Calendar > Women writers
Come along and hear our women writers Catherine Chidgey, Nicky Pellegrino and Danielle Hawkins in conversation with chair Catherine Robertson.
Catherine Chidgey’s honours include Best First Book at the New Zealand Book Awards and the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for her region; the BNZ Katherine Mansfield Short Story Award; the Katherine Mansfield Fellowship to Menton, France; the inaugural Prize in Modern Letters; a Betty Trask Award (UK); and a longlisting for the Orange Prize. Her novel Golden Deeds was chosen as a book of the year by Time Out magazine (London), as well as by the New York Times Book Review and the LA Times Book Review. She has been Writer in Residence at the Universities of Canterbury, Otago and Waikato. She teaches creative writing at the University of Waikato and Manukau Institute of Technology and lives in Ngaruawahia with her husband and daughter. Her most recent novel, The Wish Child, won the $50,000 Acorn Foundation Fiction Prize for 2017, and her new book, The Beat of the Pendulum, is published in November.
Nicky Pellegrino grew up in England but spent childhood summers in southern Italy staying with her father’s family. After a career as a journalist in London she fell in love with a Kiwi and moved to New Zealand where she worked in magazines and television, including a stint as editor of New Zealand Woman’s Weekly. After Nicky's first novel Delicious was published internationally she left her job and went freelance. Now she writes for all sorts of magazines including the Listener, Next, Kia Ora and NZ Gardener. She is the author of best-selling novels like Recipe For Life, The Italian Wedding and When In Rome. Set in Italy, her stories are about friendship and food, passion and family secrets. Nicky is finishing her tenth novel, A Year At Hotel Gondola, which is set in Venice and due for release next year.
Danielle Hawkins works part-time as a vet and lives on a sheep and beef farm. Her books are Dinner at Rose's, Chocolate Cake for Breakfast and her latest; The Pretty Delicious Café. Catherine Robertson recently reviewed Danielle's third book in the Listener and said "Hawkins is one of our best humorous writers, with a gift for dialogue and characterisation, and for bringing out the Kiwiness of people and place in a way that elicits gleeful recognition rather than cringe. The book is warm-hearted, smart, perceptive and full of cracking funny lines. Set aside any prejudice you might have about so-called “chick lit” and prepare to be thoroughly entertained".
Our chair Catherine Robertson is a fiction writer, whose four novels have all been #1 New Zealand bestsellers. Her fourth novel, The Hiding Places, won the 2015 Nelson Libraries Award for NZ Fiction, and was described in the New Zealand Listener as “exceptionally well written and very charming.” She has a London agent, and her main publisher is Penguin Random House NZ. She has also been published in Germany, France and Italy. She has had shorter fiction works published in HOME (Random House, 2005) and in Turbine (IIML, 2015) and a non-fiction essay in SPORT 44 (VUP). In 2015, she completed the MA in Creative Writing at the International Institute of Modern Letters, Victoria University. Catherine reviews contemporary fiction for the New Zealand Listener, and contributes to the New Zealand Book Council's Booknotes Unbound, and New Zealand Books. She is a regular guest on RNZ’s The Panel and Jesse Mulligan’s Book Critic slot. She has appeared at the Auckland Writers Festival, Writers on Mondays, Wellington Writers Week and the NZ Book Council’s True Stories Live. She is a member of the Academy of NZ Literature, Chair of the New Zealand Society of Authors Wellington Branch, Vice President of Romance Writers of NZ, and the NZSA representative on the Book Awards Trust.
This event is supported by Poppies Bookshop with books for sale and signing.
Catherine Chidgey photo credit Helen Mayall. Catherine Robertson photo credit Matt Bialostock.