Storylines Children’s Literature Charitable Trust of New Zealand | Te Whare Waituhi Tamariki o Aotearoa


Sue Copsey

Sue Copsey grew up in England, in the town of Rugby. After several years working in London Zoo’s press office, she became a senior editor at Dorling Kindersley Children’s Books. For several years she also wrote a regular wildlife column for the UK national children’s newspaper The Early Times.

Since moving to New Zealand in 1995, Sue has worked as a freelance editor and writer. She has produced more than 50 New Zealand school books and children’s books, including Our Children Aotearoa (2011), which was a Storylines Notable Book. In 2012; her junior fiction novel The Ghosts of Young Nick’s Head was published – the first in a series of spooky adventure stories set in historic New Zealand locations. The second, The Ghosts of Tarawera, was published in 2015 and was listed as a Best Book for Christmas by The New Zealand Herald.

Sue is also an internationally published author of adult fiction, under her pseudonym Olivia Hayfield. Her novels Wife After Wife and Sister to Sister (Penguin US, Hachette UK/Aus/NZ), modern retellings of historical tales, were bestsellers in New Zealand.

Sue is one of the FABO team of children’s writers who run writing competitions for New Zealand schools. She is part of the Read NZ Writers in Schools programme and has participated in the South Auckland Schools programme.

Sue lives in Auckland with her husband and has two grown-up children.


Selected bibliography:

  • The Ghosts of Moonlight Creek, Treehouse Books, 2016
  • The Ghosts of Tarawera (Treehouse Books 2015)
  • The Ghosts of Young Nick’s Head (Treehouse Books 2012)
  • Our Children Aotearoa (Pearson 2011)
  • The Ghosts of Young Nick’s Head (Treehouse Books 2012)
  • The Ghosts of Young Nick’s Head (Pear Jam Books 2011)
  • Children Just Like Me, co-authored with Barnabas and Anabel Kindersley (Dorling Kindersley 1995)
  • Dorling Kindersley Illustrated Factopedia (1994) (contributor)
  • Meet Bumble the Bee; Bumble’s Missing Drink; Bumble Camps Out (with TVNZ) (Random House


  • The Times Educational Supplement Best Non-fiction Children’s Book 1995 for Children Just Like Me
  • Blue Peter (BBC) Best Non-fiction Children’s Book 1995 for Children Just Like Me
  • Readers Digest Best Non-fiction Children’s Book 1995 for Children Just Like Me
  • Storylines Notable Book Non-fiction Award 2012 for Our Children Aotearoa
  • Storylines Notable Book Junior Fiction Award 2016 for The Ghosts of Tarawera

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