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McDonald, R. W. R.
Writer's File

R. W. R. McDonald

McDonald, R. W. R.
In brief
R. W. R. McDonald is a New Zealander living in Melbourne, Australia, with an education in both business and writing. In 2019 his first novel The Nancys, a story about an amateur detective’s club, was met with acclaim.
  • Primary publisher
    Allen & Unwin
  • Rights enquiries
  • Publicity enquiries

McDONALD, R.W.R (Rob) was born in Balclutha, NZ and now resides in Melbourne, Australia. He grew up on an Owaka farm and attended Otago Boys High School as a boarder from 1985-1989. He has since received multiple qualifications including one in Journalism at Southland Polytechnic, Invercargill (1998), a Masters of Business Administration (Executive) with Distinction at RMIT University, Australia (2015) and he also attended Faber Writing Academy (2016). He has been all over the world, having lived in Queenstown, Christchurch, Wellington, Auckland, London, Invercargill, Dublin, and now Melbourne.

Describing himself as a “Jack of all trades”, McDonald has held various roles in international education since 2006. His other focus is his writing, and in 2019, he published his debut novel The Nancys with Allen & Unwin. The novel follows Tippy Chan, her Uncle Pike, and his boyfriend Devon. After Tippy’s teacher is murdered in their small town over the summer, Tippy, Pike, and Devon form an amateur detective’s club to solve the case. A review by Craig Sisterson reads: “Delightful, charming, heartfelt, exuberant; they’re not usually the words that come top of mind when musing on a crime novel, but they absolutely fit for The Nancys”.

The Nancys was well received by both the public and the literary world, receiving multiple awards and nominations. In 2017, the novel received a Highly Commended in the Victorian Premier’s Unpublished Manuscript Award and, in 2019, was listed by Auckland Libraries as one of the Top 10 Voices in their Top 100 list. 2020 saw the novel shortlisted for the Ned Kelly Awards Best First Novel, and it then won the award of the same name in the Ngaio Marsh Awards 2020 in which the novel was also a finalist for Best Crime Novel.

Nancy Business, the sequel to The Nancys, was published 2021, and is longlisted for Ngaio Marsh Awards Best Crime Novel.







GoodReads link

RNZ Book review

Craig Sisterson review

Otago Daily Times review

Review on Newstalk ZB with Jack Tame