Authors (New Zealand)
Where can I find information about New Zealand authors?
Entry last updated: 25/05/22
There are many successful New Zealand authors who have written books for children, young adults and adults. In this entry, we will show you where to find information about their writing, early lives and things that are important to them. We will also direct you to some reliable websites to guide you if you choose writing as a career.
Well known authors
Here is a list of some well known New Zealand authors although there are more. You will find information about these and other authors on the websites we have chosen for this entry. Some authors have their own official websites, like the ones in bold below.
Fleur Beale (1945 –)
Marlene Bennetts (1938 –)
Gavin Bishop (1946 – )
Joy Cowley (1936 – )
Barry Crump (1935 – 1996)
Ted Dawe (1950 – )
Kate De Goldi (1959 – )
Lynley Dodd (1941 – )
Tessa Duder (1940 – )
Maurice Gee (1931 – )
Betty Gilderdale (1923 – 2021)
Peter Gossage (1946 – 2016)
V.M. Jones (1958 –)
Margaret Mahy (1936 – 2012)
Craig Smith (1972 – )
Eve Sutton (1906 – 1992)
Tips: Some authors have their own official websites, like the ones with asterisks above. Use Google to search for an author's official website. If you put speech marks " " or ' ' around your search term, Google will search for it as a phrase, which is very handy if you’re looking for the name of a person.
Facts, interviews & biographies
These are some of our favourite websites for finding out about New Zealand writers.
This website is all about books and reading in New Zealand and it has lots of information about New Zealand authors as well.
There are two places to look:
- Choose Writers files, then select Children's author to find a list of New Zealand children's authors listed alphabetically or enter an author's name eg'Joy Cowley' into the search box to find a brief biography of the author.
- Go to the top of the page and select Hooked on Books and find out how to write a book review.
Tips: Websites that have .org in the address can have good information, but you need to check how reliable it is. Go to the about link to find out what the organisation's mission and values are.
Christchurch City Libraries are community libraries for Christchurch city. They have lots of online resources and information for children.
- Go to Explore, then select Tamariki - kids.
- You will find a link to New Zealand Children's Authors which has interviews with authors and illustrators from Aotearoa.
Tips: Check the date of the interview at the bottom of the page as some are from as far back as 2002 so will not include current information. Websites that have .com in the address can have good information, but you need to check how reliable it is. Go to the about link to find out what the company's mission and values are.
Storylines is an organisation that promotes books and reading to children and young adults and includes information about many New Zealand authors.
- Each entry in the Profiles has a short life story, a list of the author's books, and a list of awards they have received.
- Look also at Useful Links in the right hand boxed menu. It has a database of children's picture books, Award Winning books, as well as events like the Kids Lit Quiz.
Tips: This is also a .org website so don't forget to check the about us link on the website to find out what the organisation’s mission and values are.
Te Ara is a great place to look for New Zealand information. If we scroll down to the bottom of the page we can see that the website belongs to the Ministry for Culture & Heritage, so the information is well-researched and reliable.
- Go to the section on Creative and Intellectual Life and select Literature to find the history of New Zealand writing from earliest times up until the present day. It covers Māori writing, fiction, non-fiction, children's and young adult literature, and also comics and graphic novels!
- Or go down the page to the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography (DNZB) and explore the tab on Writers to find author biographies.
Tips: We like this website because it is a government website (it has .govt in the web address) so you can trust the information. It's also a New Zealand website, so the information is relevant for us.
Writing as a career
It can take a lot of work and practice to become a professional writer. Here are some websites that might help if you would like to make a career out of writing.
CareersNZ is the best place to look for information about jobs and careers in New Zealand. It is a government website so you can trust the information.
- Use the search bar to enter the name of your job or career.
- Try searching for keywords like 'authors' and 'writers'.
- Go to Study and training and find Courses from the front page to search for writing courses.
This organisation exists to help young New Zealanders with their creative writing. To help young authors work on their writing they have:
- information about various courses
- a biannual magazine
- regular writing competitions.
Your school library or public library may also have books about New Zealand authors, like the titles listed here.
- Magical Margaret Mahy by Betty Gilderdale.
- Telling tales: a life in writing by William Taylor.
- The life and art of Lynley Dodd by Finlay Macdonald.
- Joy Cowley: Kiwi Storyteller by David Riley.
- A letter from Fish Bay by Joy Cowley.
SCIS no: 1832812