Our 18th writer-in-residence, Maria is a published writer of stories for adults and children. Born in Wellington and of Cook Islands descent, her stories offer a Pacific perspective that she hopes Pasifika audiences can relate to and all people can enjoy. Her adult stories have appeared in literary journals adda, Sport, Takahe, and Turbine, and have been read on National Radio. Her children’s stories have appeared in the School Journal and been translated into five Pacific languages and read on National Radio. She has published a collection of stories for children.
In 2019, her story ‘Bluey’ was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers Short Story Prize. In 2020, a second story was longlisted.
She has been awarded residencies at the University Bookshop in association with the Robert Lord Cottage in Dunedin and at the Michael King Writers Centre in Auckland, where she will work on her first novel for adults. The novel follows the lives of four generations of women from the same matriarchal line.
Maria has a MA in creative writing from the International Institute of Modern Letters.