The Creative Hub was founded to provide a place where people could learn writing skills, and have fun. Check our drop menu of writing courses above, which are taught in our rooms at 23 Princes St in central Auckland and 150 Cuba Street in central Wellington. Our one-on-one ZOOM ONLINE Introduction to Creative Writing course or Thirty Week Fiction / Memoir course can be begun at any time.
Our tutors and workshop leaders are some of New Zealand’s most successful writers, with a wide range of prizes and awards between them, and a rich variety of published works to their name. In the last three years, thirty of our graduates have published novels or been successful in national or international writing awards.
The Creative Hub was founded by John Cranna. He is a former Auckland Branch Chair of the New Zealand Society of Authors.
John has published two books of fiction, Visitors and Arena and won the Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best First Book, and the NZ Book Award for Fiction. He grew up in NZ but lived for ten years in London where he worked as a community activist and journalist for those years in UK’s premier red-light and crime district, Kings Cross. His books have been published in Australia, UK and France, where his fiction was used in the national Baccalaureat exam.
He wrote the screenplay for the short film Accidents which was shown at the Venice Film Festival and other festivals around the world. He was managing editor of AA Directions magazine which rose from fifth to most-read magazine in NZ with nearly a million readers. The National Business Review called this relaunch ‘one of the most remarkable transformations in New Zealand media history’.
He founded the AUT University Centre for Modern Writing, where he designed the Masters of Creative Writing, and was voted Best Post-Graduate Teacher by students at the University.
Read his blog ‘Side Thoughts’ at www.creativehubber.blogspot.com.
Eileen is an award-winning novelist, short story and flash fiction writer who is a graduate of our Thirty Week Fiction Course. She is also a doctor who works at North Shore Hospital.
In 2022 she published her tenth novel with Penguin Random House. Her first novel, Pieces of You, was published in 2017 to excellent reviews. Her second novel, Catch Me When You Fall, was published in 2018 and a third, Invisibly Breathing, was published in 2019. Her first adult novel, Moonlight Sonata, was published in 2019 and her second adult novel The Silence of Snow will be published in late 2020.
Her awards include a 2018 Storyline Notable Book Award for Pieces of You, first place in the 2015 Graeme Lay Short Story competition. She has been a prize winner for four years in a row in the national Sunday Star Times short story competition. Both Pieces of You and Catch Me When You Fall were finalists in the 2018 NZ Book Awards for Children and Young Adults.
Roger is New Zealand’s most successful playwright. His best-known play in New Zealand is Glide Time. It gave rise to the popular television series Gliding On and a sequel play, Market Forces (1995), set in the restructured public service environment of the post-Rogernomics era.
Roger’s best-known works internationally are Middle Age Spread, which had a run in London’s West End and was also made into a film, and Conjugal Rites, which was made into a situation comedy series in the UK. Roger’s more recent work includes Four Flat Whites In Italy (2009) and A Shortcut to Happiness (2011).
Roger is also known for a staging of Bruce Mason’s classic play The End of the Golden Weather each Xmas Day on Takapuna Beach in Auckland. He has published an autobiography, Bums on Seats. www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roger_Hall
Judith has won a number of awards for her short fiction, including the 1989 BNZ Katherine Mansfield Short Story Award. She has twice won the Auckland Star short story competition, in 1987 and 1990. In 1996, White was the Buddle Findlay Sargeson Fellow.
Her first collection of short fiction, Visiting Ghosts (1991), was shortlisted for the fiction section of what is now known as the Montana New Zealand Books Awards. Her novel Across the Dreaming Night (1999) was shortlisted for the fiction section of the 2000 Montana New Zealand Book Awards. In the Sunday Star Times Iain Sharpe wrote: ‘White is second to none when it comes to depicting states of anxiety, both comic and poignant. And the brilliance with which she enters into her characters’ aberrant states of mind, signals a major talent.’ Judith’s latest novel, The Elusive Language of Ducks, was published in 2013.
Geoff is New Zealand’s most successful publisher. He recently stepped down as publishing director of Penguin New Zealand, where he was responsible for building Penguin’s local publishing list over 26 years. He has published many of New Zealand’s leading writers, including Michael King, Maurice Gee, Lloyd Jones, Witi Ihimaera, Patricia Grace and Anne Salmond.
Before joining Penguin, Geoff was an editor at Reed Publishers. He is also a former newspaper, radio and television journalist. Geoff knows the publishing industry inside out; he has steered hundreds of books through the publishing process, and is passionate about language, books and writing. Geoff is now developing a reputation as an expert in the blossoming area of niche / self / electronic publishing and runs workshops on this new industry at the Creative Hub.
