Edwards, Denis

Edwards, Denis

Information

residence
Bay of Plenty
Primary publisher
Penguin Books NZ, Scholastic NZ
Rights enquiries
denisj@xtra.co.nz

In Brief

Denis Edwards is a fiction writer and children’s author whose working-class Catholic roots are the subject of his popular memoir Miramar Dog. He is also an award-winning sports journalist, and his books for children have a sports focus. Killer Moves, centred on rugby, was shortlisted for the 1999 New Zealand Post Children's Book Awards. Edwards has also published short stories, a radio drama, and was familiar to many as the columnist ‘Sir Launchalot’ in the literary magazine Quote Unquote. Edwards is available to visit schools as part of our Writers in Schools programme, as well as lead Professional Development sessions for teachers.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Edwards, Denis ( – ) is a journalist, playwright, fiction writer and children’s author, whose working class Catholic roots are the subject of his popular memoir Miramar Dog (1998).

Edwards was born in Wellington and raised in what he describes as the ‘Catholic ghetto’ of the Wellington suburb of Miramar. He has lived in Australia, the United States and Asia, working as an ambulance paramedic, a police officer, a journalist and an advertising copywriter. ‘I came to writing late,’ he says. ‘I think this is the way to do it; live a wonderfully full life and then ease writing into it.’

Vows: Nuns and Priests Speak Out (1997) collects the ‘confessions’ of New Zealand Catholic nuns and priests, giving an insight into their cloistered lives.

Miramar Dog is Edwards' account of growing up in 1950s Mirimar, described as a cross between Belfast and a Quentin Tarantino movie. TimeOut describes the memoir — which is part fact, part fiction — as ‘Carl Hiassen meets Frank McCourt in a sleepy Wellington suburb.’

Connor is Free (1999) is a thriller where 'the action is fast and furious,' writes The Dominion. It ‘takes us through Auckland like a hot chilli ... fans of the genre will love its New Zealand flavor.’

Edwards is an award-winning sports journalist, and his books for children have a sports focus. Killer Moves (1998) is centred on rugby: ‘[A]nother fast-paced story. Appealing and wacky too,’ writes The Evening Post. The book was shortlisted for the 1999 New Zealand Post Childrens Book Awards.

Rebound (1999) is a young adults’ novel. When Jimmys basketball team breaks up he gets the idea for an indoor netball team - but the rules are very different and the girls are not helpful. It explores dynamics of families and friends, placing basketball as its subject.

Edwards has published short stories, a radio drama, and numerous feature articles, and was familiar to many as the columnist ‘Sir Launchalot’ in the now defunct Quote Unquote literary magazine.

‘Every time I sit down to write anything, be it journalism, ads, drama or books,’ writes Edwards, ‘I have just one target ... to make whatever it is interesting, informative and as often as not, fun to read.’

Edwards is also a prolific writer for film and television, and has written for popular New Zealand soap opera Shortland Street. In 2002 his work Angelo’s Song was shortlisted at the New Zealand Sundance Competition.

Edwards' novel Miramar Morning (Penguin Books, 2005) is based on true events. This thrilling novel takes the reader into a hidden and forbidden world. David Hill, in the New Zealand Listener, writes that it ‘... has all the energy, irreverence and imminent anarchy that [Edwards] fans will recognise and revere’.

Edwards regularly reviews television for the New Zealand Herald.

In 2008, his play The Cleansing Fire placed second in the Manawatu (International) One-Act Playwriting Competition. Edwards also won the NZ History category for his play Love Among the Murderers Or How Two Good People Came To Abandon The Life Of The Spuds in the Playwrights Association of New Zealand playwriting competition.

In 2010 Denis Edwards wrote a three part series for children titled Jake the Swimmer (Clean Slate Press). The series was edited by Joy Cowley, and it centres upon the adventures of aspiring swimmer Jake, and the challenges he faces.

Denis Edwards film script The Golfer’s Cross was shortlisted for the New Zealand Writers Guild Final Draft Short Film Script Competition in 2010.

In 2013 his film script Dave’s Tour was shortlisted for the New Zealand Film Commission’s Unproduced Feature Film Script Competition.

Last updated May, 2015.

WRITERS IN SCHOOLS INFORMATION

Edwards is able to visit schools both within and beyond his region. He is happy to talk to all ages and in particular primary school students. He is happy to discuss anything to do with writing, including life as a writer; and how to write stories. He is available to run workshops by prior arrangement, as well as lead Professional Development sessions for teachers.

MEDIA LINKS AND CLIPS

Updated January 2017.