Jillian Sullivan

ANZL Member

Jillian Sullivan lives in a small village on a high alpine plateau in Central Otago. Her books include creative non-fiction and poetry, a recently finished novel (long-listed for the Michael Gifkins Award) as well as essays and short stories. Of the book Fishing from the Boat Ramp, a Guide to Creating, Joy Cowley wrote: ‘I would call Fishing from the Boat Ramp a must for all writers, whatever their status. I’ve been writing professionally for nearly 50 years and was once Jillian’s mentor. With this book she had become my teacher.’ In 2014 the book was Highly Commended at the London Book Festival for a spiritual book.  Jillian was awarded a Master of Creative Writing, with Distinction, at Massey University in 2011 and teaches writing in New Zealand, in Philadelphia for Rosemont College (creative non-fiction), and in Pennsylvania for the Highlights Foundation. Once the drummer in a woman’s rock band, and now grandmother of eight, her passion is natural building. Her latest book is the memoir A Way Home. 

Awards include; Runner-up in the Sunday Star Times Short Story Award, 2002, the Kathleen Grattan Prize for a Sequence of Poems, 2011 (now the book Parallel); Outstanding Achievement in the Arts Award, Student City 2011 for a novel manuscript (beginning of Recognition); The Takahe Poetry Prize, 2016 (runner-up 2015). Winner of the New Zealand Society of Authors Beatson Fellowship, 2017 for a collection of essays, and the 2018 Juncture Memoir Contest in America.



Jillian’s website

Jillian on Twitter

Read NZ Te Pou Muramura writer page

NZ Society of Authors bio page

Juncture Notes interview ‘Contemplating the Art of the Essay’  (July, 2018)

Takahé online review of Parallel (2015)

Landfall review of Parallel: Poetry, what the body can and can’t do, by Siobhan Harvey (2015)

Bibliography: Jillian Sullivan


Parallel  (Steele Roberts, 2014)

Creative Nonfiction

A Way Home- building a new life and a strawbale house in Central Otago (memoir: Potton and Burton, 2016)
Fishing from the Boat Ramp a Guide to Creating  (Steele Roberts, 2009)


The Chattahoochee Review
North and South
Ka Mate Ka Ora


Warren Trust Architectural Writing Awards Collection (to be published 2018)
The Walls Between Us (Juncture Notes – to be published 2018)
Home (Massey University Press, 2017)
The Unexpected Greenness of Trees (Caselberg Press, 2016)
Plate in the Mirror (Printable Reality, 2016)
Boundaries (Penguin Random House, 2015)
We Society (Printable Reality, 2015)
Poems4Peace (Printable Reality, 2014)

'One of writing’s greatest magics is to allow us – to use Kiri Piahana-Wong’s phrase – to slide outside the trap of time.' - David Taylor

Read more