Tessa Duder is one of New Zealand’s most recognised writers. Her ‘Alex’ novels won her three New Zealand Children’s Book of the Year awards and three Esther Glen medals, and are published in America, Britain, Australia and Canada. Alex is published in five languages, with Jellybean and Alex in Winter in two.
Since winning her first grant in 1985, the Choysa Bursary for Children’s Writers, Tessa has been awarded several Creative New Zealand (Arts Council) grants, including a Special Writing Bursary in 1989, the first Writer-in-Residence Fellowship at the University of Waikato in 1991 and the Literary Exchange Fellowship to Australia in 1993.
Under the NZ Book Council’s Writers-in-Schools scheme, she has visited hundreds of classrooms all over the country, and has spoken at many professional seminars of teachers, librarians and parents, including international conferences in Stockholm, Florida, Sydney, Melbourne, Auckland, Rotorua and Wellington. Her website www.tessaduder.co.nz gives an overview of her publications, along with a short biography and texts of speeches given at various children’s literature conferences.
At mid-2022, our Thirty Week Fiction Course graduate Eileen had published ten novels with Penguin Random House. Eileen’s novel ‘Pieces of You’ was published in 2017. This is the compelling story of a young woman who is uprooted from her home city and whose life begins to disintegrate. ‘Catch Me When You Fall’, was published in 2018, and tells the story of a girl who has leukemia, and her relationship with a boy suffering bi-polar disorder. Her third novel ‘Invisibly Breathing’ was published in 2019. Eileen works as a doctor. She has won prizes in UK and NZ short story awards, including the Sunday Star-Times Award four years in a row.
Ann’s elegiac novel ‘Rich Man Road’ reached No 1 on the Booksellers NZ fiction sales list. The novel is published by Eunoia Books, a publishing house made up of former students of Hub Director John Cranna. Ann says of her novel: ‘My extended family lives in Croatia and I have grown up with the rich stories and legends of the Dalmatian coast. During WWII, my relatives escaped the German occupation, spending time as refugees in the British run camps in El Shatt, Egypt.’ The novel follows the journey of one of these relatives who migrated to New Zealand. Ann’s novel received a glowing review from Rae McGregor on National Radio, which helped catapult it to No 1 position.
Gina’s collection of short stories, ‘Black Ice Matter’ was published by Huia Books. Gina is a graduate of our Thirty Week Fiction Course and is a family lawyer of Fijian and British ancestry. In these stories, a woman is caught between traditional Fijian ways and the brutality of the military dictatorship; a glaciology researcher falls into a crevasse and confronts the unexpected; two women lose children in freak shooting accidents. Gina has won prizes in several national writing awards and has been published in several Pacifica and other literary journals.
Greg Hall’s novel was profiled on Radio NZ and Television New Zealand to coincide with Anzac Day. It is a harrowing but uplifting story of three young men whose lives are overtaken by the First World War. It culminates at the battle of Passchendaele in which more than 800 young New Zealanders lost their lives. Greg is a Director of the Passchendaele Society, and a former senior banking executive.
Heidi’s book of poetry ‘Possibility of Flight’ has been described as ‘a thoughtful and intimate collection that ends unexpectedly with fireworks’. She won the Shanghai Writers Scholarship and the Asia Foundation short story competition. She was also awarded the Hachette / NZ Society of Authors Trans-Tasman mentorship, to work with a senior editor at Hachette Australia on the manuscript of her latest book. Her work has appeared in New Zealand and international journals. Heidi lives in Auckland, and when not being kept busy with her three-year-old, squirrels away time to write.
Fiona’s latest novel, ‘The Doctor’s Wife’, was published in 2022. She won the Dame Ngaio Marsh award for the best crime novel of 2017, and the Sunday Star Times short story award in 2018, when John Cranna’s graduates took 1st, 2nd and 3rd prizes in NZ’s best-known short story award. Her first novel ‘Shifting Colours’ based on her experience of apartheid in South Africa, is published by Penguin in New York, and Alison and Busby in London. Her second novel, ‘The Last Time We Spoke’ plumbs the dark reaches of urban NZ. Fiona has worked as a general practitioner and graduated from the fore-runner to our Thirty Week Fiction course, taught by Hub director John Cranna. www.fionasussman.co.nz
“Rosetta Allan’s debut novel ‘Purgatory’ (Penguin) is one of those books that draws you into its exquisitely crafted, atmospheric and entirely believable world within the first couple of pages. The time is 1865, the place is Otahuhu, New Zealand – back then just a small outpost designed to create a boundary between the slowly expanding settler’s Auckland, and the edge of the Waikato, still protected by King Country Maori.” NZ Booklovers. Rosetta’s second novel, ‘Unreliable People’ was published by Penguin Random House in 2019.