Headlands EXTRACTS, press, festivals, and other bits and pieces


Regional News, Wellington (October 2018). By Annabella Gamboni

“Headlands effectively illustrates exactly how slippery and individual mental illness can be, but at the same time, creates a lovely, warm space in which similar experiences are held… an extremely important entry into New Zealand’s non-fictional canon.”

Nine to Noon, Radio New Zealand (October 2018). By Charlotte Graham-McLay. (Here’s the transcript as a PDF).

“I think it’s really valuable in a couple of ways. One is for people who have anxiety to perhaps see themselves reflected back in a story that they haven’t [seen] in the media or pop culture before. I think it’s also a really valuable book for anyone who knows someone, or who is related to someone who has anxiety or who they think might have anxiety, which is literally everyone… I think it’s really interesting to have the veil drawn aside and to see what people’s experiences of living with this are actually like.”

‘Give me back my anxiety chair!’ Writehanded (November 2018). By contributor Sarah Wilson.

“Working my way through the impressive and throat-gripping essays in new anxiety anthology Headlands, I’m struck by two things. How unique each story is – and how each one is the same. So many of us battle with mental illness, and so many of us do it in the dark. The darkness of stigma, the darkness of denial, the darkness of silencing and isolating. Whether we do those things to ourselves or have them done to us, the result in the same. It’s cold down here. Headlands doesn’t thrust us into the light – but it does open the curtains, just a little. We can see out, and others can see in. I imagine us – the writers, pulling back, blinking warily. Then, when the warmth starts to seep in, in the form of all the people I have seen saying “oh, my god, same” – we can creep a bit further forward, the sun catching our fingers, pulsing in our hands.”

Sarah talks about what Headlands means to her on her blog, Writehanded.

The Reader - Booksellers New Zealand Blog (November 2018). By Anne Kerslake Hendricks

“This excellent book makes it clear that many people with anxiety learn to live well … Headlands is a powerful and comprehensive contribution to the New Zealand literature on mental health and wellbeing. Contributors write bravely and brilliantly about what it’s like to live with anxiety ... If you are living with anxiety – or questioning whether you are – or if someone you know or care about has an anxiety-related disorder and you want to know how you might support and help them, Headlands offers ideas, insights and hope.”


Ashleigh Young’s essay (The Cut)

The Cut, July 2018

Ashleigh’s piece, Ghost Knife, appears on New York Media’s The Cut.

Danyl Mclauchlan’s essay (Radio New Zealand)

Short Story Club, Jesse Mulligan 1-4pm, Radio New Zealand, September 13, 2018

Danyl’s piece, Arise and Pass Away, was discussed on Jesse’s Short Story Club segment. Listen at the link below.

Michelle Langstone’s essay (North & South)

Michelle’s piece, In a Scorched Room, appeared In the November 2018 issue of North & South. Michelle was also interviewed for the Australian Women’s Weekly about her work, the book, and her writing.

Aimie Cronin’s essay (Canvas)

An extract from Aimie’s essay, The Beginning, appeared in the New Zealand Herald’s Canvas magazine.

Holly Walker’s essay (Stuff)

An extract from Holly’s piece, Mrs Housewife, appeared on Stuff and in the Taranaki Herald, Marlborough Express, Nelson Mail, Dominion Post, The Press, and the Waikato Times.

Paula Harris’ essay (The Spinoff)

An extract from Paula’s essay, Side Effects, featured on The Spinoff’s Monday Extract slot. (Please be aware the essay contains references to suicidal ideation, which may be difficult for some readers).

Bonnie Etherington’s essay (Vice)

Bonnie’s piece, Naming, appeared on Vice in November.

Stories and interviews

Wild Tomato interview

An interview with Naomi for Wild Tomato the month Headlands was released.

Story on Nelson Mail and Stuff

Indyanna Davidson wrote this story on Headlands ahead of the Mind Matters panel session at Page & Blackmore Readers and Writers (Nelson Arts Festival).

North & South

Beck Eleven interviewed Naomi on how the book came together.

Litcrawl Blog

A Q&A with LitCrawl about how it’s okay to not be okay.


Discussing Danyl’s piece

Short Story Club, Jesse Mulligan 1-4pm, Radio New Zealand, September 13, 2018

Listen to Jesse Mulligan and Headlands contributor Kirsten McDougall talk about Arise and Pass Away, an essay by Danyl Mclauchlan.

With Jesse again

Radio New Zealand, 1-4pm, October 10, 2018

Naomi chats to Jesse about the making of the book.

upcoming festivals & events

At Hamilton Gardens Arts Festival, Indian Char Bargh Garden, Saturday March 2, 5pm. Tickets $15 + bf.

In 2017, one in five New Zealanders sought help for a diagnosed mood or anxiety disorder. Headlands: New Stories of Anxiety tells the real, messy story behind these statistics – what anxiety feels like, what causes it, what helps and what doesn’t. Join editor Naomi Arnold, and essayists Aimee Cronin and Michelle Langstone, as they discuss the book.

Further dates to be announced.

past Festivals & Events

At Unity Books, Wellington

Lunchtime launch, 12pm-12.45pm, October 18, 2018. Free.

At Page & Blackmore Readers and Writers, Nelson Arts Festival

Mind Matters, 3.30pm, Sunday, October 21, 2018 ($16)

Almost half of all New Zealanders will experience some form of mental illness during their lives. How can we prevent illness and help those who are unwell? Editor Naomi Arnold and contributor Danyl Mclauchlan (Headlands: New Stories of Anxiety) will be joined by Green Party MP and mental health advocate Chlöe Swarbrick, to explore what enables recovery, how families can support their loved ones and what changes are needed in our society and culture to enhance wellbeing. Chaired by Liz Price.

At LitCrawl

Anxiety Understood, 2.30pm, Saturday, November 10, 2018, Te Auaha Cinema, Wellington ($15/$20)

Anxiety, a word on the lips and minds of so many modern humans ... and in increasing numbers. A collection of writers have contributed to Headlands: New Stories of Anxiety, a compilation of raw and honest accounts of the anxiety experience. The editor, Naomi Arnold sits down with contributing writers Riki Gooch, Danyl Mclachlan, Kirsten McDougall and Anthony Byrt to hear about how anxiety inhabits their lives.

In Your Head, 6pm, Saturday, November 10, 2018. BATS, Wellington (Free)

Journalist Sarah Lang leads a discussion about our states of mind. Joined by authors Isa Pearl Ritchie, Emma Neale and Naomi Arnold, they grapple with the intricacies of writing about mental health.