Reviews & Successes

In the past three years, 30 of our students have achieved success in national and international awards and publications.
You could be our next big achiever…

These are Some of Our Graduate Successes...

Successes From The Last Few Years

  • Colleen Maria Lenihan awarded the Kyoto, Japan, Writers Residency 2024
  • Eileen Merriman wins the Booklovers Award 2024 for Young Adult Fiction
  • Baron de Villiers finalist in the 2024 Commonwealth Short Story Award
  • Susan Jacobs awarded a NZ Society of Authors mentorship 2024
  • Fiona Sussman’s novel The Doctor’s Wife is most borrowed novel from Auckland Public Libraries, 2024
  • Kathryn van Beek completes the Burns Writing Fellowship at Otago University 2024
  • Duncan Eastwood is a prize-winner in the Hammond House anthology U.K 2024 for his story ‘Wolf’s Lair’
  • Andrea Pollard’s short story wins broadcast and prize in the 2023 Radio NZ Nine to Noon competition
  • Colleen Maria Lenihan wins the 2023 Emerging Māori Writers Scholarship at the Institute for Modern Letters, Wellington
  • Himali McInnes wins the Commonwealth Short Story Prize 2023, Pacific region
  • Danielle Heyhoe & Heidi North finalists in the $10,000 Gifkins Prize 2023 for a novel manuscript
  • Eileen Merriman’s 13th novel Catch a Falling Star, published by Penguin Random House 2023
  • Andrea Hotere’s novel The Vanishing Point published internationally by Ultimo Press 2023
  • Drew Baton’s novel Storm Force published by Austin MaCauley London, 2023
  • Joe Janiszewski wins a prize in the Graeme Lay Short Story Award 2023
  • Kathryn van Beek wins a McNeish Churchill Writing Residency to Hungary 2023
  • Danny Macaroni wins the Forest and Bird Short Story Award 2023
  • Leeanne O’Brien wins the $10,000 Sargeson Short Story Award Oct 2022, NZ’s richest short story prize
  • Fiona Sussman’s novel The Doctor’s Wife published internationally 2023
  • Colleen Maria Lenihan’s Kōhine, a collection of short stories, published by Huia Books, August 2022.
  • Lucas Miles’ story published in the Oxford International Anthology of Flash Fiction, May 2022
  • Third book in Eileen Merriman’s Silence of Snow trilogy published by Penguin Random House, April 2022.
  • Elena Philps memoir Wolf at My Door published by Palabra Publishing, May 2022
  • Fiona Sussman’s fourth novel Addressed to Greta, Bateman, wins the Booklovers Award (Fiona is a graduate of the forerunner to our 30 Week Fiction Course)
  • Eileen Merriman’s novel The Silence of Snow short-listed for the 2021 Booklovers Award.
  • Mandy McMullin wins a Society of Authors Mentoring Award
  • Katie Newton prizewinner in the 2021 Sunday Star Times Short Story Award (8th consecutive year Hub graduates have been prizewinners in NZ’s best-known short story award).
  • Mandy McMullin wins the NZ Society of Authors Heritage Short Story Award
  • Kathryn van Beek’s short story collection Pet published by Mary Egan Books
  • Pip Mckay wins 2020 1st Pages International Award, and trip to Paris with judge Sebastian Faulks
  • Jude Peters’ second novel, Sanctuary published on Amazon
  • Fiona Sussman short listed for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize, May 2020
  • Suzanne Ashmore’s novel Meltwater short-listed for the 2020 Booklovers Award
  • Jill Varani wins 1st prize in the Sunday Star Times Short Story Award, Dec 2019.
    Mandy McMullin and Leanne Radojkovich win 1st and 2nd prize in the 2019 Graeme Lay short story award
  • Heidi North’s book of poems We are Tiny Beneath the Light published by the Cuba Press
  • Kirsty Powell’s novel The Strength of Eggshells published by Cloud Ink
  • Eileen Merriman’s fourth novel Moonlight Sonata published by Penguin Random House
  • Suzanne Ashmore’s novel Meltwater published



