AJ Lancaster

AJ writing with laptop, pen, and coffee.

AJ Lancaster grew up on a farm in the Manawatū-Whanganui region of Aotearoa New Zealand. She wrote in the same way she breathed—constantly and without thinking much of it—so it took many years and accumulating a pile of manuscripts for her to realise that she might want to be a writer and, in fact, already was. On the way to this realisation she collected a degree in science, worked in environmental planning, lived on the other side of the world for a bit, and became an editor. Now she lives in the windy coastal city of Wellington, investigating just how many house plants you can fit in one small flat. Her results so far suggest that the limit does not exist.

Andi C. Buchanan

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Andi C. Buchanan lives among streams and faultlines, just north of Wellington, Aotearoa New Zealand. Winner of a Sir Julius Vogel Award for their short story "Girls Who Do Not Drown" (Apex, 2018), their fiction is also published or forthcoming in Fireside, Kaleidotrope, Glittership, and more. Their 2019 novella From a Shadow Grave (Paper Road Press) uses a historical murder as a launching point into narratives of multiple possible futures, deploying urban fantasy, historical fiction, time travel and more.

Succulents and Spells

Anna Kirtlan

headshot of Anna wearing a large red-orange hat and glasses

Anna Kirtlan lives in Wellington New Zealand. Her fiction is a mixture of sci-fi, horror and humour, often with a nautical bent. Her non-fiction focuses on mental health advocacy and attempting to sail.

Anna Klein

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Anna Klein grew up on fantastical fairy tales and hasn't yet seen any reason to grow out of playing pretend. She was born in Hungary, and moved to Aotearoa New Zealand when she was seven years old. She spent her childhood reading any book she could get her hands on, and playing any computer game she could get her hands on (which is how she, as a ten-year-old, ended up being simultaneously a fan of both the Baby-Sitters Club and Castle Wolfenstein). Anna completed a Masters degree in English in horror literature and now writes about sweet, geeky and slightly awkward people finding love. In addition to writing novels, she writes and runs live action roleplaying (LARP) events in a variety of genres. She loves to escape reality through books, TV, movies and roleplaying games. She believes art is the closest thing to magic in the world. She also likes pretty dresses, and cats, and lives in Auckland, New Zealand with her husband.

Helen Vivienne Fletcher

helen is sitting by a tree smiling holding a light coloured dog

Helen Vivienne Fletcher is a children’s and young adult author, spoken word poet and award-winning playwright. She has won and been shortlisted for numerous writing competitions including winning the Outstanding New Playwright Award at the Wellington Theatre Awards, making the shortlist for the Storylines Joy Cowley Award, and the finalist list for the Ngaio Marsh Best First Book Award.

Helen has worked in many jobs, doing everything from theatre stage management to phone counselling. She discovered her passion for writing for young people while working as a youth support worker, and now helps children find their own passion for storytelling through her work as a creative writing tutor.

She lives in Wellington with her disability assistance dog, Bindi – a five-year-old, playful Labrador who loves soft toys, cuddles, and can fit three tennis balls in her mouth at once.

Overall, Helen just loves telling stories and is always excited when people want to read or hear them.

Familiars & Foes

Isa Pearl Ritchie

headshot of Isa - she is smiling and has long wavy hair

Isa Pearl Ritchie is a New Zealand writer. She has completed a PhD in social science. She writes novels for adults and for young people. Her second novel, Fishing for Maui, was named one of the best books of 2018 in The Listener Magazine, and was a finalist in the the NZ Booklovers awards 2019.

Holloway Witches

Jamie Sands

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Jamie Sands grew up in Wellington and was a library devotee and constant reader of fiction from a very early age. Their fiction covers Romantic Comedy, Horror, Young Adult, Urban Fantasy and Cosy Mysteries. They have previously published a Young Adult horror novel as well as queer romance under the pen name Jaxon Knight. They live in Auckland with their wonderful wife and a cat called Mochi. Jamie’s visited Japan three times and would like to move into Tokyo Disneyland.

