The staff


I’m Glyn Strange, the founding director of the School for Young Writers. After completing a doctorate in English and filling in as a temporary university lecturer, I worked for a while in the personnel field. In 1993, when starting a writing and publishing career, I was asked to establish a school for young writers. It sounded like fun, and still does. I enjoy working with creative young people and helping them reach their goals. My work for the school has slowed my own writing but I’ve published four books so far: The Arts Centre of Christchurch Then and Now, Brief Encounters: Some Uncommon Lawyers, The Little Theatre and No Glory Without Effort/Pas de Gloire Sans Effort.


Heather McQuillan, Associate Director

Heather is Associate Director of the School for Young Writers. Heather writes for children as well as exploring flash fiction and poetry. She is an experienced teacher and also works with teachers to develop their understanding of the writing process. In 2005 she was awarded the Storylines Tom Fitzgibbon Award. Her two novels for children Mind over Matter and Nest of Lies were each selected for the Storylines Notable Books List. Heather lives in Sumner, Christchurch, where she can be spotted walking along the beach in all weathers.

Gail Ingram

Gail Ingram

Gail Ingram has taught in high schools and English language schools but the School for Young Writers is best. Her poetry and short stories have appeared in journals and anthologies in New Zealand and overseas. She was a finalist for 2016 Best Small Fictions, shortlisted in the international 2016 Fish Short Story Prize, and has been placed in the international NZPS and takahe poetry competitions. She is currently studying for Masters of Creative Writing at Massey University.

Melanie Dixon

Melanie Dixon

Melanie has had short stories and flash fiction published in New Zealand and overseas. She was shortlisted for the Tom Fitzgibbon Award for her children’s novel The Witch Catcher in 2015 and placed second for her novel The Mud Boy in 2016. She has been shortlisted for the National Flash Fiction Day competitions in 2014 and 2013 and has also been shortlisted for the Royal Society of New Zealand’s Manhire Prize for Creative Science Writing, the Christine Cole Catley Award and The Guardian Young Travel Writer of the Year Award. She is a graduate of the two year programme at Hagley Writers’ Institute and loves helping inspire the next generation of writers at the Christchurch School for Young Writers.


Elizabeth O’Connor

On 18th July 2014, after a prolonged series of health setbacks, Elizabeth O’Connor passed away while in Auckland on Court Theatre business. Elizabeth made a massive contribution to the School for Young Writers, not only through her empathy for children and their writing but also because of her vast knowledge of language and literature. She taught all of us a lot about the nature of fiction, and, in particular, the work she did in teaching students to write and perform radio plays will be fondly remembered. Elizabeth’s beloved William Shakespeare wrote that the good that people do is “oft interr’d with their bones.” In Elizabeth’s case, the good that she has done for so many people will live long in memory, and in the skills that her students take forward into their developing lives.

Elizabeth O’Connor Memorial Fund
This fund has been set up in memory of tutor Elizabeth O’Connor to assist disadvantaged children with free or subsidized tuition. Additional donations to this fund are welcome to allow us to assist as many children as possible.


James Norcliffe

Stephanie Frewen

Greg O'Connell

Executive Committee


Chris White (Chairman/Treasurer)

Through my association with the school I have been invigorated by the challenges a not-for-profit organisation faces to deliver quality education services. I have watched my own daughters attend the school, developing skills and gaining confidence in creative writing that has helped them in other aspects of their lives. By being on the committee I can support Glyn, Heather and the tutors with their commitment to providing this fantastic opportunity to all aspiring young writers.


Lauren Steel (Secretary)

I’m proud to say that I have been associated with The School for Young Writers in one form or another, since 2009. In my role as Secretary, I am able to provide support for the Directors. I also enjoy the role of “unofficial photographer” and help to keep our on-line presence current. My daughter loves the Saturday morning classes. Her writing craft has developed over the years to show insight and maturity, and this is evident in her school work as well as the creative writing she does here. We have made cherished friends through the School and feel fortunate to be a part of it.

Julie Lassen

Julie Lassen

I have been a committee member at the School for Young Writers for several years. My daughter has been going to the school for four years now. I love that it’s a regular weekly opportunity for her to focus on her writing providing her with the opportunity to develop her skills. I love being on the Committee and doing whatever I can to support Glyn and the tutors with their commitment to providing this fantastic opportunity to all aspiring young writers.

Greg Taylor

Greg Taylor

I am very happy to be a part of the School for Young Writers executive committee. When I came to one of the final reading sessions in 2014, I was blown away by the creativity of the writing and felt I could contribute something to the running of this intensely creative school. My son has benefited from the professional tuition and his writing has improved immensely. The classes are a tremendous catalyst for his imagination. On a Saturday morning it is wonderful to sense this atmosphere of creative energy. It really is an invigorating place to be.

Nonie Jory-Smart

Margaret Boyle Wilson