> Skip to content
Barbara Else
Photo Credit: Caroline Davies

Barbara Else

Book for an event

Barbara Else is an acclaimed writer and editor whose writing is distinguished by its acerbic wit and sharp observation and is often concerned with ‘bringing women out of the shadows’. In a career spanning three decades, she has written plays, short stories, novels for adults, children’s novels and a non-fiction work, and has edited collections of stories for children. She has held a number of fellowships and residencies: the Victoria University of Wellington’s Writer’s Fellowship 1999; the Creative New Zealand Scholarship in Letters 2004 and the University of Otago College of Education/Creative New Zealand Children’s Writer in Residence 2016. She was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2005. Through her work as a literary agent and assessor, she has discovered and mentored a number of emerging New Zealand writers, many of whom are now award-winning writers in their own right, and she was instrumental in setting up the New Zealand Association of Literary Agents and New Zealand Association of Manuscript Assessors. She has won multiple awards in New Zealand for her children’s books, including Storylines Notable Book Awards, Honour Awards and the Esther Glen Medal, and has been internationally recognised at Bologna with a White Raven. In 2016 Barbara received the Storylines Margaret Mahy Medal in recognition of her services to children’s literature.

Awards & recognition

New Zealand Order of Merit

Awarded  •  2005  •  for services to literature

Storylines Margaret Mahy Medal

Awarded  •  2016  •  for services to children's literature