Carl Nixon

ANZL Member

Photo credit: Stephanie Nixon

Carl Nixon is a full-time writer of novels, plays, and short stories. His novels have been published in translation in Germany, France, Taiwan and China. Carl has won the NZ Sunday Star Times Short Story Award twice (1997 and 1999), Katherine Mansfield Literary Competition (first place 2007, second 1999), and been shortlisted for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize (2012). In 2012 he was also selected as part of the New Zealand contingent to attend the Frankfurt Book Fair when New Zealand was Guest of Honour. In 2017 Carl received the prestigious Katherine Mansfield Menton Fellowship.

His first book, Fish ‘n’ Chip Shop Song and Other Stories (Random House, 2006) went to number one on the New Zealand bestselling fiction list. He has published three novels since then, Rocking Horse Road (Random House, 2008), The Virgin and the Whale (Random House, 2013) and Settlers’ Creek (Random House, 2010). This last was hailed by acclaimed writer Witi Ihimaera as, ‘brave, bold and unflinching…one of the best novels to come out of New Zealand. It’s not only a gripping, brutal thriller but also a dissection of a country and its culture. It’s the kind of book that gets you run out of town.’

Carl’s plays have been performed in every professional theatre in New Zealand. They include both comedy and drama. His latest is, Matthew Mark, Luke and Joanne. Others are Kiwifruits, The Raft, The Birthday Boy, Crumpy, Two Fish ‘n’ a Scoop, and The War Artist. He adapted JM Coetzee’s novel Disgrace for the stage for Auckland Theatre Company. The NZ Herald said of Carl Nixon’s adaptation, that it ‘successfully distils the essence of this nuanced, multi-layered novel’.

In 2020 Carl published The Tally Stick (RHNZ Vintage), a compulsive and chilling novel about subjugation, survival and the meaning of family. The Tally Stick was awarded runner up for the 2021 New Zealand Society of Authors Heritage Prize for Fiction and shortlisted for the 2021 Ngaio Marsh Award.

Carl lives in Christchurch, New Zealand, and has a Masters in Religious Studies from the University of Canterbury.



Carl Nixon’s website

Read NZ Te Pou Muramura writer page

Penguin Random House author page

The Arts Foundation author page

Stuff interview discussing Menton, books and writing (Nov, 2017)

Extract from play ‘The War Artist’ (Centrepoint Production, 2014)

NZ Herald review for Virgin and a Whale (2013)

Carl reading at Once Upon a Deadline (2011)

New releases by Carl Nixon

The Tally Stick (novel)

Published by Penguin Random House on August 4, 2020

Bibliography: Carl Nixon



The Tally Stick (RHNZ Vintage, 2020)

Settlers’ Creek (Random House, NZ, 2010; Weidle Verlag, Germany, 2013; btb Verlag, 2016; Les editions de l’Aube, France, [to be published 2017])

Rocking Horse Road  (Random House NZ, 2007; Weidle Verlag, Germany, 2012; btb Verlag, 2014;  Crown Publishing, Taiwan and Hongkong, 2016; Les editions de l’Aube, France, [to be published late 2016])

The Virgin and the Whale (Random House, 2013; Weidle Verlag, Germany, published as Lucky Newman, 2014)

Fish ‘n’ Chip Shop Song and Other Stories (Short stories: Random House, 2006)



‘The Last Good Day of Autumn’ in The Best New Zealand Fiction 6 (ed. Paula Morris: Random House / Vintage, 2009)

‘My Beautiful Balloon’ in The Best New Zealand Fiction 5 (ed. Owen Marshall: Random House / Vintage, 2008)

‘The Portfolio’ in Second Violins (ed. Marco Sonzogni: Random House / Vintage, 2008)

‘My Beautiful Balloon’ in The New Zealand Book of the Beach 2 (ed. Graeme Lay: David Ling, 2008)

‘Family Life’ in The Best New Zealand Fiction 3 (ed. Fiona Kidman: Random House / Vintage, 2006)

‘Reading the Signs’ in The Best New Zealand Fiction 4 (ed. Fiona Farrell: Random House / Vintage, 2007)

‘My Father Running With a Dead Boy’ and ‘WEIGHT’ in Sunday 22 (Random House / Vintage, 2006)

‘Like Wallpaper’ in Like Wallpaper: NZ Short Stories for Teenagers (ed. Barbara Else: Random House, 2005)

‘My Father Running With a Dead Boy’ in Essential New Zealand Stories (ed. Owen Marshall: Random House / Vintage, 2002; New Edition 2009)

‘My Father Running With a Dead Boy’ in Author’s Choice (ed. Owen Marshall: Penguin, 2001)

‘Like Wallpaper’ in Boy’s Own Stories (ed. Graeme Lay: Tandem Press, 2000)

‘The Last Over’ in The Third Century (ed. Graeme Lay: Tandem Press, 1999)



'My readers turn up...and I meet them as human beings, not sales statistics on a royalty statement.' Fleur Adcock

Read more