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I first came to the writing game in 2010, when I started NorthTec’s Applied Writing Diploma Level 5. This was followed by Levels 6 & 7. In 2012 my first picture book, Tea With Miss Tilly, was published by HarperCollins NZ Ltd. The manuscript for this picture book was completed on one of the Level 5 papers. Since then I have had a children’s reader, All Dressed Up, published by Wendy Pye Publishing Ltd (2017), and have self-published an eBook on KDP of my partner’s and my poetry titled Forming a Picture of You. I have also published a few short fiction and nonfiction stories targeting both adult and children on my blog The Long and the Blog of It, by Justine. In my spare time I continue to write mainly children’s picture books and young adult fantasy fiction, of which I am a huge fan.
In 2015 I started part-time a BA majoring in Creative Writing through Massey University, and hope to have my degree by the start of semester one 2022.
I am passionate about the craft of writing, and hope to engage and encourage students to find their own writing passion.
“I have done a lot of writing online and for retail mags so was able to get straight into the applied writing course...
“When I was young I wanted to be a writer but then life happened and it becomes hard to make it a priority, so I...
In my last year of the course I was offered a place in Level 7 which requires students to complete a major project...
“Professional writing was the easy part for me when I enrolled in this course. My big challenge was attempting to break into fiction in my late sixties. Papers like Myths, Legends and Folk Tales, Short Story, and Novel opened up a whole range of possibilities for me and I revelled in the chance to write creatively.”
“The fact that the course was online was ideal for me because I’m a retiree, and there was the added bonus of several local tutors who I could meet with personally. They kept me motivated.”
“However, I wasn’t an easy student. Because my background is in education, and in curriculum and professional development writing in particular, I was critical of some of the content and structure of the course. The great thing was that the tutors embraced my input, so it was a real win-win situation.”
“In my last year of the course I was offered a place in Level 7 which requires students to complete a major project. It was a perfect opportunity for me to write my 82,000 word novel. It is the story of a young woman being sent to a remote community to teach, who finds that she herself gets an education. We had expert online tutor input plus we were matched with professional mentors and assessors relevant to our genre. I was delighted with the assessment and feel I’ve gone from being a professional writer to a writer of fiction.”
“I’m a lot more secure in my understanding of how to write fiction now, and my confidence in my own creativity has grown enormously as a result of this learning journey. I’m keen to carry on writing creatively, and my dream is to see my novel published.”