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Diana Menefy

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Last updated by Anne Kenneally 


Diana Menefy enjoys researching history and bringing it alive for readers. She is now concentrating on writing fiction for children and young adults.

Diana has lived in rural Northland for the last forty years and was first published in the late 1970s. Her first story for children was a Ready to Read called Greedy Gull published in 1980. Since then, Diana has had stories and articles for both children and adults published in magazines, newspapers and anthologies. She also has seven non-fiction books and three novels for children published. Diana has her master’s degree in education (specialising in children’s literature) and is currently the coordinator of NorthTec’s online applied writing programme.

Writing Tips:

  1. If you are stuck for an idea look at a photograph and pretend you are one of the people in it. Think about what that person is doing, feeling and imagine what might happen next, or what has happened before. Use the senses.
  2. Writing is about rewriting. Always keep the first draft of your story. It is written from the heart and sometimes during revision you can lose the essence of emotion that it included.
  3. Read lots, particularly in the genre you want to write in, and check out new words.
  4. Use a thesaurus to avoid repetition of words.
  5. Use a dictionary to check out the exact meaning of a word – explore until you find the most specific word you can apply to capture your meaning.
  6. Words and images are a writer’s tools – keep a file of those that appeal to you. Jot them down when they pop into your mind and transfer them to your file later.

Bibliography since 2000:

1915 Wounds of War, Scholastic, Auckland, 2015

Shadow of the Boyd, HarperCollins, Auckland, 2010.

Waiting for Anna Kate. (short story) Takahe 69, 2010

Lunch with a Southern Giant Petrel. Learning Media, School Journal Pt1.2010

Portrait of an Early Settler in Crest to Crest, Wily Publications, Christchurch,2009.

A Foal is Born. Learning Media, School Journal Pt1. 2009

Getting of the Ground. Learning Media Choices.2008

At the Café de la Prix. (short story) Radio NZ, 2008

KĀPIA New Zealand Kauri Gum,  Jadepress, Auckland, 2008.

Cecil Woods – Speeding at 13kph. Learning Media Choices.2005

Butter Trap. School Journal Pt2. Learning Media, (short story). 2003

Eucalypts: Trees of the Future, NZ Geographic, NZ Geographic Ltd. Auckland,.2002.

Sounds All Around, Learning Media (reader for USA). 2002

Bicycles Then, Bicycles Now, Learning Media (reader for USA) 2002.

Slumber Party. Learning Media (reader for USA). 2002

Please Mom!. Learning Media (reader for USA).2002

River Crossing. Reed Publishing, 2001.

Whangarei Hospital: A Century of Service 1901-2001. Northland Health. 2001

The Hay Party, in NZ Short Short Stories: The Collection, Tandom, 2001.



Finalist in NZ Post Children’s Book Awards 2011 – Shadow of the Boyd

LIANZA Esther Glen Medal 2011 – Shadow of the Boyd.