Overdues and Occultism

Janna Ruth

Jana - turning to smile at the camera, with long blonde hair tied up in a loose bun

Studying plate boundaries of our world by day, creating her own worlds at night, that's what Janna Ruth's life has been like before deciding to become a full-time writer. As a German native living in Wellington, New Zealand, she's got books out in English and German and plans aplenty. Janna has published since 2017, kicking off her career by winning the Ueberreuter writing competition, resulting in her Japan-inspired debut novel "Tanz der Feuerblüten", and following it up with a self-published modern fairy-tale retelling that went on to win the 2018 SERAPH Phantastik Award for the “Best Independent Title”. Her main genres are anything specular fiction with a strong focus on fantasy and coming-of-age.
When she isn't writing or editing or publishing – so almost never – she's got a variety of hobbies to fill up even the illusion of spare time, such as aerial acrobatics, cake decorating, drawing, reading, and any type of crafting.

Witching with Dolphins

Karen Healey

Headshot of Karen in monochrome. Karen has short curly hair.

Karen Healey is the award-winning author of the young adult urban fantasy novels Guardian of the Dead and The Shattering, the young adult climate sci-fi When We Wake duology, and the occasional short story. With co-author Robyn Fleming, she writes the Hidden Histories series, beginning with The Empress of Timbra. Karen was born in Whangārei, spent most of her childhood in Ōamaru, and lives in Ōtautahi, where she teaches English, plays D&D, reads voraciously, and ignores her dishes.

Kim Jackways

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Kim is a freelance writer and mother of two based in Canterbury. She loves shady green places and teaching animals to talk. Her fiction has been published in various magazines and anthologies, including The Best Small Fictions 2019. She has lived in random places, from Dunedin to Bordeaux in France. Her stories expose the hidden lives of the past and the future, inspired by her background in psychology and linguistics.

Brand of Magic

Marie Cardno

Headshot of marie with matching red glasses, lipstick, and blouse!

Marie Cardno grew up in Ōtepoti (Dunedin), with a brief stint further south. Thanks to a well-stocked public library she read and reread books voraciously throughout her childhood, but was so busy not judging books by their covers that she often forgot what they were called - so please don't ask her what her favourite books were back then.

Marie now lives in Te Whanganui-a-Tara (Wellington) with her husband and two cats, Jam and Toast. She splits her time between reading, writing, and forgetting to weed the garden.

Melanie Harding-Shaw

greyscale headshot of Mel - she has short hair and excellent eyeliner

Melanie Harding-Shaw is a speculative fiction writer, policy geek, and mother-of-three from Wellington, New Zealand. Her house is nestled near the Makara Peak mountain bike park, and she can often be found walking up the Salvation trail at Wrights Hill reserve. Her short fiction has appeared in a number of local and international publications, including newsroom, Takahē, The Arcanist, and Daily Science Fiction. Her longer fiction can be found on Amazon and Book Depository. Sadly, she has no shape-shifting familiars. She does have 10 neon tetras, but it’s not the same. She’s part of the forty percent of her household who has coeliac disease and she’s been known to drive 30 minutes just for gluten-free dumplings and donuts. She’d prefer a cure to living gluten-freely ever after, but you take what you can get. Contaminate her toaster at your peril.

Nova Blake

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Nova Blake aka J.C. Hart aka Just Cassie is a lover of pizza, coffee, and zombies (in no particular order). She was raised on a healthy diet of horror, science fiction, and fantasy, and despite many attempts by various English teachers has refused to budge on her position that these are the best genres ever. When she’s not raising her horde of wonderfully creepy children, or dreaming of the day she’ll have an army of ninja kittens, she’s writing, reading, or playing games.

Hexes & Vexes

Rem Wigmore

Rem Wigmore is a speculative fiction writer based in Wellington. Their first novel The Wind City was published in 2013 by Steam Press, and their short stories appear in the Capricious Gender Diverse Pronouns Issue and the second Year’s Best Aotearoa New Zealand Science Fiction & Fantasy anthology. Rem’s probably a changeling, but you’re stuck with them now. The coffee here is just too good.

Sam Schenk

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Sam Schenk is a business analyst by day, a mom, writer, and gamer by night. The love of speculation keeps her coming back to writing, whether that's in fantasy, sci-fi, or off-modern-day. Witchy Fiction will be her first publication. She's excited to be able to work with such an intrepid group of artists.

Sam hails from Canada via Texas, and has lived in New Zealand since 2002.

Toni Wi

selfie! Toni is wearing a denim jacket and a pounamu

Toni Wi is a speculative fiction writer from Aotearoa, New Zealand. She grew up reading gothic romance and urban fantasy, and her first crush was a vampire. She has short fiction published in literary journals but Witchy Fiction is her first foray into longer work. Toni lives in Wellington where she enjoys baked goods, hot chocolate, and wooly coats.