Stories


What will you read today? If you don't have time to read now, bookmark your favourite ones and check your Reading List later. If you are taking the bus, find our posters, scan and access a curated collection, part of Stories on the Go

Stories are copyrighted material and shared here with explicit authorisation from authors and/or publishers. Copyright in each work remains with the author.

Stories for For Adult Readers
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Abstract An eighteen-year-old alien moves to Dunedin to study. There she eats minerals, deconstructs, ingests poison, disintegrates, and ultimately, reassemb ...More

Fiction
Eileen Merriman

16 min read

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  The chin tattoo confirms the victim is Maori. The whorls of ink from her lower lip to her chin—the moko, is worn only by Maori women. So, her ethnic ...More

Mystery & Crime
Catherine Lea

13 min read

Published by Brakelight Press
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I had a sinking feeling in my stomach that January when I arrived in Dunedin. I stood in front of the dirty shallow porch of my flat and it wasn’t quite a ...More

History, Non Fiction, NZ History
Sarah K Gallagher

11 min read

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  Six centuries ago Polynesian explorers, who inhabited a cosmos in which islands sailed across the sea and stars across the sky, arrived in Aotea ...More

* STORIES ON THE GO, History, Non Fiction
Anne Salmond

5 min read

Published by Auckland University Press
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Eddy Smallbone (orphan) is grappling with identity, love, loss, and religion. It’s two years since he blew up his school life and the earthquakes ...More

Literary Fiction
Kate De Goldi

22 min read

Published by Allen & Unwin
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  A landmark anthology of creative work – poetry, fiction and essays – by emerging Asian New Zealand writers. This landmark collection ...More

* STORIES ON THE GO, Non Fiction
Paula Morris

24 min read

Published by Auckland University Press

She chewed her biro, and read the evaluation form. “On a scale of one to five, five being highest, how much did you enjoy this activity?” One. “On a scale ...More

Fiction

‘How’s Alex?’ Hope said. She and Molly were sitting in a café by the river in early spring drinking tea from the same pot. Molly sighed, loo ...More

Fiction
Pip Adam

19 min read

Eve is busy setting the long thin tables – fork knife fork knife fork knife – and doesn’t see him approach. “Do you want some help?” She ...More

Fiction
Rachael King

12 min read

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Kua whakamāorihia tā Paulo Coelho pukapuka whakaaweawe, e kaha nei hoki te hokona puta noa i te ao, ā, koinei te pukapuka nui katoa te whakawhitihia ki ...More

* STORIES ON THE GO, Action & Adventure, Translation
Paulo Coelho

7 min read

Published by Auckland University Press

I ate my brother. I was always fond of him, looked up to him. He was older than me. I measured myself against him. We stood back to back. At first I only came ...More

Fiction
Helen Heath

2 min read

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Inspiration: High Pressure/Low Pressure by Josh O’Rourke     Rarer than gold Water shading, light dancing, greased lightning. Shimmer ...More

Inspired by Street Art
Fern Mercier

1 min read

Published by Paint n' Pen Submission

Being the middle child of five girls and three boys in 1940’s and 50’s in my native Ireland, I never had the chance to actually own a bicyc ...More

Action & Adventure, Biography & Memoir, History, Non Fiction
Catherine Byrne

4 min read

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Chapter 1 Anna looped bubble-wrap around her father’s favorite sculpture: a peacock made entirely out of mirrors. The only upside of moving out ...More

Fiction
Amy Blythe

29 min read

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Inspiration: Kaitaki by Fin Dac     Ōtautahi I am the guard  Keeper of the land protector of my children Teacher of my students I ...More

Inspired by Street Art
Katelyn Gee

1 min read

Published by Paint n' Pen Submission
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There was the hand to hold and he held it. Beau’s hand, big, bold, Beau’s hand and he felt happy and proud and self-conscious and amazed all at once. They ...More

Drama, Fiction
Scott Menzies

8 min read

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Inspiration: “Elephants” by Owen Dippie     A family, part of a herd, strong, steady and constant. My first visit to Christc ...More

Inspired by Street Art
Jean-Paul Leung

1 min read

Published by Paint n' Pen Submission

The baby’s finally asleep. The father is home from work. I haven’t been alone in days. This is it…. “She’s asleep”…”I’m just of ...More

