Born and raised on Auckland’s North Shore, Sarah Ell is a journalist and writer of fiction and non-fiction, whose books often have a maritime theme. She has worked as a journalist and a sub-editor for the Auckland Star, Boating New Zealand, Trends and The New Zealand Herald, and as a commissioning editor for publishers Random House. Ell has written three novels for young readers, and in 2003 was shortlisted for the LIANZA Esther Glen Medal. She has also written the historical survey There She Blows: Sealing and Whaling in New Zealand.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ell, Sarah (1970 –) is a journalist and novelist.
Ell was born, raised and has always lived on Auckland’s North Shore. Professionally she has worked as a journalist and a sub-editor for such varied publications as the Auckland Star, Boating New Zealand, Trends, and The New Zealand Herald.
Ell writes junior fiction and non-fiction, including the historical survey There She Blows: Sealing and Whaling in New Zealand (1985), Shoot the Breeze: How to Speak Yachtie (2007), A New Zealand Christmas (2008), and Sirocco the Rock Star Kakapo (2011).
Her novels for young readers include Fired Up (1998), Dinghy Sailing (2001), and When the War Came Home (2002).
When the War Came Home (2002) was shortlisted for the 2003 LIANZA Esther Glen Medal, and was included in the 2003 Storylines Notable Senior Fiction Books list.
Talking to Adam (Scholastic) was published in 2005, and was listed as a 2006 Storylines Notable Young Adult Fiction Book.
Sarah Ell collaborated with Mark Inglis to tell his story in High-Tech Legs on Everest (Random House), which was nominated in the non-fiction category for the New Zealand Post Book Awards for Children and Young Adults. The work was also listed as a 2009 Storylines Notable Non-Fiction Book.
Sirocco the Rock Star Kakapo (Random House) was listed as a Storylines Notable Non-Fiction Book in 2013.
Ell was the NZSA-Auckland Museum Grant and Residency Recipient in 2019.
Her latest two publications are the historical survey Ocean: Tales of Discovery and Encounter that Defined New Zealand (Penguin, 2018) and YA non-fiction title Lost Wonders: Vanished Creatures of Aotearoa (Allen & Unwin, 2020).
With more than two decades' experience in book and magazine publishing, she currently works as a freelance writer, editor and editorial consultant.
WRITERS IN SCHOOLS INFORMATION
Ell is happy to speak to students aged 7 -18 years. Ell is willing to talk about being a writer and illustrator, a writer of teen fiction, adult fiction and non-fiction. She is willing to travel for school visits, and prefers to take 20-25 students per class, with a maximum of 40 students at one time.
Updated July 2022.