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Creative ID: 70

Art form(s): Literature
Language(s): English
Based in: Otago
Where I'm available:
Auckland, Bay of Plenty, Canterbury, Gisborne, Hawke’s Bay, Marlborough, Nelson – Tasman, Northland, Otago, Southland, Taranaki, Waikato, Wellington, West coast, Whanganui – Manawatu
I travel throughout the country visiting schools. I live near Dunedin.
When I'm available: I am available at any time except June and July.

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

I write for young teens and for the past ten years have also run writing workshops in both schools and libraries for ages eight and above focusing on story and character. I also have a strong background in drama and can give lessons on writing plays. My books for teens include a series.

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

All of my books have been listed for awards with one book winning several. I have teaching qualifications and have worked for Read NZ Te Pou Muramura (formerly New Zealand Book Council) for many years as a writer in schools. I have also presented at several writing festivals, including the Auckland Writers Festival.

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

I run a monthly drop-in writers workshop for young writers with as many as fifteen kids attending at a time. They bring their problems they are having as writers and I try to help. I also run school holiday writing workshops, visit schools, and do Skype talks.

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

When I teach I see the value of story for young people. They have amazing ideas (ideas that are just as good as those of any published author) but they don’t know how to write them. They want to be writers but don’t understand plotting or character or even the process. One teen said to me recently how she was worried she didn’t know what was going to happen next in her story. I said most writers are like that, it’s like driving at night. You know where you left from and you know where you are going to end up but for most of the time all you can see is what is in the headlights. She laughed and said back 'Yes, but it’s a really foggy night out there!'

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