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. Our one-on-one 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 2023 she published her thirteenth 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 also published in 2019.
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.
Colleen (Te Rarawa, Ngāpuhi) is a graduate of our Thirty Week Fiction / Memoir course and the recipient of our first Māori Writer Scholarship in 2018. Her collection of short stories Kōhine was published by Huia Publishers in 2022 and was widely praised in reviews. Huia is New Zealand’s premier publisher of Māori and Pasifika books. After fifteen years of living in Tokyo, Colleen returned to Tāmaki Makaurau in 2016 where she is now based. She is also a screenwriter and photographer. Colleen has been awarded a number of residencies: Michael King Writers’ Centre Emerging Māori Writer (2019); Newsroom/Surrey Hotel Winner (2019); the Dan Davin Literary Foundation (2021); and Victoria University of Wellington, International Institute of Modern Letters (IIML) and Creative New Zealand Emerging Māori Writer in Residence (2023).
Fiona’s most recent novel, ‘The Doctor’s Wife’, was published internationally in 2023. She was named an Amazon UK Rising Star in 2014, and her novel ‘Shifting Colours’ was also listed in Sainsbury’s Best Debut Novel Collection. Fiona is one of Hub Director John Cranna’s first graduates.
She worked as a family doctor for a number of years, before pursuing a long-held dream to write. Her first novel, ‘Shifting Colours’, is set against the violent backdrop of apartheid South Africa and the calm of late-twentieth-century Britain. It traces the lives of Miriam and Celia – a mother and daughter separated by land, sea, and heart-rending circumstance.
‘Shifting Colours’ was released in the USA in October 2015 under the title, ‘Another Woman’s Daughter’. Fiona also writes short stories. A number have been broadcast on radio, and her writing has had success in local and international writing competitions.
Her second novel ‘The Last Time We Spoke’ is a dark tale that navigates the underbelly of urban New Zealand. It is also a very human story of hope and possibility. The manuscript won the 2014 KOBO/NZ AUTHOR PUBLISHING PRIZE, was shortlisted for the 2016 NZ HERITAGE BOOKS AND WRITING AWARD, and won the 2017 NGAIO MARSH AWARD for Best NZ crime fiction.
Some reviews: The Sunday Mirror: ‘A gripping story of grief and redemption.’ The Otago Daily Times: ‘A hard-hitting, emotion-packed novel featuring injustice and racial prejudice.’
She won the Sunday Star Times National Short Story Award in 2018, NZ’s best-known short-story competition with a first prize of $5000.
Her third novel, ‘Addressed to Greta’ was published in 2020, and was shortlisted for the NZ Booklover’s Best Adult Fiction Prize.
Jess has a Masters degree in Creative Writing from the University of Iowa, where she was awarded an Iowa Arts Fellowship, and several other writing scholarships. After completing the Te Araroa national walk-way from Cape Reinga to Bluff, she came to work for the Creative Hub.
She has taught the Creative Hub Summer Fiction School in 2023 and currently mentors students on our Thirty Week Fiction Course. She is completing a PhD in Creative Writing and is a consultant editor for the University of Chicago Press.
Her writing has appeared in Best Travel Writing, Best Women’s Travel Writing, the Seneca Review Online, Alligator Juniper, New Fairy Tales, and more.
She’s taught writing at the University of Iowa; playwriting for the Combined Efforts writers group in Iowa City; and creative writing and theatre at the Deerfield Academy Summer Arts Camp. She’s also held professional copywriting and copyediting positions, and has acted in dozens of productions in regional and community theaters.
“I start each story with the discovery a piece of information that resonates with something inside of myself. I feel empathy, curiosity, and desire to find out more.” Rosetta Allan
Rosetta has published three novels with Penguin Random House and is a graduate of our Thirty Week Fiction / Memoir course.
She spent her formative writing years developing strengths in the area of poetry – writing, performing, and supporting poetry events in her hometown of Auckland. She was born in Putaruru, and grew up in Napier before moving to Auckland as a young adult, where she found her writing style. Her experiences growing up in Hawke’s Bay still inspire many of the characters and landscapes in her writing.
Rosetta’s work is widely anthologised, and she has published two volumes of poetry: Little Rock and Over Lunch. Her first novel, Purgatory, was published by Penguin Books in 2014. Purgatory was well received, it remained on the Nielsen Weekly Bestsellers List for two months, and was selected as an Apple iBook ‘Top Ten Best Reads of 2014’.
Rosetta won the 2010 Kathleen Grattan Poetry Award, 2010 Metonymy Poetry Award, 2011 South Pacific Writer’s Lab Internship.
Rosetta was recently the first New Zealand writer in residence at the St Petersburg Art Residency in Russia. Her second novel ‘The Unreliable People’, set in Kazakhstan and Russia, was released by Penguin Random House, May 2019. Rosetta was the University of Waikato writer in residence in 2019. Her latest novel Crazy Love was released by Penguin Random House, August 2021.
By 2023, our Thirty Week Fiction Course graduate Eileen had published thirteen 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 national 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 first collection of short stories, ‘Black Ice Matter’ was published by Huia Books and her novel ‘Na Viro’ was published in 2022. 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.
Graduate Heidi’s book of poetry ‘Possibility of Flight’ has been described as ‘a thoughtful and intimate collection that ends unexpectedly with fireworks’. She was short-listed for the 2023 $10,000 Gifkins Award for her latest novel. She won the Shanghai Writers Scholarship to write in China. 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 internationally in 2023. 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 in 2019 and her third novel ‘Crazy Love’ in 2021, both by Penguin Random House. Rosetta is a graduate of our Thirty Week Fiction Course and a Hub tutor.