Drama, Non Fiction
Jennifer Rankin

1 min read

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On the first night, Grace dreamed of country music. Traditional troubadours like Hank Williams, Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson. She woke up with the tw ...More

Drama, Fiction, Travel & Environment
Jenna Heller

20 min read

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Comedian Chris Parker brings his brilliant comic wit to the page. Star of stand-up, winner of Celebrity Treasure Island and lockdown Instagram sensation ...More

* STORIES ON THE GO, Biography & Memoir, Humor & Comedy
Chris Parker

9 min read

Published by Allen & Unwin
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  No excuses presentation Dave Letele’s incredible life has taken him from footy to failure, crime to community, fat to fit and riches to rags ...More

Biography & Memoir, Non Fiction
Dave Letele

16 min read

Published by Penguin Random House
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Inspiration: Artwork by D Side     Cluck, cluck, cluck, A pirate digging. Dig, dig, dig, Deeper in the sand. Brr, brr, The tree leaves ...More

Inspired by Street Art
Selena Budiyanto

1 min read

Published by Paint n' Pen Submission
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  This is a story of doubt. It is a story of people who left little trace. . . . There are no writings to pore over; no monuments to gaze at; no perfe ...More

* STORIES ON THE GO, History, Non Fiction, NZ History
Jennifer Ashton

20 min read

Published by Auckland University Press
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‘Can I lick the spoon? Please Gran…please.’ Although my older brother got the china mixing bowl as it is in families, I would take the spoon on to th ...More

Historical Fiction
Garrick Batten

8 min read

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Jeanette Fitzsimons was a visionary, a pioneer and a radical. This is the story of someone who battles National and Labour’s lock on parliament ...More

* STORIES ON THE GO, Biography & Memoir
Gareth Hughes

15 min read

Published by Allen & Unwin
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Sitting on the small brick fence outside the night shelter, watching the early morning commuters. Thinking about the dream he had last night. He ...More

Fiction
Karen Clarke

4 min read

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Can you fall in love with someone you’ve never met? When Belle started writing to Enrico, she certainly wasn’t looking to fall in love! ...More

* STORIES ON THE GO, Fiction, Love & romance
Published by Hachette
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He kohinga whakaaro, he kohinga wheako hoki mō te waiata me te haka nā tētahi tokānuku kua aua atu e tū ana i taua ao. Ko Tā Tīmoti Kāretu tētah ...More

* STORIES ON THE GO, Non Fiction, Translation
Published by Auckland University Press
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We love how Catalonia celebrates books each 23 April. On the day of Sant Jordi in Barcelona as in Catalonia, people give one another a rose or a book. No ...More

Multilingual
Published by Lumen/Futura
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Inspiration: Artwork by Cracked Ink   Silver fences keep me from the touch of tourists. I am kissed by cameras, spoken around, as though I ...More

Inspired by Street Art
Meché Phillips

1 min read

Published by Paint n' Pen Submission

It was a glimpse into Paradise. The sun caught the old town first, its jumble of faded pastels glowing like the gilded ceilings of the Vatican – yel ...More

Fiction
Mandy Hager

22 min read

  Extract from Mazarine published by Penguin Random House   Twelve I hadn’t expected Sophie Greenaway to be at work in the middle of the ...More

Action & Adventure, Fiction, Psychological Thriller
Charlotte Grimshaw

22 min read

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  “Whenever I think of coming to punish my father, it’s always in a strong wind, and that’s blowing now as I drive up the long ...More

* STORIES ON THE GO, Contemporary Fiction
Owen Marshall

6 min read

Published by Penguin Random House
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Inspiration: The Hector Dive by Telmo and Miel     Take me with you, Dolphin, let me Clasp tightly Onto your jagged fin Breath through your ...More

Inspired by Street Art
Published by Paint n' Pen Submission
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Inspiration: Artwork by Tepid and Wisk     A continuous loop repeating itself. A couple seconds closer to your birthday. A few secon ...More

Inspired by Street Art
Amor Budiyanto

1 min read

Published by Paint n' Pen Submission
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With its face to the black and ass to the blue, orbital scaffolding repurposed for the next generation ship, the Gilman was a thing of impossible u ...More

Fantasy & Science Fiction
AJ Fitzwater

16 min read

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Nā J.K. Rowling ~ Nā Leon Heketū Blake  i whakamāori  Ko tētahi o ngā tino kōrero mā ngā tamariki ā mohoa nei, ko tā J.K. Rowling Harry Po ...More

