WHO WE ARE

We are a successful and robust Dunedin group that evolved from Community Education classes at Kaikoria Valley, originally run over twenty-four years ago by Charles Croot.

Many of the original members went on to provide writing classes within the community. As a result the group has a strong history of actively nurturing and growing new writers. We have numerous publications to our name as well as awards, bursaries, fellowships, etc.

Scottish born Beatrice Hale  began by writing herb gardening books with her friend Elizabeth Hinds, The 25 Herb Book, (John McIndoe, 1988) and The NZ Herb Calendar, (Reed Methuen, 1986). Then Beatrice wrote The New Zealand Pleasure Garden, (Shoal Bay Press, 2004) on plants with texture, taste, scents and plants for painting and drawing.

Carolyn McCurdie is a writer of fiction and poetry. She won the Lilian Ida Smith award (1998) for her fiction, and the NZ Poetry Society’s International Poetry Competition (2013). Her books include The Unquiet, a children’s novel,  (Longacre Press 2006), Albatross, a collection of short stories, (Rosa Mira Books, 2014) and Bones in the Octagon, a poetry collection (Makaro Press, 2015).

South African born Claire Beynon is an artist, writer and independent researcher. She works collaboratively on a diverse range of projects with fellow artists, writers, scientists and musicians in New Zealand and abroad, and spent two summer research seasons in Antarctica with US scientists (2005 and 2008).

Elizabeth Brooke-Carr is a poet and writer. She taught English in secondary schools for twenty years and has tutored creative writing evening classes. Her work includes The Soldier and the Poet, a collaborative piece with Clair Beynon, and her poems have been published in the Otago Daily Times. 

Eva Wong Ng has had stories and articles published in the School Journal, contributed biographical monographs to Women Doctors in New Zealand, 1990 and Southern People, 1998. In collaboration with Jane Thomson for the Learning Media she had published Amongst Ghosts (1992). Shadow Man, a collection of short stories, (Driving Creek Press 1999) is now into 3rd edition. 

Huberta Hellendoorn was born in The Netherlands and has lived in Dunedin, New Zealand, since 1960. Her articles have been published in Dutch and NZ publications, and her short stories have been broadcast on RNZ National and published in literary journals such as Sport and Takahe. 

In 2005 Jackie Ballantyne was runner-up in the fiction section of the Middlesex University Literary Prize with her story I saw them make sausages out of Also Falzone's horse. Her first novel How to Stop a Heart from Beating was published in 2007 by Random House. 

Jane Woodham is a writer of long and short fiction. Her short stories have been published in Jaam, (NZ), and Smoke, A London Peculiar (UK). Her first novel, Twister, was published by Rosa Mira Books in 2015 and in 2016 was a finalist in the Ngaio Marsh First Book Awards.

Jenny Powell has written six individual collections of poetry and has worked with other poets to produce two collaborative collections. Her work can be found in a variety of national and international publications.

Kath Beattie has published several children's readers, stories and chapter books (NZ and Australia), including two in the Scholastic My Story series (Gumdigging and Cyclone Bola), numerous adult short stories and articles and some poetry. Several of her short stories have won or been placed in competitions and many have been broadcast on Radio New Zealand.

Martha Morseth's poems have been published in many journals and magasines including: Landfall, Sport, The Listener, Poetry New Zealand and Takahe as well as being in two collections: Staying Inside the Lines (2002) and Hippopotamus in the Room (2012).

Maxine Alterio is a novelist, short story writer and academic mentor. She has a PhD in Creative Writing from the International Institute of Modern Letters, Victoria University of Wellington, where she studied the memoirs of First World War nurses. Penguin Books (NZ) published Maxine’s best-selling novels Ribbons of Grace in 2007.

Paddy Richardson is the author of two collections of short stories, Choices and If We Were Lebanese and six novels, The Company of a Daughter, A Year to Learn a Woman, Hunting Blind, Traces of Red, Cross Fingers and Swimming in the Dark. She was awarded the University of Otago Burns Fellowship in 1997, the Beatson Fellowship in 2007 and the James Wallace Arts Trust Residency Award in 2011.

Penelope Todd is the author of Island  (Penguin 2010), Digging for Spain: A Writer’s Journey (2008, a memoir), and seven YA novels published by Longacre Press, including the Watermark trilogy. Four of her YA novels were shortlisted in the NZ Post Children’s and YA Book Awards.

Shirley Deuchrass’s poems have been published in journals such as Poetry New Zealand, Takahe, Blackmail Press, as well as newspapers (Otago Daily Times, the Bay of Plenty Times), and have also been included in anthologies.