Millen, Julia

Millen, Julia


Primary publisher
The Cuba Press

In Brief

Julia Millen is a writer, historian and biographer. She has published a collection of short stories, and many others have appeared in journals. Millen has produced a range of books on social history, from the Royal New Zealand Corps of Transport to the Kirkcaldie and Stains department store. She is known for her literary biography of novelist Ronald Hugh Morrieson, and has written for television and radio, particularly for the Concert programme. In 2020, her memoir Fair Weather Hitchhiker was published by The Cuba Press.


Millen, Julia (–) is a fiction writer, historian and biographer whose works include a biography of novelist Ronald Hugh Morrieson.

In the Oxford Companion to New Zealand Literature Patrick Evans writes that Millen's Ronald Hugh Morrieson: A Biography (1996) 'emphasises the strange creativity that arose from the contradictions between his matriarchal home life and his rebelliously dissolute night-time activities.'

Her numerous and diverse works of social history include histories of the Royal New Zealand Corps of Transport, Kirkcaldie and Stains department store, and the Wellington branch of the Vintage Car Club of New Zealand.

A writer for radio and television, including a stint with the Concert Programme, Millen has compiled, written and presented a series of histories of New Zealand and Australian musicians and composers. Continuing her interest in things musical, she has been a libretto writer for two New Zealand operas, 'Hypatia' and 'The Golden Salamander.'

Millen has also published a collection of short stories, Panama Hats and Pony Tails (1987), and her short stories and articles have appeared in journals including Landfall, NZ Listener, NZ Law Journal, and in four volumes of The Dictionary of New Zealand Biography.

Julia Millen's titles are: Colonial Tears and Sweat (1984); Dilemma of Dementia: a Daughter's Story (1985); The Third Quarter: The New Zealand Society of Accountants 1960 - 1985 (1985); MsCellany: Women writer's prose and poetry (ed. Julia Millen and Joy Tonks) (1987); The Story of Bell Gully Buddle Weir (1990); Wellington's Motoring Spirit (1993); Salute to Service (1997); Ronald Hugh Morrieson (1996); Panama Hats and Pony Tails (1987); Over the Top with the Best of Luck (1992); Brave Little Girls Don't Cry (1992); Glaxo (1997); Breaking Barriers: IHC's first 50 years (1999); Through Trackless Bush (2000), Kirkcaldie & Stains (2000), and Guthrie Wilson, Soldier, Writer, Educator (2006), First Edition Publishers.

From 2011 to 2020 Julia Millen was a Director of Writes Hill Press, Wellington.

Fair Weather Trampers was published in 2011 by Writes Hill Press and features sketches by Barbara O'Reilly.

North to the Apricots was published in 2012 by Writes Hill Press and charts the escape stories of Sergeant Bruce Crowley DCM, a New Zealand prisoner of war in Greece and Germany, 1941-1943.

In 2020, Millen's memoir Fair Weather Hitchhiker was published by The Cuba Press. Recounting the author's tramping, skiing and overseas adventures, the book also records her five weeks in Antarctica in 1970 as the first woman to work at an inland base and the death of her father on a family holiday in London.

Three books (Dilemma of Dementia, Over the Top with the Best of Luck, Ronald Hugh Morrieson) not generally available, can be purchased from Julia by e-mail or letter.


Fair Weather Hitchhiker at The Cuba Press
Interview on RNZ Nights programme
Millen's reviews for NZ Review of Books

Updated January 2017.