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McMillan, Frankie
Writer's File

Frankie McMillan

Canterbury - Waitaha
McMillan, Frankie
In brief
Frankie McMillan is an award winning poet and short story writer living in Christchurch. She is the author of The Bag Lady’s Picnic and other stories, Dressing for the Cannibals and There are No Horses in Heaven. Her latest book, My Mother and the Hungarians, and Other Small Fictions (Canterbury University Press) was published in 2016. Her poems have been selected for numerous New Zealand poetry and short story anthologies. She currently teaches at the Hagley Writers’ Institute in Christchurch.


McMillan, Frankie (1950 - ) is an award winning short story writer and poet.

Born and raised in Christchurch, McMillan studied at Victoria University of Wellington, where she completed an MA in creative writing at the International Institute of Modern Letters.

McMillan’s first book of stories The Bag Lady’s Picnic and Other Stories was published in 2001 by Shoal Bay Press. Lindsay Botham wrote in The Listener, 'Acute observations, coupled with achingly clear insight, are the hallmarks of this dazzling collection of short stories.' In the Weekend Herald, Penelope Bieder wrote, 'This writing and these stories announce the arrival of a strong new voice on the New Zealand literary scene.'

In 2009, McMillan featured in Essential NZ Short Stories (Vintage), edited by Owen Marshall.

Her poetry appears in the anthology, The Unbelievable Lightness of Eggs (Hallard, 2006), a collection featuring the work of six New Zealand poets. Her first collection of poetry, Dressing for the Cannibals (Sudden Valley Press), was published in 2009. This was followed by a second poetry collection. There are No Horses in Heaven published by Canterbury University in March 2015.

In 2005, Frankie was awarded the New Todd Bursary. Her work was selected for tthe 2008 and 2009 publications of Best New Zealand Fiction Anthologies (Vintage) and the 2013 and 2015 publications of Best New Zealand Poems (online, Victoria University). She won the 2009 New Zealand Poetry Society International Poetry Competition, and received the 2014 Ursula Bethell Writing Residency at Canterbury University.

McMillan was the winner of the 2013 and 2015 New Zealand Flash Fiction Competition. At the 2016 14th International Short Story Conference in Shanghai, she presented a paper on Flash Fiction in New Zealand.

Her latest book, My Mother and the Hungarians, and Other Small Fictions (Canterbury University Press) was published in 2016. McMillan was selected for the 2017 Residency at the Michael King Writers' Centre, alongside Anna Jackson, Whiti Hereaka and Anthony Byrt; and My Mother and the Hungarians was longlisted for the 2017 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards.

Last Updated November 2016