Stephanie Johnson MNZM is an accomplished writer whose works have spanned across a selection of genres over the past three decades including stage and radio, poetry, scriptwriting and novels. Her diverse work is marked by its mixture of irony, intelligence and compassion.
Stephanie is the 2016 recipient of both the Randell Cottage Residency, Wellington, and Alumna Merita Award, Diocesan School for Girls, Auckland. Playing for Both Sides (BWB, 2016) is a personal exploration of the Australia-New Zealand relationship. In 2016 Stephanie also edited Good Dog! New Zealand Writers on Dogs (Penguin Random House) an anthology of dog-related poetry, short fiction and creative nonfiction. Her most recent work is a biographical investigation entitled West Island: Five Twentieth-century New Zealanders in Australia (Otago UP, 2019).
In 1999 she was shortlisted for the Montana Book Awards for her novel, The Whistler. Her novel The Hearts Wild Surd was a great success in the UK. Australia and New Zealand. She has been awarded the Katherine Mansfield Fellowship in Menton, France (2000), made a Literary Fellow at Auckland University (2001), and was a recipient of the Bruce Mason Memorial Playwright’s Award (1985). Several of her novels have been longlisted for the Impac Awards in Dublin. She was also winner of the Dymocks/Quote Unquote Reader’s Poll, Best New Zealand Book for The Heart’s Wild Surf (1996). Her novel, Crimes of Neglect, was shortlisted for the Wattie Book Awards (1993).
With Peter Wells, Stephanie founded the highly successful Auckland Writers and Readers Festival in 1998. In addition, she has been guest speaker at various festivals, both in New Zealand and internationally, taught a broad range of writing classes and is involved in ongoing mentorship and manuscript assessments.
In 2019 was appointed a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit, for services to literature.