Anna Taylor is a fiction writer. Her writing has been published widely in literary journals and anthologies, and her first collection of short stories, Relief, was published by Victoria University Press in 2009. Relief won the 2010 NZSA Hubert Church Best First Book Award for Fiction. Anna Taylor was winner of the 2006 Adam Prize in Creative Writing for the manuscript she completed for an MA in Creative Writing from the International Institute of Modern Letters, and she was also the recipient of the 2009 Todd Writers Bursary.
Place of residence: Wellington
Taylor, Anna (1982 –) is a fiction writer and a creative writing tutor. She completed an MA in Creative Writing at the International Institute of Modern Letters in 2006, and she received the Adam Prize in Creative writing for her manuscript. Her writing has been published widely in literary journals and anthologies including Sport, Turbine, and The Penguin Book of New Zealand Short Stories (2009). She has also written for American school journals through Learning Media.
Prior to 2009 she published under the name Anna Horsley, after which she took her mother’s surname, Taylor. That year she received the Todd Writers Bursary, and her first collection of short stories, Relief, was published by Victoria University Press. Carole Beu commented in ‘Speaking Volumes’ on Radio New Zealand National, ‘Dark, sometimes menacing, often funny, this is an extraordinary collection of stories. They are beautifully understated, yet deeply layered, and the weather is a wonderful character in many of them.’
Relief features many characters whose emotional insights and observations are tempered by direct experiences of physical phenomena. The weather, the terrain, the confines of a house refine the psychological impact of the stories and reveal the interconnected nature of experience, memory, and the incidents of the everyday. Reviewer Paula Green elaborated in Canvas, ‘Ice, snow and wind go hand in hand with death, intimacy, adultery and devotion…Taylor can write surprising ways forward from the most difficult subjects.’ Sarah Jane Barnett added in Off the Press, ‘The stories let the reader empathize with the worries of her characters through every puff, wheeze and arm swing. Comic at times, uneasy yet tender, Relief is an accomplished addition to New Zealand fiction.’
Relief won the 2010 NZSA Hubert Church Best First Book Award for Fiction.
Anna Taylor was one of two recipients of the 2012 Buddle Findlay Sargeson Fellowship.