Meet Our Committee

New Zealand Committee Members

Meet Our Committee

Heather Haylock — Co-Regional Advisor (Co-RA)

Heather is an author of fiction and non-fiction books; picture books and levelled readers for the education market. She writes in both rhyme and prose. Some of her books have been awarded Storylines Notable Book Awards and one was a finalist in the Best Picture Book category of the New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young People. Two of my manuscripts have been used as the texts for the Storylines Gavin Bishop Award for new and unpublished illustrators.

Gillian Torckler — Co-Regional Advisor (Co-RA)

Gillian is the author of 21 books: 3 picture books and 18 non-fiction books (11 children’s titles and 7 for the general non-fiction market). Her picture book My Name is Henry Fanshaw (Bateman Books) was shortlisted for the Crystal Kite Award and received a Storylines Notable Book Award. As well as writing, she is a medical professor at the University of Otago. Gillian has been a SCBWI member for 20 years and served as assistant regional co-ordinator for Australia-East, which included New Zealand.

Deborah Hinde — Co-Illustrator Coordinator (Co-IC)

Deb has been in the graphic design industry for over 40 years, first as a paste up artist and then later as an illustrator freelancing for a range of clients that included advertising agencies, print houses, publishers and manufacturers. While working with publishing companies for many years providing line art and educational artwork, it wasn’t until 2002 that she illustrated her first picture book A Kiwi Night Before Christmas (Scholastic NZ, published 2003). Since then she has illustrated another 40 or so books. In 2016 she published her first authored and illustrated book Hare, under the imprint PictureBook Publishing. She now runs a small independent publishing business based in the Waikato producing quality books that she has written and illustrated as well as other author’s work. Deb loves to create worlds and characters that children can relate to and has been a member of SCWBI for 10 years.

Lisa Allen — Co-Illustrator Coordinator (Co-IC)

Lisa has illustrated 25 books (23 of them for children), since 2007. Two of her books received Storylines Notable Book awards in 2022. Another received this award in 2021. She has worked for a wide variety of publishers in both New Zealand and Australia and has editions published in 8 countries. Her first two books remain on the NSW and Queensland Premiers reading lists in Australia. Lisa has been a member of SCWBI for several years. She currently works as a children’s librarian in addition to illustrating picture books.

Sherryl Clark — PAL Coordinator

Sherryl Clark has been a SCBWI member for over 20 years, and has published more than 70 books for children and YA. Her books have won awards in Australia, and have been published overseas in the USA, UK, China, Spain and Mexico. She has taught writing and editing for over 30 years and now works as a freelance writer and editor. Her most recent title, Mina and the Whole Wide World, has won the Australian Prime Minister’s Literary Awards in 2022. She moved back to New Zealand in 2022.

Linda Jane Keegan — Membership & Technology

Linda Jane is a picture book author and the lead editor for NZ children’s literature website The Sapling. She is a part-time library assistant and part-time academic research assistant. Linda Jane has previously been an assistant camp director, environmental educator, and reporter. She is Singaporean-Pākehā (NZ European), queer, and lives in the South Island with her partner, child, and seven chickens. Linda Jane’s first book, Things in the Sea are Touching Me!, was a finalist in the 2019 NZ Book Awards for Children and Young Adults, and a Storylines Notable Book in 2020. Her second picture book, Kororā and the Sushi Shop was released through Scholastic NZ in July 2022, and she has a third upcoming with Bateman Books in 2023.

Frances Plumpton — Publisher Liaison

Frances has been an active member of SCBWI since she first joined in 2006, advocating for New Zealand members as Australia East/NZ ARA until 2019. She has served as assistant regional co-ordinator for Australia-East, which included New Zealand. After a 40 year career as a children’s librarian in public libraries across west Auckland, she became a literary agent, establishing my own agency in 2012. In 2022 she self-published her debut picture book, TIDE’S OUT Tai Timu, in November 2022, which is gathering some very favourable book reviews already. SCBWI NZ 2023: Mentor.

Emily Walker — Advertising

Emily is an Illustrator who has been twice shortlisted for the Storylines Gavin Bishop Award for Illustration (2017 and 2019) and in 2019. She was also a finalist in the Margaret Mahy Illustration Award with Hatchette NZ. In 2020 Emily illustrated her first commissioned book, a young chapter book, written by James Norcliffe: Mallory, Mallory: The Revenge of the Tooth Fairy (Penguin Random House NZ) which was followed by Mallory, Mallory: Trick or Treat. In 2020 she illustrated a picture book: Daddy Monster ABC written by Diane Neild.

Lisa Dunlop — Social Media

Lisa has been an active member of SCBWI and has served as assistant regional co-ordinator for Australia-East, which included New Zealand. Lisa is an adventurous traveller and explorer who has experienced many unique places and these inspire her stories. She grew up in the high desert of the Rocky Mountains in New Mexico, but has also lived by a river in Idaho, an alligator-infested swamp in Florida, on the rugged California coast and Texas. She has travelled widely, including Africa, Europe and the Pacific Islands, but now lives near the beach in New Zealand. She has worked in libraries, museums and in the scuba diving industry and assists at her local school helping children learn to read and write their own stories.