Empress of Timbra (with Robyn Fleming). The genres she has written in include urban and epic fantasy, space opera, romance, horror, and cosy mystery. Karen is also a qualified English teacher and creative writing workshop facilitator, with years of experience in giving micro and macro critique.

Dominc Hoey

Dominic Hoey is a poet, author and playwright based in Tāmaki Makaurau, Auckland. His two novels, Iceland and Poor People With Money were New Zealand bestsellers. Iceland  was long-listed for the 2018 Ockham Book Award. He’s released four successful poetry collections, including I Thought We’d Be Famous and most recently The Dead Are Always Laughing at Us. 

Dominic is also the founder of Learn To Write Good, a creative writing program teaching craft to people who don’t have access to formal education. Since 2017 he’s taught 1000’s of students across New Zealand and overseas. He has over a decade of experience as a youth worker. He is the co-founder of the Atawhai program, working with teenagers to help them with their mental health and self esteem. 

He is currently working on his third novel, 1985, due out on Penguin in August 2024.

Gail Ingram

Gail Ingram writes and lives on the tussock-clad hills of Ōtautahi Christchurch. She is the author of three poetry collections – anthology (n.) a collection of flowers (Pūkeko Publications 2024) featuring photographs of Aotearoa alpine flowers, Some Bird (Sudden Valley Press 2023) and Contents Under Pressure (Pukeko Publications 2019). She has edited two anthologies, The Unnecessary Invention of Punctuation (2018) and After the Cyclone (2017) both published by the New Zealand Poetry Society, and is managing editor of the poetry magazine a fine line. In 2019 she won the Caselberg International Poetry Prize and in 2016 she won the New Zealand Poetry Society International Poetry Competition. She holds a First Class Masters of Creative Writing from Massey University, and graduated cum laude from Hagley Writers Institute in 2006. She is a creative-writing teacher at Write On School for Young Writers and at Kip McGrath. More at

Erik Kennedy

Erik Kennedy is the author of the poetry collections Another Beautiful Day Indoors (2022) and There’s No Place Like the Internet in Springtime (2018), both with Te Herenga Waka University Press. Springtime was shortlisted for best book of poems at the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards in 2019. He co-edited No Other Place to Stand (Auckland University Press, 2022), an anthology of climate change poetry from Aotearoa and the Pacific, and he is the poetry editor for takahē. Originally from New Jersey, he lives in Ōtautahi Christchurch. More at:

Rachael King

Rachael King is an award-winning author with three novels under her belt: The Sound of Butterflies, which was published internationally and translated into nine languages; Magpie Hall, a gothic novel set in Canterbury and longlisted for the Dublin Literary Award; and Red Rocks, a middlegrade novel that won the Esther Glen medal in 2014. In 2008 Rachael held the Ursula Bethell Writer in Residence position at Canterbury University, which brought her to Christchurch, where she later became programme director of WORD Christchurch for eight years. At the end of 2021 she received a Creative New Zealand grant to write two linked books: a novel for children and a work of non-fiction. The Grimmelings will be published in early 2024.

Frankie McMillan

Frankie McMillan is a poet and short story writer who lives in Christchurch. She is the author of The Bag Lady’s Picnic and other stories and two poetry collections, Dressing for the Cannibals  and There are no horses in heaven. In 2009 she won first prize in the New Zealand Poetry Society International Poetry Competition. In both 2013 and 2015 she was the winner of the New Zealand Flash Fiction Award. Frankie was awarded the Creative New Zealand Todd New Writers Bursary in 2005 and held the Ursula Bethell residency at the University of Canterbury in 2014. My Mother and the Hungarians and other small fictions (CUP) was published in August 2016 and was long listed for the 2017 Ockham Book Awards. Her latest book, The Father of Octopus Wrestling and other small fictions (CUP), has just been named as one of the top 10 fiction books of 2019 by The Spinoff. She is the 2019 recipient of the Peter and Dianne Beatson Fellowship.

Heather McQuillan

Heather McQuillan writes short fiction, flash fiction and poetry. Her flash fiction has been published internationally and has been selected for the prestigious Best Small Fictions international anthology in 2020, 2019 and 2017. In 2022 Heather was the recipient of the Flash Frontier Winter Writing Award and in 2021 she was selected as one of the winners for the inaugural RNZ Short Story competition. Her collection of flash fiction Where Oceans Meet and other stories was published by Reflex Press UK, 2019. She was co-winner of the 2018 Meniscus Copyright Agency Ltd Best Prose prize and winner of NZ National Flash Fiction Day 2016. She also writes for young readers and is a three-time recipient of the Storylines Notable Books Award (2020, 2012 and 2006) and winner of the Storylines Tom Fitzgibbon Award in 2005. She has a Master of Creative Writing with distinction from Massey University. Heather is the director and writing tutor at Write On School for Young Writers and is based in Ōtautahi-Christchurch.

