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Creative ID: 076

Art form(s): Literature.

Based in: Lower Hutt. 

When I'm available: My schedule for 2020 is not fully locked in yet but I’m likely unavailable Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. There could be some juggling around I can do, however.

Where I'm available: I am available all throughout Wellington, Hutt Valley, Kapiti Coast and the Wairarapa (at a pinch).

My arts or creative practice (including details about my specific focus within that art form/practice and my strengths)

I am a writer of short fiction, plays and novels. My plays and novels have been for adults but I have written short fiction for children as well as adults. I have had children’s fiction broadcast on RNZ National, and have had stories published in the School Journal and a number in the NSW School Magazine. My two novels were published by Penguin Books NZ Ltd. I have written, produced and directed two plays that both achieved box office success and were very well received by the audiences. I have had short fiction published in many journals and anthologies, in New Zealand, Australia, Japan and the US and have won and placed in a number of writing contests in New Zealand and internationally. I love working with words and the musicality that is found within writing. My work is usually strongly character-driven, and I am able to convey emotional depth in my work. I am currently working on a new novel for adults, as well as a young adult novel. I hold an MA in Creative Writing (with merit) from Victoria University. 

My track record of experience and success - or the track record of experience and success of the creative or artist that I will partner with

My novels are both now out of print, unfortunately, but when they were published, they both received very favourable reviews and sold well. While I work as a nurse in my day job, I class myself primarily as a writer. My writing career began with my first published story in Metro magazine in 1992 and I have consistently produced and had success with my writing since then. I have taught creative writing to adults in night classes at the Gisborne polytechnic, and have run a number of writing classes privately. I have run very successful writing workshops in a number of primary schools in Gisborne over a number of years, and several of the workshops were return visits because the students got so much out of them.

Describe the experience you have had working with children or young people, teaching or facilitating creative processes

The writing workshops I ran in primary schools in Gisborne were specifically targeted towards gifted students, but I am comfortable with running programmes for all abilities. They have been one-day courses, which I have loved, but I would relish the opportunity to work with young writers for an extended length of time. The year groups I have worked with have usually been years 4–6, although I have done one workshop with a group of year 10 and 11 students. My experience with working with adult writers has been mostly with beginning writers, guiding and encouraging them to begin their writing journey. Now that I am living in Wellington, I am offering one-day and 2–7 day residential writing courses for adults. My particular area of interest when working with children, is to help them find their writing voice, to break down the barriers to their imagination and to inspire, encourage and allow their inner writer to shine.

Why I want to be part of the Creatives in Schools programme and how my involvement will link to my creative practice

I love seeing kids get inspired by something, and to see them excited by a creative endeavour in general, and writing in particular, is really rewarding. I believe that I get as much out of providing these opportunities as the students who attend them do! But I love being able to inspire young writers and to help them uncover a talent they might not know how to reveal.

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