Saturday, December 30, 2023

Spinoff the book of the year

I'm ending the year with gratitude to the readers and reviewers who enjoyed my debut novel Between the Flags (Cuba Press) and giving thanks to The Spinoff who voted it Book of the Year for 2023! 

Many thanks to the family of Laura Solomon for creating the prize in her honour and for the NZSA and The Cuba Press team for bringing Between the Flags to its readership. Happy New Year!

Sunday, May 8, 2022

NZSA Laura Solomon Cuba Press Prize

I'm over-the-moon and full of gratitude to have been made the shortlist of five for the NZSA Laura Solomon Cub Press Prize, for writing with 'a unique and original vision'! Huge thanks to NZSA and to the judges Tina Shaw and Gigi Fenster!

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Round up

 End of year round-up.

I started 2021 with an essay about colonialism and hedgehogs, published in The Clearing:

'Everywhere is Now', my graphic poem about war, was picked up by Word City Monthly after I posted it on my blog.

I reviewed Nigel Pantling's It's Not Personal (Smith | Doorstop, 2020) over on Everybody's Reviewing.

My poem ‘Dregs' was published in Neologism Poetry (technically their December issue but I didn’t see it until January):

My story ‘We Are Not Victorians’ was shortlisted for the Bath Flash Fiction Competition and included in their anthology.

My poem ‘Miscarriage’ was published in Writing in a Woman’s Voice.

A selection of my poems made the shortlist out of over a thousand entries in the Disquiet Literary Contest:

My review of Becky Manawatu’s novel Auē was published in The Guardian:

Between the Flags, my first foray in YA novel writing (and the sequel to Some Things the English which was longlisted in the inaugural Michael Gifkins Prize and went on to be shortlisted for the Cinnamon Press Debut Novel Prize and placed second in the Dundee International Book Prize) made it to the longlist of 12 out of over a hundred entries in the Michael Gifkins Unpublished Novel Competition

My debut poetry collection Beerstorming with Charlotte Bronte in New York was published by The Ethel Press:

Nuala O’ Connor – author of acclaimed novel NORA – interviewed me about my debut poetry collection Beerstorming with Charlotte Bronte in New York.

Playwright and lesbian feminist activist Carolyn Gage interviewed me about Beerstorming with Charlotte Bronte in New York:

And novelist and publisher Sylvia Petter penned this creative response to Beerstorming with Charlotte Bronte in New York:

Beerstorming also got a mention on the University of Leicester blog:

I was invited to give a talk bout Mary Taylor, at the Hampden Community Library, and was scheduled to talk at the Oamaru Public Library, and the Victorian Literature Festival, but these talks were unfortunately cancelled due to Covid restrictions. 

I was interviewed three times, by the Oamaru Mail and Otago Daily Times.

And in July I was in the shortlist of seven out of hundreds of entries into the Text Publishing Prize for my debut YA novel Between the Flags.

I reviewed Denise O’ Hagan’s poetry collection The Beating Heart:

Beerstorming was given a brilliant review by Emma Lee:

And my graphic memoir ‘Dance the Night Away’ was published in Overground Underground:

I also did the cover illustration for Robert Sullivan’s poetry collection Tūnui/Comet.

In October I took over as Curator at Janet Frame House:

I taught zine-making workshops at the Forrester Gallery in Oamaru and judged the subsequent competition.

I gave the Subhi Tresa Sebastian Memorial Lecture at Sacred Heart College, Kochi, India.

And here we are in December and I’m mentoring a third year undergrad student for the Hallam Collective at Sheffield Hallam University – more on this soon!

I had a few other things published here and there and I’ve also been working on a novel and a collection of poetry, and I’m pleased to announce that my graphic biography of Mary Taylor, Betweenity, is forthcoming from Mary Egan Publishing.

It’s been a busy year and it’s also been a personally very challenging year. As ever, my work has given me something to focus on and pulled me through, as has reading the work of others. I wish you all much creativity and a happy New Year. Onward and upwards.













Thursday, November 25, 2021

Thursday, October 14, 2021


I'm honoured to be stepping into the shoes of Lynley Caldwell as I take over as Curator of Janet Frame House in Oamaru, hometown of New Zealand's most successful writer. 

Janet Frame House is open to the public from November to April - I look forward to meeting people who are as enthusiastic about Frame's fiction as I am. 

Zine workshops

I've spent all this week teaching zine-making workshops at the Forrester Gallery, Oamaru, with some amazing attendees to inspire me, not to mention the fantastic artworks on display all around the building. 

Although I won't be teaching next week, members of the public of all ages are still welcome to use the zine-making station to create an entry for the competition (I'll be judging) before the October 25 deadline.

Alternatively, stop by and collect an instruction form and make a zine at home in your own time and drop it back at the gallery before the 25th for a chance to win a $50 book voucher. 

Many thanks to Elizabeth King and Forrester Gallery for facilitating the event.

Sunday, October 10, 2021

On the page

I didn't stop to think how my friend would feel to be the subject of a book of poetry about friendship. I got so caught up in wanting to show her how much I appreciate and love her. I trusted she'd be OK with me being me. But I should have asked. In her own words, Lori wrote about how it feels to be put on the