About Paula

New Zealand Author Paula Morris
Image by Mike Brooke

Paula Morris (Ngati Wai, Ngati Whatua) is an award-winning novelist, short story writer and essayist from New Zealand.

She writes fiction for adults and supernatural mysteries for younger readers. Paula’s short stories are widely published in journals, magazines and anthologies, and a number have been adapted for radio in both New Zealand and the US.

A frequent book reviewer, interviewer and festival chair, 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 has been awarded numerous residencies and fellowships, including Bellagio (the Rockefeller Foundation) in Italy, Brecht’s House in Denmark, Passa Porta in Belgium, and the International Writers and Translators’ House in Ventspils, Latvia. She has appeared at festivals in Europe, the US, China, 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 convenor 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)