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Cotter, Sacha
Writer's File

Sacha Cotter

Wellington - Te Whanganui-a-Tara
Cotter, Sacha
In brief
Sacha Cotter is an award-winning children’s writer based in Te Whanganui-a-Tara Wellington. As one half of creative team Cotter & Morgan, she’s written four bestselling books in both English and Te Reo Māori, published by Huia. As well as holding a BA and Graduate Diploma in Teaching and Learning, Sacha has trained in screenwriting, and she writes for children’s television.
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Cotter, Sacha (1981 - ) is best known for her children’s writing for both page and screen. She has worked as a teacher in both Aotearoa and Spain, a library assistant, and more recently, a public servant. Cotter holds a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from Massey University and a Graduate Diploma in Learning and Teaching from Canterbury University, and has also completed the Writing for Children workshop and the masterclass in Television Script Writing at the International Institute of Modern Letters at Te Herenga Waka Victoria University of Wellington.

Together with partner Josh Morgan (Te Aitanga-a-Māhaki, Rongowhakaata), Sacha has published four books with independent Māori publishers Huia. The two work as writer-illustrator-designer team Cotter & Morgan, with The Spinoff books editor Claire Mabey commenting that “in the vast universe of picture books their stories shine ultra bright.”

Their first book, Keys (Huia, 2014), was a finalist in the picture book category and the Māori edition Ngā Kī was winner of the Te Kura Pounamu award of the New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults 2015. Ngā Kī also won Te Tohu Taurapa Award in the LIANZA Children’s Book Awards 2015 and was selected for the IBBY Honour List for Outstanding Translation in 2016.

The Marble Maker / Te Kaihanga Māpere, in which a child dreams of creating a brand new marble, was published in 2016. It won the Te Kura Pounamu Award for Te Reo Māori at the NZ Book Awards for Children and Young Adults in 2017.

In 2019 Cotter & Morgan published The Bomb / Te Pohū, later published as Cannonball in the United States. The Bomb received the Picture Book Award, Margaret Mahy Book of the Year award, and was a finalist in the Russell Clark Award for Illustration at the NZ Book Awards for Children and Young Adults in 2019. It also won the Scholastic NZ Award for Best Picture Book and was a finalist for the HarperCollins Award for Best Cover in the PANZ Book Design Awards 2019, and won a Storylines Notable Book Award. Cannonball was placed on the United States Board on Books for Young People (USSBY) Outstanding International Books List (OIB) 2021.

Convenor of judges for the NZ Book Awards for Children and Young Adults, Crissi Blair, noted that “joy and humour permeate the story and illustrations of The Bomb, and the reader is rewarded with each encounter – they see a new layer, another detail is revealed, fresh energy bubbles up.”

Cotter has several poems published in Roar Squeak Purr: A New Zealand Treasury of Animal Poems (Penguin Random House, 2022) edited by Paula Green. The same year, she published One Bird Band (Little Steps Publishing), which was made for the television show The Book Hungry Bears in 2019.

In 2023, Cotter & Morgan published Dazzlehands / Ringakōreko to critical acclaim: the book was described by Paula Green for Poetry Box as ‘utterly glorious'. It won a Storylines Notable Book Award in 2023, and NZ Booklovers Award for Best Children’s Picture Book 2024.

Sacha’s screenwriting credits include ‘The Kiddets’ and ‘The Book Hungry Bears’, both animated shows produced by Pukeko Pictures. Her screenplay ‘Wasabi Peas’ was a semi-finalist in the Los Angeles Comedy Shorts Film Festival in 2013. Cotter & Morgan also formed part of the creative team who developed ‘Extreme Cake Sports’, a children’s show aired by TVNZ’s HeiHei.

April 2024
April 2024