Donna Blaber writes and publishes fiction and non-fiction for children and adults. Her writing is greatly inspired by New Zealand nature and the great outdoors. She is an experienced journalist, magazine editor, copywriter, proofreader, travel editor and author. Her first book, New Zealand Driving Holidays, was commissioned in 2004 and since then she has produced over 40 titles, including Great Kiwi Road Trips, Piri’s Picnic, Bruce Goes Home and Sausage Sizzle. In 2013 she won Creative Northland’s Excellence in the Arts Business Award. When she is not writing she leads creative writing workshops for children. Donna Blaber is available for writer visits as part of the Writers in Schools programme.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Blaber, Donna (1970 - ) writes non-fiction and fiction for children and adults. She has worked as a magazine journalist, freelance feature writer and managing editor for three leading magazines. Born in Auckland, she travelled widely during her twenties, funding her travels through freelance writing and teaching English. Returning to New Zealand in 1995, she worked full-time and studied journalism extramurally through Massey University, graduating in 2001. In 2016 Blaber completed an MA in Creative Writing. Her research paper was entitled “Contemporary Themes for Modern Tweens”, and she wrote a novel The Rock as the thesis component, receiving First Class Honours for the manuscript.
Donna Blaber’s first book, New Zealand Driving Holidays (Deerace Publishing, 2005), was commissioned in 2004. Many non-fiction titles followed: Discover New Zealand (Hema Maps, 2006, 2010), Great Kiwi Road Trips (New Zealand Automobile Association, 2007), South Island Atlas & Guide (Hema Maps, 2007), North Island Atlas & Guide (Hema Maps, 2007), Berlitz Handbook to New Zealand (Berlitz Travel, 2011), New Zealand Outdoor Adventure Atlas (Hema Maps, 2012), Visions of the North Island (Lighthouse Media Group, 2012), Visions of Northland (Lighthouse Media Group, 2012), Visions of the Central North Island (Lighthouse Media Group, 2012) and Visions of the Lower North Island (Lighthouse Media Group 2012). Berlitz Handbook to New Zealand was translated into 14 languages.
She also co-authored the New Zealand Photo Atlas (Hema Maps, 2011) and the New Zealand Motorhome & Camping Atlas (Hema Maps, 2011). She regularly updates the Insight Guide to New Zealand (Insight Guides, 2006–2014), Step by Step Guide to New Zealand (Insight Guides, 2006–2012) and the Berlitz New Zealand Pocket Guide (Berlitz Travel, 2010–2013).
In 2012 she published her first children’s non-fiction title, Kiwi Kids Road Atlas (Hema Maps, 2012). It was followed by four fiction books, published by Lighthouse Media Group, in the Kiwi Critters series: Keri’s Party (2012), Piri’s Picnic (2012), Bruce Goes Home (2012) and Sausage Sizzle (2012). She won the Chamber of Commerce/Creative Northland’s Excellence in the Arts Business Award for the Kiwi Critter series in 2013.
Donna Blaber is widely published as a journalist in numerous publications, including Sunday Star Times, Her Business, New Zealand Woman’s Weekly and AA Directions. For four consecutive years, 2003–2006, her travel features about New Zealand made the finals of the Cathay Pacific Travel Media Awards.
Hide and Seek and Off to the Beach (Lighthouse Media Group) were both published in 2014. These are the fifth and sixth books in her Kiwi Critters series of early reader children’s picture books. In 2016, Rubbish (Lighthouse Media Group), the seventh book in the Kiwi Critters series, was published. Through the Kiwi Critters series, Blaber supports charities such as Little Sprouts, RAS Angels, and Kiwis for Kiwi.
Blaber's novels for junior and young adult readers are Just End It and Just Remember (2020), which explore concepts of friendship, bullying and nature. In a review for Booklovers, Chris Reed wrote: 'Just Remember is a story that will be loved on bookshelves around the nation bringing together a uniquely Kiwi feel with magic, wonder and beautiful story telling.'
Donna lives with her family on a small lifestyle block near Whangarei. When she is not writing she leads creative writing workshops for children.
MEDIA LINKS AND CLIPS
Updated April 2022.