Dr Paula Jane Kiri Morris

BA (Auckland), MA (Victoria), MFA (Iowa), D. Phil (York)

Profile Image
Associate Professor


Paula Morris (Ngati Wai) is a novelist and short story writer. Her novel Rangatira (Penguin, 2011) won the fiction categories at the 2012 New Zealand Post Book Awards and Nga Kupu Ora Maori Book Awards. She also writes YA novels, published by Scholastic in the US, and nonfiction, including On Coming Home (Bridget Williams Books, 2015).

Paula’s short stories have been widely published in journals, magazines and anthologies. Radio versions have been broadcast in both New Zealand and the US. Her first short story collection, Forbidden Cities (2008), was a regional finalist in the 2009 Commonwealth Prize. She’s also the editor of The Penguin Book of Contemporary New Zealand Short Stories (2008). Her story "False River" was shortlisted for the 2015 Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award (UK), and appeared in the story and essay collection False River published by Penguin in November 2017.

She is a mentor in the Te Papa Tupu Māori writing incubator and the NZSA mentor programme, and has served as a judge in the Pikihuia Māori Literature Awards and the Sunday Star-Times Short Story Competition. In 2018 she is the Pacific Region judge for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize.

A graduate of the University of Auckland, Paula holds degrees from two creative writing programmes – an MA from Victoria University in Wellington, and an MFA from the Iowa Writers Workshop – as well as a D.Phil from the University of York. She has been awarded numerous residencies and fellowships, including stays at Bellagio (the Rockefeller Foundation) in Italy; Passa Porta in Brussels; the International Writers' and Translators House in Ventspils, Latvia; and Brecht's House in Denmark. She has appeared at festivals in Europe, the US, China, the UK and New Zealand.

Paula has taught creative writing at the University of Iowa, Tulane University in New Orleans, the University of Stirling and the University of Sheffield, as well as at festivals, schools, museums, conferences and writing centres around the world. She is the founder of the Academy of New Zealand Literature (www.anzliterature.com) and the University of Auckland's online literary journal The Three Lamps (www.thethreelamps.com).

Research | Current

  • Creative writing

Teaching | Current

CREWRIT 797AB Master of Creative Writing

ENGLISH 344 Writing Creative Prose


Postgraduate adviser, Master of Creative Writing

Areas of expertise

Creative writing.

Committees/Professional groups/Services

New Zealand Book Awards Trust

Māori Literature Trust

Michael King Writers Centre

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Morris, P. (2017). Greys Ave: What central Auckland's oldest thoroughfare tells us about our city. Metro, Sept/Oct 2017 (413), 90-94. Related URL.
  • Morris, P. J. (2017). Book of the week: an essay by Paula Morris on race and literature. https://thespinoff.co.nz/books/27-07-2017/book-of-the-week-an-essay-by-paula-morris-on-race-and-literature/. Related URL.
  • Morris, P. J. (2017). Literature in a Decile One School. https://thespinoff.co.nz/books/18-05-2017/literature-in-a-decile-one-school-paula-morris-goes-to-otahuhu/. Related URL.
  • Morris, P. J. (2017). Making noise for Māori writers. https://www.newsroom.co.nz/@future-learning/2017/05/10/26115/making-noise-for-more-maori-writers. Related URL.
  • Morris, P. (2017). Play school:Teaching creative writing. In O'Connor P, C. Rozas Gomez (Eds.) Playing with possibilities (pp. 9-15). Newcastle upon Tyne, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing. Related URL.
  • Morris, P. J. (2017). False River. Auckland, New Zealand: Penguin Random House. Pages: 240. Related URL.
  • Morris, P. J. (2016). Isn't It? (Short story). In C. Hanson, G. Kimber, T. Martin (Eds.) Katherine Mansfield and Psychology (pp. 127-135). Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. Related URL.
  • Morris, P. J. (2016). Against thinking. In O'Connor P (Ed.) The Possibilities of Creativity (pp. 171-176). Cambridge Scholars Publishing.


Contact details

Primary office location

Level 6, Room 623
New Zealand

Social links

Web links