* STORIES ON THE GO, Action & Adventure, Fantasy & Science Fiction, Translation
J. K. Rowling

33 min read

Published by Auckland University Press
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Inspiration: Artwork by Owen Dippie Ballerina twirling past me dressed in a beautiful blue. Two girls invite me to play their game of hide and seek. A spr ...More

Inspired by Street Art
Cleo Hopkinson

1 min read

Published by Paint n' Pen Submission
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Monday wooldridge is a fighter with a face like a broken dinner plate. Fifteen years ago, her kid brother Eddy disappeared and she’s been looking ...More

Contemporary Fiction
Dominic Hoey

6 min read

Published by Penguin Random House
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  In New Zealand’s Martinborough, an ex-wine maker is murdered. The precise planning and execution by the unknown assailant begins a ser ...More

Mystery & Crime, Psychological Thriller
Published by Squabbling Sparrows Press

John paused and turned away from his screen to glance at the steaming cup of coffee. Something felt a little off but he couldn’t place his finger on it. The ...More

Action & Adventure, Drama, Fantasy & Science Fiction, Fiction
Steven Moe

18 min read

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Inspiration: High Pressure/Low Pressure by Josh O’Rourke   Dragons fly easy High streams of sibylline light Lazy loops of gold Ceru ...More

Inspired by Street Art
Fern Mercier

1 min read

Published by Paint n' Pen Submission

One by one he turns the pages of the book. The paper rustles against his dry fingers and I swallow in anticipation. He reads the words and his face ...More

Psychological Thriller
Marie Muhl

5 min read

Con walks down the streets of Newtown from Berhampore, past the damp, narrow houses, tipped into the wind, cold rain spitting into his face. There’s the Es ...More

Drama
Julie Hill

14 min read

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  He whakamāoritanga i te pukapuka o Puripāha nā Witi Ihimaera mō ētahi whānau hoariri e rua ki Te Tairāwhiti. Ko Puripāha te tapanga k ...More

* STORIES ON THE GO, Fiction, Maori & Pasifika, Translation
Witi Ihimaera

8 min read

Published by Auckland University Press

“I”m pregnant again”.    I was measuring flour into the sieve and gently banging it against the heel of my hand.  He was hunched over the c ...More

Biography & Memoir, Food
Sile Mannion

4 min read

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A gripping new novel from one of our leading writers. A compulsive and chilling novel about subjugation, survival and the meaning of family. “Up ...More

Fiction
Carl Nixon

32 min read

Published by Penguin Random House

Google maps you take me though the underpass fast on my bike in the night my lights flash on the shapes of down and outs the louts, layabouts who sho ...More

Non Fiction, Travel & Environment
Melanie Dixon

1 min read

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Tim Saunders writes about his life and work on the farm that’s been in his family for five generations. He encompasses drought, farming during lockdown, ...More

* STORIES ON THE GO, Biography & Memoir, Non Fiction, Travel & Environment
Tim Saunders

31 min read

Published by Allen & Unwin

It’s morning. I know this because the clock says 7.23 and a finger of light is trying to pull back the curtains. My room faces east. So that makes i ...More

Fiction
Rachael King

22 min read

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Inspiration: Artwork by Jacob Yikes   The afternoon sun has made Alice sleepy. She follows White Rabbit down a different dark, mossy hole and ...More

Inspired by Street Art
Alice Li

2 min read

Published by Paint n' Pen Submission
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We love how Catalonia celebrates books each 23 April. On the day of Sant Jordi in Barcelona as in Catalonia, people give one another a rose or a book. Not only ...More

Multilingual
Published by Europa Editions
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Inspiration: Artwork by Richard “Pops” Baker   Don’t hang me on the wall of your lounge Freeze frame frozen in time I need undiluted free ...More

Inspired by Street Art
Published by Paint n' Pen Submission
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Losing her daughter to the Christchurch earthquake sends Lily back to her childhood village in Northern England to scatter Charlie’s ashes. It’s a place of ...More

* STORIES ON THE GO, Historical Fiction
Sandra Arnold

5 min read

Published by Mākaro Press
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Inspiration: Kaitaki by Fin Dac Feathers rising high above the clouds Powerful wāhine warrior, our guardian Watching and waiting Protecting ...More

Inspired by Street Art
Published by Paint n' Pen Submission