Our second writer-in-residence for the year, Shilo (Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Maniapoto) is an award-winning writer and journalist. The Pōrangi Boy is her first book and the winner of the Young Adult Fiction category at the NZ Book Awards for Children and Young Adults in 2021. She was a TV journalist for Marae and has written for Newsroom, NZ Herald, The Spinoff, The Pantograph Punch, The Guardian and North and South. She studied full immersion Te reo Māori in 2021 and wrote a regular column for Newsroom about her journey as well as co-hosted a podcast Back to Kura with Astley Nathan. Shilo is passionate about Māori and also speaks fluent Mandarin.
During her residency Shilo is working on a Young Adult fiction novel based in Tāmaki Makaurau that follows the lives of rangatahi Māori who struggle with racism, relationships, and identity. Along with these issues, this novel will explore topics of belonging, intergenerational trauma and cancel culture- all within a Te ao Māori context and based on real events that have and are currently happening in Aotearoa today.