Linda Hansen is a Tauranga-born author, now living in Titahi Bay. She has a Masters in Communications from Victoria University and spent 15 years teaching communications at tertiary level. Hansen has written for various magazines and journals, and won the Jack Lasenby Senior Award for Children’s Writing for her short story on homelessness, Socks. She has published four books, Food Legends of the World: Traditional Tales with Recipes of Today, An Unexpected Hero, Bad Oil and the Animals,The Fire Keeper’s Girls and The Dark Quest of Countess X – A Call to the World’s Youth. Her book, An Unexpected Hero, was the text chosen by teachers for Years 7-8 in NZreadaloud in both 2017 and 2019. She also works as a professional storyteller.
Linda Hansen (1944 - ) moved to Wellington as a teenager to take up a writing position in Radio New Zealand. From 1971-74 she worked in the Parliamentary Services Commission Research Unit(becomingDeputy Director) and again in 1988-1992. As a writer, she developed material for Volunteer Service Abroad, BNZ, ERO, Wellington High School CEC and others until 1997. Hansen studied communications at Victoria University, completing her Master’s Thesis on the use of online technology in NZ Tertiary Education. She then spent 15 years teaching Communications at different universities and polytechnics in the Wellington region.
To complement her growing involvement in live storytelling, in 2009 Hansen published Food Legends of the World: Traditional Tales with Recipes of Today with illustrator Bodhi Vincent, through The Dancing Lion Press. Since then, much of her writing has evolved alongside her professional storytelling. She was a prize winner in a Whitireia Open Poetry Competition and the runner up in a takahē magazine’s Cultural Studies Essay Competition. In 2012 she won the Jack Lasenby Senior Award for Children’s Writing for her short story on homelessness, Socks.
From 2009 to 2014, Hansen wrote for Global Focus Aotearoa’s magazine ‘Just Change: Critical Thinking on Global Issues’ and ‘The Vessel’, a magazine focusing on critical research into social and cultural issues. Between 2015 and 2017, she wrote for the Australian children’s journal ‘Historicool’.
In 2014, CreateBooks Publishing released her first chapter book, An Unexpected Hero. Young Matt Turner, bullied because of his stammer, learns about true courage through a growing understanding of New Zealand’s First World War pacifist Archie Baxter. An Unexpected Hero was the text chosen by teachers for Years 7-8 in NZreadaloud in both 2017 and 2019.
In 2016, Hansen’s YA book, Bad Oil and the Animals was published by Onepoto Press. A multicultural group of teenagers confronts deforestation and the loss of orangutan habitat along with New Zealand’s unwitting involvement in this catastrophe.
In 2018 Onepoto Press released her second YA book, The Fire Keeper’s Girls. Two rebel teenage girls, motivated by a mysterious network of real-life women, outwit their oppressors and move closer to their life goals. Brief biographies of celebrated women from 25 countries appear at the end of the novel.
In 2021, The Dark Quest of Countess X – A Call to the World’s Youth was launched with a writing competition in schools that attracted entries from all over the country. Young people were invited to respond to murals by trafficking survivors on her website. At the request of teachers, these remain as an additional Teachers’ Resource to those already provided there. In the book, teenagers around the world embark on a mysterious Quest to help confront a major human rights abuse and are themselves transformed.
As a storyteller, Linda takes her tales to schools and other places. These include an hour-long authentic saga called Peacemakers in these Islands, developed through research for her books and supported by government funding.
- Linda’s website
- Linda’s Storylines page
- Linda’s NZSA page
- Kapiti News article
- Author Linda Hansen Empowers Girls
Updated September 2019.