Chris Else has been described as one of our most versatile writers. Marked by his dry humour, his six novels and two short story collections range from satire, tragedy, murder mystery, love story and fairy tale through to philosophical explorations of place and existence. The New Zealand Listener described Chris as ‘a meticulous observer of people and places’. His work appears in multiple anthologies and journals. He has also written plays for stage and radio, and scripts for television.
Chris has been involved with NZSA(PEN) since 1978. He has been President (twice) and Vice President (twice) and is the 2018-2019 NZSA President of Honour. He has represented the society on the Montana/New Zealand Book Awards Management Committee, Creative New Zealand Reference Groups and the board of Copyright Licensing of which he was also chair. In addition he has served on the Copyright Tribunal, the Copyright Council and the New Zealand Book Council.
Chris was the Kings College Writer in Residence (2007), and recipient of the NZSA Peter & Dianne Beatson Fellowship (2003) and held the Autumn residency at the Micheal King Writers’ Centre (2012). He has worked as a primary school teacher, publisher’s rep, university lecturer, English language teacher, bookseller, computer programmer, publishing consultant, creative writing and technical writing teacher and information management consultant, and was associated with the avant garde poetry magazine Freed.
Since 1988 he has run the TFS Literary Agency and Manuscript Assessment service with his wife, author Barbara Else. Successful clients include Alan Duff, Emma Neale, Rachael Craw and Nigel Cox. With Barbara, Chris was instrumental in setting up both the New Zealand Association of Literary Agents and the New Zealand Association of Manuscript Assessors.