Writer & Tutor

Welcome to my Writing World

I like writing about the extraordinary in ordinary daily life; recording everything as though through fresh eyes. I write in many different genres including biography, fiction, poetry, magazine columns, gardening books, TV scripts, and children's books.

I now nurture beginning writers to achieve their best work and then help them to place their work with a publisher.  In the past two years several of my students have won prestigious awards that have included publication with international publishers. Many have become published authors. All have learnt how to proudly place their thoughts on paper.  

For all details about manuscript assessment and online courses please visit www.gowritenow.nz

For a complete list of my publications please download this pdf.

Lifestyle Books
co-authored with Virginia Pawsey

After thirty years of growing up I met Virginia Pawsey at a Gisborne Girls’ High School reunion and we promised to write to each other describing our different lives; hers as a hill country farmer in North Canterbury and mine as an inner city office worker.  Our common bond was our love of gardening and food.  We kept our promise and our emails led to four popular books and a regular column in NZ House and Garden magazine. These exchanges on common life events, like motherhood, family, love and loss, work-life balance, the meaning of life, and of course food and gardens, resonate with both city and rural people.
Grandparents Talk
Frank and honest interviews with a great variety of grandparents that celebrate the unique bond between them and their grandchildren.

Read about the varied and often heroic role grandparents play in today’s family: the heartache of long-distance grandparenting, the sacrifices some people make to keep their grandkids safe and well, the sports coaching, the school pick up, the concerns about the future.

Grandparents have lives rich with other achievements and obligations as well. Somehow they fit it all in.
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Common Ground
This bestselling book is the result of a year of exchanging emails. “A classic in the canon of writing about gardening and about lives lived thoughtfully with a sharp edge of humour.”
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Changing Lives
The story of the upheaval Virginia and I both faced when our separate lives changed dramatically and unexpectedly, and how it affected us both personally and philosophically.
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Common Table
Letters tracing a seasonal journey through our very different kitchens. Compare my preparing inner city snacks with Virginia’s feeding hungry shearers.
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Common Lives
The best of Common Ground and Common Table is brought together in Common Lives. Beautiful photographs of our gardens make this a coffee table presentation book. “These letters are funny, poignant, clever and perceptive, as two wise women provide a delightful insight into a wonderful friendship.”
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Books for Children

Below is a sampling of my many books for children. I love the enthusiasm, humour, and energy of children and try to reflect that in both my writing style and content. There is nothing more satisfying than hearing a child giggling over a story you have written or seeing a child engrossed by the drama unfolding on the page. For a complete list of my publications, please download this pdf.
Thor’s Tale
2007 winner of the Junior Fiction category of the N Z Post Book Awards.

A fictionalised account of the lives of two boys on a whaling station on the island of South Georgia in the sub Antarctic who encounter Shackleton when he returns there on his heroic rescue mission in 1914.

NZ Post Book Award judges report: “The writing is simple but poetic, whether describing ugliness or beauty. It’s writing that can at times lift the reader on an imaginative flight as it describes how the dreams of youth can transcend a harsh environment.”
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Taking Off
This powerful, moving novel for teens, full of interesting characters, and information about flying and birds, builds to a dramatic climax that will make it hard for readers to put the book down.
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Monster is a boy who creates havoc wherever he goes. After four popular books about him, here is one bumper book packed full of Monster trouble to delight children.
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Chute Thru
An astronaut’s re-entry module splashes into the sea beside Arlo who becomes the astronaut’s personal trainer. Arlo is hoping for fame and fortune. It doesn’t turn out that way.
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Bute View
This sequel to Chute Thru can be read as a stand-alone story. The idea with both these books is that children can giggle at the craziness but also think about the serious themes beneath.
New Zealand Books: “Science fiction as a genre for younger readers is given a new injection of life in this novel.”
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Winner of Aim Book Awards Book of the Year and the Esther Glenn Medal 1996. A novel for teens featuring Ellie, William, and a Falcon car.
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Hope’s Rainbow
Hope’s family has recently moved to the city. She has no friends, has to look after her little brother, worries about her older brother and her mother who watches TV all day.
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Letters to Lesley, Brain Drain, and Kissing Fish
Three popular humorous novels about family life seen through the eyes of young Henry Jollifer are available in English, Spanish and Italian.
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Soldier in the Yellow Socks
Shortlisted for the Non Fiction category of the NZ Post Book Awards 2007

An illustrated, fast-paced biography of Charles Upham, a World War II soldier who twice won the Victoria Cross. Suitable for years 6 – 10.
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Yates Young Gardener
This best seller shows how children can learn to be part of the extraordinary life of the garden, and enjoy eating some of the produce they grow.

NZ Herald: “Janice has a wonderfully playful attitude to language and learning.”
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Get Your Hands Dirty
Full of facts and ideas for activities you can do in the garden: for example making shrunken heads, a butterfly feeding jar, fungus gardens.
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Gardening for Kids
Learn to grow tomatoes, carrots, strawberries. Grow your name on a pumpkin, and a cucumber in a bottle. Make a living teepee. This book includes jokes, games, puzzles and experiments.
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About Me

After years spent writing fiction, plays, memoir, gardening books and newspaper columns, I became a grandmother, a very involved grandmother. Now life is a discontinuous narrative. Time for writing is unpredictable and starts with clearing clutter off the dining room table. Increasingly I spend my non-family time teaching others what I have learnt about writing and the publishing industry. And in my own writing life I have turned to poetry to express my new self. I think of the poems as small wild animals I have captured for a few moments in my hands and then released. To read them, please visit my poetry blog  www.janicemarriott.wordpress.com

I continue to write for children, and write a monthly magazine column in NZ House and Garden. My new project, due to be published in 2016, is a series of interviews for David Bateman Ltd, examining the role of grandparents in our diverse and busy society.

Contact Me

I live in Auckland, New Zealand

To book speaking engagements or for more information, contact Janice:
phone  021807400
email janice.marriott16@gmail.com

To find out about online courses and manuscript assessments,
contact the team at Go Write Now:
email  janice@gowritenow.nz