  • Eileen Merriman’s third novel Invisibly Breathing published by Penguin Random House.
  • Rosetta Allan’s second novel Unreliable People published by Penguin Random House
  • Nidhi Eipe invited to read at the Cork International Poetry Festival, Ireland
  • Jeannie McLean’s novel Caught Between short-listed for the 2019 $10,000 Michael Gifkins Prize
  • Jeff Murray’s novel Melt, published
  • Josie Laird’s novel All About Kate published by Swooping Kereru Books
  • Sidney Mazzi’s novel The Art of Hunting Humans published on Amazon
  • Fiona Sussman, Eileen Merriman & Kathryn van Beek win 1st, 2nd and 3rd prizes in the 2018 Sunday Star Times short story award.
  • Julie Ryan’s book of poems Last of the Halcyon Days published by Steele Roberts Publishing
  • Eileen Merriman’s novel Pieces of You published by Penguin Random House
  • Colleen Lenihan awarded a place on the Te Papa Tupu Maori Writer’s Programme plus a Michael King Writers Centre Residency
    Sarah O’Flaherty’s book Fresh Start – A Guide to Eliminating Unhealthy Stress published on Amazon
  • Karen Mills’ novel Tasting Stars published by Mary Egan Books. (See her TV1 Seven Sharp’s interview below in ‘Media Comment’ below)
  • Pip McKay awarded a Society of Authors Complete Manuscript Award
    Sze Ning Ooi awarded a 2018 Society of Authors mentorship
  • Colleen Maria Lenihan was first runner up in the national Lillian Ida Smith Award for her collection Cherry Blossom Girl
  • Fiona Sussman’s novel The Last Time We Spoke won the 2017 Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Crime Novel (Fiona is a graduate of the forerunner to our 30 Week Fiction Course)
  • Rosetta Allan was awarded a 2018 Michael King Writers Centre residency
  • Andrea Hotere’s book Undreamed Of – 50 Years of the Frances Hodgkins Fellowship pub by Oxford University Press
  • Kirk Lafferty’s story K Road published in the Phantom Billstickers Cafe Reader
  • Karen Mills’ story Stern Faced Angels published in Headland magazine
  • Greg Hall’s novel Good Sons – A novel of the Great War published by Mary Egan publishing
  • Leanne Radojkovich’s short story collection First Fox published by Emma Press UK (Leanne is a graduate of the forerunner to our 30 Week Fiction course)
  • Sally Christie’s story The Caretaker published in Headland magazine
  • Emma Vere-Jones’ children’s book The Wetter the Better published by Duck Creek Press
  • Gina Cole’s short fiction published in Jan 2017 issue of NZ Listener
  • Heidi North-Bailey won the Hachette / NZ Society of Authors Trans-Tasman mentorship
  • Eileen Merriman was a prize-winner in the national Sunday Star Times Short Story Award for the third year in a row.


Media Comment and Graduate Interviews

Blog Title

Newsroom run stories in April 2020 from our graduates Dr Himali McInnes, and Dr Eileen Merriman, on their work on the Covid front line here Newsroom

Read More

Blog Title

Newsroom run stories in April 2020 from our graduates Dr Himali McInnes, and Dr Eileen Merriman, on their work on the Covid front line here

Read More

Blog Title

Newsroom run stories in April 2020 from our graduates Dr Himali McInnes, and Dr Eileen Merriman, on their work on the Covid front line here

Read More

Blog Title

Newsroom run stories in April 2020 from our graduates Dr Himali McInnes, and Dr Eileen Merriman, on their work on the Covid front line here

Read More

Creative Hub Students Have Said

Introduction to Creative Writing & Three Day Fiction Schools with John Cranna

“A five-star course!”

“Very useful and enjoyable. It helped to clarify a number of issues I was unsure about, or only subconsciously aware of.”

“Excellent. Really enjoyed it. Challenging, fun, exploratory. Enjoyed the fact that things were revealed slowly, week by week.”

“Informative, enlightening – huge learning curve.”

“Found writing in class daunting, but appreciated the challenge. The ‘homework’ helped establish a writing routine I plan to continue.”

“I really enjoyed it. Loved the dialogue workshop and the instruction on scene structure, which I found really helpful.”

“I liked having weekly projects to work on as it encouraged me to sit and write when I have a tendency to procrastinate otherwise.”

“Really enjoyed hearing the other students’ work!”

30 Week Fiction Course with John Cranna plus a number of leading NZ writers

“The visiting writers were great. I also really enjoyed working with the group, and the process of reviewing and being reviewed. The group feedback was extremely useful. We quickly established trust.”

“Exposure to a number of NZ writers was not only a highlight – just meeting them – but the ideas they imparted were of great interest. This gave great depth to the course.”

“The critiquing process was helpful in my development as a writer. Reading others’ work and seeing how they structure their work and attack problems has been invaluable. It was very helpful to see working writers and hear their insights and to benefit from their skills.”

“I liked the discipline of continuing to write and critique work. I find that process valuable and illuminating. Group feedback was very valuable, and I gained a lot of insights into my work, and it kept me motivated to progress my writing. I wouldn’t have achieved much without it!”

“Everything worked. The best thing is the people in the group. We are so lucky. I think the trips to the pub afterwards (and other socialising) is an important part of it … it builds trust and team spirit. The group to me is like ‘The Inklings’ – Tolkien and CS Lewis’s group. What a model to base us on! We have the same structure … but of course they had no email, so they read aloud their work!”

“I feel empowered by what I learned on the course … There is no substitute for the Commendation, Recommendation, Commendation method we got on this course. You can’t get that from any book …”

“The weekly critiquing of work was brilliant. I liked the way theory was interspersed with this … it was a good refresher. Although I was at first put off by the test idea, it was actually a good way to see what we retained – a surprisingly great deal!”

Intro to Creative Writing (classroom), central Auckland, now enrolling