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Dawson, Lindsey
Writer's File

Lindsey Dawson

Auckland - Tāmaki Makaurau
Dawson, Lindsey
In brief
Lindsey Dawson is a writer of fiction and non-fiction. She has also worked extensively as an editor, columnist and speaker. She has had a long career in journalism, and she was the founding editor of several high profile magazines, as well as being a long-running contributor. Dawson has published three novels, and a number of non-fiction titles.


Dawson, Lindsey (1945-) is a writer, speaker and editor.

Lindsey Dawson (nee Buddle) was born in Auckland. She began her career in journalism as a reporter for the Auckland Star and went on to work for the Western Leader before moving to radio. Dawson was a founding staff member of Radio Pacific where she worked as both a researcher and talkback host.

In 1980 Dawson returned to print journalism. She wrote features for Metro and later became founding editor of More, Next and Grace magazines. For two years from 2006, she edited a quarterly financial magazine, Plenty, and her freelance work has appeared in a wide range of publications, including The Spinoff, Life & Leisure, Citymix, Sunday, The Business Herald, Experience, Canvas, NZ Listener and Alive.

Dawson published an essay in My Father and Me (Tandem Press, 1992), and her short stories appeared in Bosom Buddies: Women's Stories about Friendship, Love and Life (Black Swan, 2003) and Home: New Short Short Stories by New Zealand Writers (Black Swan, 2005).

Dawson published her first novel, Angel Baby, in 1995 (Hodder & Stoughton UK). Writing about Angel Baby in Quote UnQuote, Kevin Ireland described the novel as one that 'hurtles along with light humour, bright invention and a bit or two of spider venom to a cliff-hanging finale. An engaging and entertaining first novel.' In the NZ Listener Margot Schwass wrote that the novel is full of ‘wickedly sardonic observations…and a surprisingly affecting tenderness.'

She went on to publish two books of non-fiction, The Next Book of Home Decorating for New Zealand (1995), and Pearls: Words of Wisdom from the Ocean of Life (2001).

Her second novel Lipstick in the Dust was published in 2003. Of Lipstick in the Dust, NZ Herald reviewer Susana Carryer writes, 'Simultaneously amusing and deeply moving, easy to read and thought-provoking, this novel should appeal to a wide variety of readers.'

Dawson's 2005 title, The Elemental You (Random House NZ, 2005), was a personality-analysis book aimed at helping people connect more closely to the four elements and to gain a better understanding of their own nature.

In 2006, she published Wise Up!: How to Be Fearless and Fulfilled in Midlife (Random House), a non-fiction book that encapsulated stories from 50 New Zealanders who talked to her about what they'd learnt in their own midlife years.

In 2007, she collaborated with photographer Trish Whillans in publishing The Answer: How Nature Can Help You When Life Seems Too Hard (Out Loud Press), of which San Francisco author Lauren Artress wrote, 'The fact that nature can heal is forgotten by many of us. Let this beautiful book serve as a portal to the natural beauty of our planet. It will restore and help you remember who you want to be.'

For three years she hosted a weekly TV show on books and ideas for Face TV.

Dawson’s third novel, Scarlet & Magenta (Out Loud Press) was published in 2016. Author Nicky Pellegrino said: “Lindsey Dawson has a gift for transporting the reader back in time. Witty and absorbing, filled with strong women and their secrets, this is a real treat for lovers of New Zealand historical fiction.”

Dawson has run many writing workshops in New Zealand, and in Fiji. She has been a member of judging panels for New Zealand Magazine Publishers Association awards and the Montana New Zealand Book Awards (2002). She was granted a Lifetime Achievement Award from the NZ Magazine Publishers Association.

Lindsey Dawson lives in Hobsonville Point, northwest Auckland.