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Dr Anita Heiss – one of the NZSA National Writers Forum 2018 Keynote speakers

Dr Anita Heiss, one of Australia’s best-known authors of indigenous literature is visiting Auckland from 21-23 September as a keynote speaker at the 2018 National Writers Forum. Organised by the New Zealand Society of Authors, this conference is the only national conference for writers from across the profession.

Dr Heiss, who is an author, poet, satirist and social commentator and proud member of the Wiradjuri nation of central New South Wales will provide a keynote address, teach a workshop on writing memoir and talk about nurturing indigenous literature with Ngati Wai author Paula Morris.

‘For the 2018 NWF we were really keen to celebrate the writers from our part of the world. We’re delighted to have Dr Anita Heiss join our forum which promises to delve deeply into how to make a successful career as a writer from craft to publishing, publicity, tax and adapting writing for a variety of media. Dr Heiss has spoken out about the rights of indigenous voice, on aspects of craft for fiction and poetry through to advocating for improving literacy in children, in response to the problem of our declining literacy rates,’ says Jenny Nagle, CEO of the NZSA, who are organising the Forum.

Dr Heiss’ extensive oeuvre of work traverses non-fiction, historical fiction, commercial women’s fiction, poetry and social commentary. She has written for children, young people and adults and has a real passion to create stories that engage indigenous readers and which broaden the current dearth of literature written by and for indigenous writers.

We’re really excited to have Anita visit New Zealand,’ says Programme Manger, Kirsten Le Harivel, ‘She’s a real inspiration in the way she has carved out a successful career writing about the topics that concern her. I think New Zealand writers will take a lot of inspiration from her positive, proactive approach. She’s also got a great sense of humour!’

Dr Heiss is a full time writer with a PhD in Communication and Media. She manages the Epic Good Foundation and is a Lifetime Ambassador of the Indigenous Literacy Foundation.

Further info on Dr Heiss:

Here are some links to her talking about declining literacy with children

Her career to date:

Her 2015 Human Rights Oration

She will be joined by fellow Australian John Marsden, Samoan writer Lani Wendt Young and local writers from across the country. Tickets are on sale now via iTicket with discounts offered for NZSA Members.

For more information, to establish interviews or for images please contact Kirsten Le Harivel at or Jenny Nagle at

Photo credit Amanda James

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