Our Master of Creative Writing programme gave Rachel O'Connor the tools she needed to publish her novel.

Rachel O’Connor

Key facts

Career: Novelist
Programme: Master of Creative Writing
Subject: Creative Writing

"I returned to New Zealand after three decades overseas hoping to find a place where I could write, and to think and talk about writing with people who understand why I need and wish to. I was privileged to find that place in the Master of Creative Writing at the University of Auckland.

"I completed my MCW in 2015, writing my first full-length novel, and graduating with First Class Honours.

"The programme's concentrated and unvarnished focus on the craft of writing, the discipline of workshops and deadlines, and the powerful sense of creative community amongst my writing colleagues provided me with the tools I needed to successfully meet the demands of the course.

"While completing my MCW and in the year that followed, I tutored undergraduate creative writing students at the University of Auckland, which proved an intensely valuable experience. The role allowed me to consolidate the insights and techniques I had developed in my own study, and to share in the creative process with a wonderfully diverse group of inventive and aspirational students.

"My novel, set in the cosmopolitan city of Salonika between 1912 and 1917, has now been selected for publication by Kedros Publishing — a major Greek publishing house — and is being translated into Greek by an award-winning literary translator.

"I'm currently working on my second novel, and undertaking further postgraduate study in preparation for a PhD.

"From here on, I plan to be writing, and learning, a lot more."