Tanya Moir

Tanya studied with the Hagley Writers’ Institute and received the Margaret Mahy Award in 2008 and 2009. Writing under her own name, she is the author of three novels,  La Rochelle’s RoadAnticipation and The Legend of Winstone Blackhat, published by Penguin Random House NZ. As romance novelist Holly Ford, she is also the author of the bestselling Blackpeak series (Blackpeak StationBlackpeak Vines and Storms Over Blackpeak, Penguin Random House NZ), The Last McAdam and High Country Hero, published in Australia and New Zealand by Allen & Unwin. Her books have been longlisted for the Commonwealth Book Prize, the International Dublin Literary Award and the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards, and shortlisted for the Ngaio Marsh Award for crime fiction. She won the Todd New Writer’s Award for 2012 and the Buddle Findlay Sargeson Fellowship in 2013. Originally from Southland, Tanya now lives on Banks Peninsula.

Carl Nixon

Carl is the author of four novels, a collection of short stories, and seven acclaimed plays for adults. He has a Master of Arts Degree in Religious Studies from Canterbury University and a Diploma of Teaching. While at university Carl was a founding member of the Court Jesters Improvisational troupe based at the Court Theatre.

Carl has twice won the Sunday Star Times Short Story Contest (1997, 1999). He also won New Zealand’s top short story prize, the Bank of New Zealand Katherine Mansfield Contest, in 2007. His novel, Rocking Horse Road, appeared on lists of the top crime novels of 2012 in Germany.

Carl was the 2006 Ursula Bethell /Creative New Zealand Writer-in-Residence at Canterbury University. He has been awarded two Creative New Zealand grants, plus the Beatson Fellowship in 2011. He represented New Zealand at the Frankfurt International Book Fair in both 2012 and 2013. In 2018 he was the Katherine Mansfield Menton Fellow in France.

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James Norcliffe is an award-winning poet and educator, as well as an author of children’s books. He has been awarded the 2012 University of Otago College of Education’s Writer in Residence, and has been recipient of the 2006 Fellowship at Iowa University and the 2000 Robert Burns Fellowship at Otago University.

Ray Shipley

Ray Shipley is/has at various times been a bookseller, librarian, poet, comedian, youth worker, and writing tutor. Born and raised in Ōtautahi, Aotearoa, Ray now lives in Edinburgh, Scotland, where they marvel at the low cost of fruits, admire medieval buildings, and miss their friends.

Ray’s debut comedy show, He & She, was nominated for Best Newcomer at the New Zealand International Comedy Festival in 2018; the following year they were a Billy T nominee for their show All This Crying Is Making Me Hungry. Ray has won the Christchurch Poetry Slam four times, and placed third nationally in 2018. Their work has been published in Solid Air (an anthology of Australian and New Zealand Spoken Word Poetry, published by UQP, 2019), Out Here (an anthology of LGBTQIA+ writing from Aotearoa, published by AUP, 2021), Takahē, and Catalyst, among others.

Ronnie Smart

Ronnie Smart is a Christchurch poet and writer of short dark fiction, who graduated cum laude from the Hagley Writers’ Institute in 2017, and has since continued to train and develop through various courses online and in person. In 2018 he received a mentorship from the famous Australian horror writer, Kaaron Warren. He served as judge for the Australian Shadows Awards, and for the Australasian Horror Writers’ Association Short Story Awards for 2018 and 2019. His writing has been published in numerous literary and genre venues, including Flash Frontier, Blue Fifth Review, takahē, Breach, Trickster’s Treats 3, and in the poetry anthology Untimely Frost. 

Pat White

Pat White is a writer and painter who lives at Rangiora. He is author of poetry, essays and biography. Most recently he has published poetry, Night shifts; word from the heartland, with Cold Hub Press. Watching for the wingbeat; selected and new poems, also Cold Hub Press was published in 2018. Prose essays in How the land lies; of longing and belonging and a biography of Peter Hooper, Notes from the Margins, were published earlier. He is a graduate of the IIML, as Master of Creative Writing (with distinction) in 2010, and has a Master of Fine Arts from Massey in 2008, so was a mature student studying fulltime. He has practiced as a poet and painter for five decades. Among various awards he is one of two recipients of Under Rough Ridge, Mike Riddell Writing Residencies awarded for 2024.

Annabel Wilson

Annabel Wilson is a writer from Wānaka, currently living in Ōhinehou Lyttleton. Her work has been published in journals in New Zealand and overseas and her first book, Aspiring Daybook: The diary of Elsie Winslow was longlisted for the Ockhams (2019). She has been awarded an R A K Mason Fellowship at NZ Pacific Studio, the inaugural Australasian Association of Writers’ Programmes Emerging Writers’ Prize (2016), a residency at the Robert Lord Writers’ Cottage (2017) and the NZ Mountain Book and Film Festival Award for Best Fiction (2018). Annabel has a PhD in Creative Writing from Massey University, in which she investigated hybrid forms of writing.

Pheobe Wright

Phoebe Wright is a writer and teacher from Ōtautahi, now based in Whanganui-a-tara. She writes fiction and poetry, and her current MA project is a novel about activism and the climate crisis. She teaches secondary school English, and creative writing in prisons.