My name is Naomi and I live and write in Nelson, New Zealand. I’m coming up to my 10th anniversary as a journalist, having spent the past five years as a full-time freelancer and the five years before that at the Nelson Mail as a daily news reporter, columnist and feature writer.
I cover everything, but particularly love stories that place people at the centre of science, the environment, and outdoor adventure. I have reported from Thailand, South Korea, Japan, the US, Australia, the Vancouver Winter Olympics, and Antarctica, and still love to travel to write. I have had bylines in more than 40 publications including New Zealand Geographic, The Listener, North & South, Metro, The Spinoff, the New Zealand Herald, VetScript, Heritage New Zealand, Sunday, Canvas, Your Weekend, Pacific Standard, BBC Travel, The Magazine, Jetstar, Cathay Pacific's Discovery and Silkroad, Newsroom, Overland, 1972, SkySport, and Pro Photographer.
In the last few years I’ve also been working on books, and have written The World of WearableArt: 30 Designers Tell Their Stories (Potton & Burton, 2015), At Home With Hospice: 30 Years in Nelson Tasman (CopyPress, 2018), Southern Nights (HarperCollins, 2019) and edited Headlands: New Stories of Anxiety (Victoria University Press 2018). I have also had essays collected in two editions of Tell You What: Great New Zealand Non-fiction (Auckland University Press, 2015 and 2016).
In 2014 I founded Featured, a growing collection of New Zealand's best non-fiction, which ran for five years. Nikki Macdonald and Mike White operated it from 2016-2019, and together we collected a digital library of 500 stories. In mid-2016 The Spinoff and I created podcast The Get, interviewing writers and journalists about their best stories. I’ve also been on many writing and media panels at book festivals as a guest and chair, and was the 2017 Nelson Arts Festival Readers & Writers programme coordinator. I review books for Stuff and was a book reviewer for Radio New Zealand’s Nine to Noon programme for two years.
I enjoy working with the World of WearableArt, writing stories for their show programmes and blogs, and have another very enjoyable side gig working with international photography mentor Christina Force, writing bios for top professional photographers including Virginia Woolf, Francesco Bittichesu, Hannah Caldwell, James Braund, Lilli Waters, and Zoe Wetherall.
I have a first-class honours degree in English literature from the University of Otago and a post-graduate diploma in journalism from the University of Canterbury. I am a nine-time finalist for New Zealand media awards, including winning Lifestyle Feature Writer of the Year and Regional Newspaper Feature Writer of the Year. In 2013 I won the Mayborn Literary Nonfiction personal essay prize, and am also the grateful recipient of several writing grants, including third-equal runner-up for the 2018 Surrey Hotel Steve Braunias Memorial Writers Residency In Association With The Spinoff Award.
I’d love to hear from you about how I can help your publication or project - please get in touch.