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Creative ID: 167

Art form(s): Literature, Theatre.

Based in: Wellington.

When I'm available: At the moment, I don’t have any firm commitments for 2020. This will change, but as a freelancer I am usually fairly flexible and will likely be able to work around the schedules of schools involved.

Where I'm available: I live in Wellington and would be available to participate anywhere in the Wellington region. I am not able to drive, and I have a disability assistance dog who goes everywhere with me, so while I would be willing to travel further afield, this may require special consideration and support to achieve.

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

I am a children’s and young adult author, playwright, spoken word poet and creative writing tutor. I have published a number of titles for children and young adults. My work has been traditionally published, and I have independently published some of my titles. My first play was commissioned and produced by an arts trust in 2015. In 2018, I collaborated with two other playwrights to write an anthology style show on the theme of memory. I also took on the role of producer for this show, which was performed at a theatre in Wellington. My page poetry has appeared in numerous print and online publications, and I have performed my spoken word pieces in many shows around Wellington, and on a radio show. In addition, I run my own business teaching creative writing classes and holiday programmes for kids. My focus with writing is broad, which has given me a wealth of experience, not only in the creative process side of writing but also in implementing the publication and production of work. 

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

I have won and been shortlisted for numerous awards for my writing. Highlights include:

  • Wellington Theatre Awards Outstanding New Playwright Award winner 
  • Ngaio Marsh Best First Book Award finalist 
  • Celebrating Suffrage 125 Poetry Slam winner 
  • Joy Cowley Award shortlisted.

My creative writing classes are very popular, and some of my adult and child students have gone on to publish books and win awards of their own for their writing.

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

I have significant experience working with children and young people of all age groups from preschoolers right through to teenagers. In previous years, I was a youth support worker, assisting at-risk teenagers, and I currently teach creative writing classes and holiday programmes for primary school-aged children. I also run story times for preschoolers at a bookshop in Wellington, and at libraries in the Wellington region, as part of a literary festival. This has been a great opportunity to combine my passion for children with my passion for children’s books. I have also facilitated writing workshops for other organisations and as part of the Book Council’s Writers in Schools programme. As part of my youth work, I had training in facilitation and ran numerous training and educational sessions for young people and fellow youth workers on a range of subjects. I hold qualifications in adult education and training, creative writing and performing arts.

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

I’m very passionate about encouraging creative writing in children and young people. Not every child will become a professional writer, but every child deserves the opportunity to express themselves creatively and feel confident in their ability to do this. This is the philosophy behind my creative writing classes, and I believe the Creatives in Schools programme could be an opportunity to work with more children in this way. Working with children inspires my own writing and helps me to continue to create for this age group.

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