Gooch, Holly

Gooch, Holly



In Brief

Holly Gooch is a poet, storyteller, picture book author and playwright. She has performed her writing in a range of settings, and teaches creative writing to young people. Gooch has written several books for early readers that form part of the 'Word Detective' series by Gilt Edge Publishing, including Market Music and The Real Mrs Hooper. She has received awards for her writing and she is available for Writers in Schools visits.


Holly Gooch is a playwright. She is particularly interested in writing plays for young people. Determined to provide children with performance experiences which are inclusive, relevant and meaningful she has written three plays for whole-of-primary-school production with roles for up to 400 children. One of these plays, Space Circus, won the 3-8 year old Playmarket Plays for the Young competition in 2013 and her play The Purple Sea was shortlisted the following year. Her plays for adults include The Wellington Weather Lover's Playlist which was performed on Freyberg Beach as part of the 2018 Wellington Fringe Festival and the short play The Wedding which was shortlisted for the Sydney and Auckland Short and Sweet Play Festivals in 2017. She also writes plays for youth.

Teacher is also a title Holly has held and she has a particular interest in gifted education and learning support. She has taught preschoolers at the Wellington Gifted Education Centre, and has coordinated the learning support and gifted education programmes in a school where she worked closely with many students in Years 7-13, as well as some primary school aged children. As a secondary school subject teacher she has taught English, Drama, Psychology and Theory of Knowledge (critical thinking), and is as passionate about Science and Maths as she is about the Arts. She has also taught many creative writing and thinking workshops in schools, libraries and as part of school holiday programmes.

Holly has been recognised in competitions for her lyrics, poetry and short stories, and is the author of a published play, collection of short stories for 11 and 12 year olds, and three school readers. She has been a finalist in the Wellington Raw Meat stand up comedy competition, and has been a professional storyteller including touring around libraries as part of school holiday programmes.

Holly has experience producing, directing, and stage managing plays and as a youth was part of the Young and Hungry programme which illustrated to her the value theatre productions can have for under-25s. She has worked at Playmarket where she got to read lots of plays.

Workshops or presentations with Holly will definitely involve participation and will probably also involve a bit of a lesson in psychology and the brain. They will be especially inspiring to those who are irrepressibly creative but exciting and engaging for all.

Holly Gooch was Highly Commended in the AUT NZ Creative Writing Competition 2009-2010 in the Song Lyric Category. Her poem ‘Café creatures’ was selected as one of the winning poems in the Eat Your Words café poetry competition in 2010, judged by award-winning New Zealand poet Jenny Bornholdt.


Updated January 2017.