The Writing Life: Twelve New Zealand Authors by Deborah Shepard

2019-03-30 10:00 - 14:00

NOHANZ Seminar and Workshop
Experiences and Opportunities in Oral History
Saturday 30 March, 10am-2pm (with lunch)
Waitemata Room, Auckland Central Library

Join us for our first NOHANZ Auckland regional event of 2019!
You will hear from Deborah Shepard, a biographer, oral historian and teacher of memoir, whose new book
The Writing Life (2018) features oral history interviews with twelve of New Zealand’s most acclaimed and
admired authors.
After the seminar, we will host a workshop on developing your oral history project and applying for
oral history grants including the New Zealand Oral History Awards.
The workshop will cover:
• Key tips on how to write a successful application
• Selling your project
• Budget advice and feasibility
It will be a great opportunity to workshop your ideas with fellow oral historians in a supportive environment.
We ask for a $5 koha towards catering.
Please RSVP to
The Writing Life: Twelve New Zealand Authors by Deborah Shepard
An account of the genesis of the book The Writing Life beginning with an oral history project for the NZ Society
of Authors, that was funded by an Award in Oral History in 2015, to record the stories of senior members of
the New Zealand literary community: Joy Cowley, Marilyn Duckworth, Tessa Duder, Chris Else, Patricia
Grace, David Hill, Witi Ihimaera, Fiona Kidman, Owen Marshall, Vincent O’Sullivan, Philip Temple and Albert
Wendt. Deborah will outline the process from oral history into book covering the research and preparation,
her questions and establishing trust, her use of the participatory model of oral history to craft
the verbatim transcripts into book chapters and she will reveal some of the surprises and discoveries she
made along the way about the challenges of the writing vocation from twelve of our most experienced and
brilliant practitioners. Deborah’s presentation will be illustrated with sound excerpts from each of the twelve
Deborah Shepard is an Auckland biographer, oral historian and teacher of memoir, journalling and biography
through Public Programmes at the University of Auckland. Her recent book The Writing Life: Twelve New
Zealand Authors was based on oral history interviews with twelve of New Zealand’s most acclaimed and
loved elder authors. Other major books drawing on Deborah’s oral history interviews include: Reframing
Women: A history of New Zealand film (2000) Between the Lives: Partners in Art (2005) and Her Life’s Work:
Conversations with five New Zealand Women (2009

Related upcoming events

  • 2020-10-10 08:45 - 2020-11-07 16:30

    Due to the ongoing uncertainties associated with the Covid-19 pandemic, the  course below is postponed until sometime in 2021.  Please contact the Oral History Advisor for more information:



    Alexander Turnbull Library Outreach Services offer workshops for people considering using oral history in their work, community or personal projects. Our training is based on the principles enshrined in the National Oral History Association of New Zealand (NOHANZ)’s Code of Ethical and Technical Practice, and international archival standards.
    The Christchurch workshops will be taught by Helen Frizzell, oral historian, and Lynette Shum, Oral History Advisor, and will be held at Tūranga, Christchurch City Libraries, 60 Cathedral Square, ChristchurchAll equipment is provided and all participants receive comprehensive guides and resources and a certificate of attendance.

    For further information including registration, other workshops or funding, please contact:
    Outreach Services
    Ph 04 462 3935

    Oral history is a record of information gathered in oral form, usually by electronic means, as a result of a planned interview. The purpose of oral history is to
    create a spoken record where none exists or to supplement existing records for future researchers.

    Outreach Services
    Heritage Advice Coordinator
    04 462 3935
    Oral History Advisor
    04 462 3977
    Oral History Advisor, Māori
    04 462 3976
    The Alexander Turnbull Library is part of
    the Department of Internal Affairs

  • 2020-11-20 - 2020-11-22 All day

    Stout Research Centre for New Zealand Studies and the National Oral History Association of New Zealand (NOHANZ)

    Te Kete Kōrero-a-Waha o Te Motu

    Te Herenga Waka Victoria University of Wellington
    20-22 November 2020

    Please see attached Call for Papers for further information.

    Call for Papers

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