Other Writing
Stories | Poems | Plays | Non-fiction | Newspaper & Magazine Articles

As well as writing books, I write stories and poems. I write material for educational publishers and for newspapers and magazines.
On this page, you can find out which of my stories and poems have been included in anthologies or recorded on CD.
You can read about why I like writing plays and what I've learnt while writing non fiction.


Some of my stories have been broadcast on National Radio. Others have been included on CDs or in anthologies like these ones.

Storytime Showtime! Random House
Book Day
Choose your favourite character from a book to dress up as. It sounds easy, but what if you have too many favourite characters?
Out of the Zone Out of the Zone Gilt Edge
Real people
"Scientific breakthroughs don't happen overnight," the headmaster said. "Be patient." His eyes glittered. "They are making pro­gress."
But exactly what is the Department of the Future up to?
Wellington City Libraries Whispers in the wind CD Wellington City Libraries Whispers in the wind CD
Stopping for Charlie
"Slow thinker, fast runner, that's me. But for once, thoughts seemed to tumble into my head quicker than ever before."
This story won the Jack Lasenby Award 2006.

I've written a lot of stories for the School Journal. Some of them have been recorded on CD or DVD. My first story for the Journal was called The day Michael made the news. Something exciting happens to a boy called Michael – he gets caught up in a robbery at the local dairy - but his family don't believe him until they see him on the TV news.

You can read it in The Puffin NZ story book and Funny stories for 6 year olds. Or look in your class or school library for School Journal Part 1 Number 3 1993.

The School Journal is published by Learning Media.

They publish lots of other series, too, like Ready to Read and First Stories

  • Pop Pop PopPop! Pop! Pop!
    Have you ever made popcorn?
  • Sun bears are specialSun bears are special
    Twin sun bears like Madu and Arataki are even more special.
  • Duckling palaceDuckling palace
    Who looks after ducklings if they lose their mother?
  • Scarecrows from spaceScarecrows from space
    How do you make a scarecrow?

These are a few of the stories I've written for another series called New Heights.

  • Old dog, new tricksOld dog, new tricks
    Is it really true that you're never too old to learn?
  • That's a good questionThat's a good question
    How did the Nonstop Fun Swimming Pool really get its name?
  • The most famous baseball playerThe most famous baseball player
    Guess who is starring in the town parade?
  • Alien invasionAlien invasion
    Alien tracking devices are picking up unusual signals from outer space. But the ants can't have anything to do with it – can they?


A good poem makes you think. It shows you a different way of looking at the world. You can find some of my poems in the School Journal and in these anthologies.


I like writing plays because they're fun to perform and you can mix up all sorts of characters, settings and situations. Pirates, aliens, superheroes, bank robbers, cooks, detectives, TV newsreaders, robots and even the richest girl in the world - you can find them all in my plays.

I've written a lot of plays for the School Journal and also for Readers' Theater

These are just a few of them:

  • A new lifeA new life
    What was it like sailing to Australia and New Zealand in the 1850s?
  • What's a platypus?What's a platypus?
    Is it an animal, a bird or a water creature?
  • Vaccies from LondonVaccies from London
    Imagine being sent away from home to live with people you didn't even know.
  • Bushfire!Bushfire!
    Would you know what to do if a bushfire threatened your house?
  • MatarikiMatariki
    How do you celebrate it?
  • On trackOn track
    Wilma Rudolph had polio, but she grew up to become an Olympic athlete.


  • The colossal squidThe colossal squid
  • Escape artist ClydeEscape artist Clyde

I enjoy writing non-fiction because you learn lots of fascinating stuff.

How big are a colossal squid's eyes? As big as dinner plates. Find out more about the colossal squid...

Where was Clyde the otter found when he escaped from Wellington Zoo? In the laundry of a house one kilometre away. Find out more about the otters at the zoo...

Did you know that the world first airmail service was by pigeon post between Auckland and Great Barrier Island? Did you know that there is a giant kiwi carved into an English hillside? I didn't, either, until I wrote Pigeon post and The Bulford Kiwi.

  • Welcome to the desertWelcome to the desert
    Do you know how animals find water in the desert?
  • Pigeon postPigeon post
    The world's first airmail postal service
  • The right spotThe right spot
    Where is the best place to hit a ball?

Newspaper & Magazine Articles

Here are some of the articles I've written for newspapers and magazines:

"A house full of books"in Kiwi parent April/May 2000

"Joy Cowley's tips on writing for children" in New Zealand author, October/November 2008

"I've got a little list" in Booknotes, Summer 2008

So many books, so little time. So many wonderful, amazing books. Still so little time. What to do about it? One option is to stick to the best, the proven... in other words, the classics!

One summer at the beach, someone produces the Observer's version of The 100 greatest novels of all time. It's a challenge. We all pore over the list, silently counting up.

To our joint chagrin, most of us have to admit that we can't even scrape past 40.

Read the full article online at the NZ Book Council website.

"We don't need bluebells" in The Dominion Post, 11 April 2009

People sometimes complain that New Zealand doesn't have seasons, but that's not altogether true. Wellington isn't famous for its bluebells, blossom or autumn colours, but there are still plenty of events to mark the passing of the year.

"Developing tastes" in The school library, issue 3 (2009)

Do you find it easy to choose a book to read? Read the full article online at the NZ Book Council website.

"School trips" in The Dominion Post, 21 November 2009

This is the time of year when you can't walk through town without bumping into some class on a school trip. End of term, end of year, they're everywhere, clogging up the pavements just when you're trying to dash through some early or late Christmas shopping.

But I can't complain, because I've been to many different parts of Wellington while accompanying class trips, and it's certainly a novel way of seeing things.