Maggie Rainey-Smith

ANZL Member

Maggie Rainey-Smith is a novelist, poet, short story writer, essayist and book reviewer. She has published work in journals and anthologies including Landfall, Sport, NZ Listener, The 4th Floor Literary Journal, New Zealand Books, Radio New Zealand and Essential New Zealand Poems. In 2013, she was joint runner-up for the Landfall essay prize.

Her first novel About Turns, (Random House, 2005), was the first New Zealand novel to be made a ‘Guaranteed Great Read’. Reviewing About Turns, Kimberly Bartlett in the Herald on Sunday wrote: ‘Rainey-Smith frees herself from the constraints of a great deal of women’s fiction by steering away from romantic love. Instead, she explores themes of friendship, infidelity, literature and class in New Zealand’.

About Turbulence, her second novel (Random House, 2007), John McCrystal, on Radio NZ, Nine to Noon, stated that ‘a book that is written from the male perspective by a woman… it takes balls.  She makes generalisations about what it is to be a man that should really be insulting but they’re too accurate to really take issue with’.

Of her third novel Daughters of Messene, (Makaro Press, 2015) Graham Beattie wrote it is ‘a totally enchanting, new, New Zealand novel – don’t miss this one’, while a review in the Listener said, ‘Daughters of Messene is a deftly written, moving exploration of female bonds, courage and loss’.

Maggie currently works for MCLaSS teaching ESOL Workplace English to migrants and refugees, and spent three months in Siem Reap as a volunteer teacher. She has served as Chair of NZSA Wellington, and on the Randell Cottage Committee. She is a current committee member of the Wellington Writers Walk.

The latest publication of Daughters of Messene, was translated into Greek in 2019.



Visit Maggie’s website

Read Maggie’s blog

Maggie on Twitter and Facebook

Read NZ Te Pou Muramura writer page

New Zealand Society of Authors writer page

Random House author page

Mākaro Press author page

Landfall review of Daughters of Messene (May, 2016)

NZ Listener review of Daughters of Messene (Dec, 2015)

Bibliography: Maggie Rainey-Smith



Daughters of Messene (Makaro Press, 2015; Rosa Mira eBook, Greek trans. 2019)

Turbulence (Random House, 2007; and eBook)

About Turns (Random House, 2005; and eBook)



‘Polite Footprints’, Headland (Short story: January, 2015)

‘Ngawhatu’, 4th Floor Journal (Poem: 2015)

‘The Death Ride’, The Typewriter (Poem: 2014)

‘Shop until you drop’, National Flash Fiction (Highly Commended & Regional winner: National Flash Fiction competition, 2014)

‘Lonely Planet’, Flash Frontier: Heroes (Short fiction: November, 2014)

‘Who is Left’, Landfall 227: Vital Signs (Joint runner-up: Landfall Essay Competition, 2014)

‘Cross Country’, National Flash Fiction (Short fiction: 2013)

‘Life of a working girl’, The Typewriter (Poem: Volume IV, 2012)

‘Quite an Assistant’, 4th Floor Literary Journal (Poem: 2011)

‘Love in the Fifties’, 4th Floor Literary Journal (Poem: 2010)

‘Mother-in-law to newborn granddaughter’, 4th Floor Literary Journal (Poem: 2009)

‘The Write Stuff’, Herald on Sunday (Essay: 15 June, 2008; Bookman Beattie’s Blog)

‘Turkey for Christmas’, NZ Listener (Travel essay: January 2007)

‘Menopause’, New Zealand Books (Poem: Volume 17, Issue 78, Winter 2007)

‘Looking for Curly – A daughter’s story’, NZ Listener (Travel essay: June 2006)

‘At Katherine’s Bay’, NZ Listener (Poem: April 2004)

‘My teeth and me’, Landfall (Short-listed essay: Landfall Essay Competition, 2004)

‘Saturday Night Shopping’, Sport 27 (Short story: Spring 2001)



‘Through the Belgian Glass’, Sweet As (Winner: Page & Blackmore short story competition, 2014)

‘The Dawn Parade’, Stories for Seven Year Olds (Children’s story: Random House, 2014)

‘At Katherine’s Bay’, Essential New Zealand Poems – Facing the Empty Page (Poem: Random House; Godwit, 2014)

‘After the Storm’, Te Ara online Encyclopaedia (Poem: Beachcombing, 2013)

‘After the Storm’, & ‘Eastbourne’, Eastbourne – an Anthology (Makaro Press, 2013)

‘At Katherine’s Bay’, Eastbourne – an Anthology (Poem: Makaro Press, 2013)

‘Showtime’, 30 New Zealand Stories for Children (Edited by Barbara Else: Penguin, 2011)

‘Let it Go’, Dunedin – the City in Literature (Short story: Exisle Publishing, 2003)

‘Let it Go’, Creative Juices (Short story: HarperCollins, 2002)



Eastbourne – an Anthology (Co-editor: Makaro Press, 2013)

'Does historical fiction allow an escape from reality or promote a confrontation with it?' - Thom Conroy

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