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Maria Gill

Maria Gill.jpg 


Maria Gill writes non-fiction books, picture books and freelance articles for New Zealand children, teenagers, and adults. Her non-fiction book New Zealand Hall of Fame won the NZ Post 2012 Children’s Choice Award (non-fiction category), was a 2012 CLF Storylines Notable Book and was shortlisted for the 2012 LIANZA Elsie Locke Award. Overall, her books have been shortlisted twice in the NZ Post Book Awards, four times in the LIANZA awards, and have been selected for seven CLF Storylines Notable Book Awards (non-fiction category).


Recent books include New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame (August 2014), The Last of Maui’s Dolphins(February 2014), and Running the Country (also a 2014 CFL Storylines Notable Book, and shortlisted for the LIANZA Elsie Locke Award).


Maria’s other interests include organic gardening, reading (of course), dancing (the ballet variety), and organising events with fellow authors. She has two children and a husband, an aging dog, two bickering cats, 20 messy chickens, one noisy rooster, and two friendly sheep.


Maria writes full-time from her lifestyle block in North Auckland. She trained as a Primary Teacher BEd, DipTchg and has a Graduate Diploma in Journalism Studies. She has lectured and tutored at Massey University for their Summer Break ‘Writing for Children’ paper, as well as teaching creative writing workshops for adults and children. Maria writes her own teaching resources to go with her books – available free on her website www.mariagill.co.nz and has written professional teaching resources and educational books for Lift Education, Learning Media, Essential Resources, and Curriculum Concepts. She also reviews New Zealand children’s books: http://kidsbooksnz.blogspot.co.nz


Tips for teaching creative writing:


1.       To help students write exciting beginnings - read some great one liners from books you love to them first. For example: ‘The Flytrap Snaps’, ‘Dinosaur Rescue’ series, ‘A Winter’s Day in 1939’

2.       Encourage the students to start with dialogue, or action or a hook that will want the reader to read on.

3.       To help students ‘show don’t tell’ get them to show what the protagonist thinks/says/does (in any order).

4.       Suggest to students they ‘show’ their surroundings while their character is doing an action.

5.       Get the Thesaurus dictionaries out and challenge students to jazz up their verbs! ‘Walk’ and ‘run’ are overused!



Birds-eye View, photographed by Darryl Torckler (Penguin Group NZ, 2007)

Operation Nest Egg, (Reed Publishing, 2008)

Dogs on the Job, (Penguin Group NZ, 2009)

Rangitoto: Te Toku tu moana, illustrated by Heather Arnold (Penguin Group NZ, 2010; e-book Pixel Book; Long White Cloud Books, 2014)

Save Our Seas, illustrated by Vivienne Lingard (New Holland Publishers NZ, 2010)

Eco-rangers Save the Planet, illustrated by Vivienne Lingard (New Holland Publishers NZ, 2010)

New Zealand Hall of Fame, illustrated by Bruce Potter (New Holland Publishers NZ, 2012)

The Call of the Kokako, illustrated by Heather Arnold (New Holland Publishers NZ, 2012)

Eruption! Discovering NZ Volcanoes, (New Holland Publishers NZ, 2012)

Running the Country: A look inside New Zealand’s Government, (New Holland Publishers NZ, 2013)

The Last of Maui’s Dolphins, illustrated by Bruce Potter, (New Holland Publishers NZ, 2014)

New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame, illustrated by Marco Ivancic, (New Holland Publishers, 2014)

Operation Nest Egg Chick, illustrated by Bruce Potter (e-book - Pixel Book, 2013; Long White Cloud Books, 2014)


Short Stories published

Two stories published in ‘Claws and Jaws’ Anthology (Random House, 2006)

School Journal Part 3 #2, 2009; Part 3 #1, 2010; Level 4, March 2012

Connected Journal Level 4, 2013

Wild Things, Issue 123 Winter 2014


Educational books published

'The Ancient City of Ur' published by Learning Media (2012) America
'The Inventive Lewis Latimer' published by Learning Media (2012) America
'Changing Landscapes' published by Learning Media (2012) America
'A Microscopic World' published by Learning Media (2012) America
'The Power of a Team' published by Learning Media (2012) America
'Save this Space' published by Learning Media (2012) America
'Local Leaders: Pass It On' published by Learning Media (2010) America
'Digging Up a Story: Water Across the Land' published by Learning Media (2010) America
'The Shape of the Land: Saving the Salmon' published by Learning Media (2010) America
'Growing Up: Savannah' published by Learning Media (2010) America
'Science at Play: Try this at Home' published by Learning Media (2010) America
'Inventions: Inventions Take Time' published by Learning Media (2010) America
'Inventions: Science Meets Fiction' published by Learning Media (2010) America
'What a Mess' published by South Pacific Press (2010)
Under Your Feet' published by Creative Teaching Press (2008) America
Amazing Water' published by Creative Teaching Press (2008) America

‘Volcano Eruptions’ published by Creative Teaching Press (2008) America
'Making Pancakes' published by Red Rockets (2007) worldwide
'Clever Camouflage' published by Red Rockets (2006) worldwide

Maria Gill


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