Sarah Laing

ANZL Member

Sarah Laing is a fiction writer and graphic artist who writes, designs and illustrates books. The author of a graphic memoir, two novels, and a collection of short stories, she has also illustrated children’s books and designed and edited an anthology of Aotearoa/NZ women’s comics.

Her literary career was launched after winning the Sunday Star Times short story competition (2006). Her first short story collection was published the following year to critical acclaim. ‘Sarah Laing is our next great short-story writer…Sarah Laing is a real talent’, wrote Siobhan Harvey in The Press. Sarah completed her debut novel Dead People’s Music at the Michael King Writers Centre, as a Writer-in-Residence.  Jolisa Gracewood described it as a novel ‘brimming with narrative pleasures’. In 2010, Sarah was selected to be a Fellow at the Sargeson Centre alongside Sonja Yelich and it was there she began her popular blog, Let Me Be Frank, chronicling her writing and parenting life in comics. This led to regular columns in Metro and Little Treasures, a series of comic books published by Pikitia Press, and her decision to make her 2013 novel The Fall of Light part prose, part illustration. Sarah Dunn of The Nelson Mail wrote: ‘The Fall of Light offers a fresh new perspective on life as a New Zealander through irresistible characters. I loved it’.

Sarah was the University of Auckland / Michael King Writers’ Centre Fellow (2013), and there she worked on her graphic memoir, Mansfield and Me. Grappling with Mansfield’s legacy as New Zealand’s finest short story writer, she examined her own desire to be a ‘real writer’ in lush watercolour illustrations. This was launched in 2016 by Victoria University Press, in time for Mansfield’s 128th birthday. Mansfield and Me was longlisted in the illustrated non fiction category of the 2017 Ockham Awards.

Recently Sarah released a new book Let Me Be Frank (Victoria UP, 2019) which is a collection of her blog comics, thematically selected, and includes one hundred pages of previously unpublished material.

 

Links

Sarah Laing’s website and blog

Twitter:@sarahelaing

Read NZ Te Pou Muramura writer page

Random House Books NZ author page

Reviews of Sarah Laing’s work

Radio New Zealand interview by Kim Hill (1 Oct, 2016)

Bibliography: Sarah Laing

 

Fiction

The Curioseum (children’s stories [illustrator/designer]: Te Papa Press, 2014)

The Fall of Light (Vintage, 2013)

Dead People’s Music (Vintage, 2009)

Coming Up Roses (Short stories: Vintage, 2007)

 

Creative Nonfiction

Mansfield and Me: A Graphic Memoir (Victoria UP, 2016)

 

Journals

Let Me Be Frank (Issues 1-5, Pikitia Press, 2013-2014)

 

Anthologies

Macaroni Moon (children’s poetry [illustrator/designer]: Random House, 2010)

 

Editor

Three Words: An Anthology of Aotearoa/New Zealand Women  (co-editor: Comics Beatnik, 2016)

‘Inspiration is the name for a privileged kind of listening.’ - John Howard

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