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About Paula

Paula Morris MNZM (Ngāti Wai, Ngāti Whātua, Ngāti Manuhiri) is an award-winning novelist, short story writer, essayist and editor from New Zealand.

Paula holds degrees from universities in New Zealand, the U.K. and the US, including a D.Phil from the University of York and an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She is the founder of the Academy of New Zealand Literature and Wharerangi, the Māori literature hub.

She has been awarded numerous residencies and fellowships, including the Katherine Mansfield Menton Fellowship; Bellagio (the Rockefeller Foundation) in Italy; Brecht House (Denmark); Passa Porta (Belgium); and the International Writers and Translators’ House (Latvia). She has appeared at festivals in Europe, North America, China, India, South Africa, Australia, the UK and New Zealand.

For ten years, Paula worked in London and New York, first as a publicist and marketing executive in the record business, and later as a branding consultant and advertising copywriter. Since 2003 she’s taught creative writing at universities, including Tulane University in New Orleans, and the University of Sheffield in England. She is director of the Master in Creative Writing programme at the University of Auckland in New Zealand.



2015 Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award in the UK
(False River)


2012 New Zealand Post Book Awards, Fiction category


2012 Nga Kupu Ora Maori Book Awards in New Zealand, Fiction category

Regional Finalist

2009 Commonwealth Prize
(Forbidden Cities)


2003 Montana New Zealand Book Awards, Best First Fiction Book
(Queen of Beauty)


2001 Adam Foundation Prize in Creative Writing
(Queen of Beauty)



Rangatira (2011)
Forbidden Cities (short stories, 2008)
Trendy But Casual (2007)
Hibiscus Coast (2005)
Queen of Beauty (2002)

Young Adult Fiction

The Eternal City (2015)
Hene and the Burning Harbour (2013)
Unbroken (2013)
Dark Souls (2011)
Ruined (2009)


On Coming Home (2015)
The Penguin Book of Contemporary New Zealand Short Stories (2008, editor)