About me

CCC Architects book cover

I started editing books for Oxford University Press in 1983 and have worked freelance since then, with time out in journalism to be deputy editor of Metro (1986-93), editor/publisher of the books/arts monthly magazine Quote Unquote (1993-7) and editor of Architecture NZ (1998-2001).

Major non-fiction books I have edited include He Tipua: The Life and Times of Sir Apirana Ngata by Ranginui Walker, Monsoon by Brian Brake, Into the Wider World by Brian Turner (a finalist in the Environment category in the 2008 national book awards) and Coast by Bruce Ansley (winner of Illustrated Non-fiction in 2014). I have edited fiction by Vincent O’Sullivan, Paddy Richardson and Paul Thomas among others, and the Captain Cook trilogy by Graeme Lay. In 2014 books I edited by those four writers were all Top Ten bestsellers; and I edited three of the five finalists in the 2015 Ngaio Marsh awards. Recent #1 bestsellers include March of the Foxgloves by Karyn Hay (2016) and All This by Chance by Vincent O’Sullivan (2018).

As an author, I have published 19 books, all but one non-fiction: the most recent are Crosson Clarke Carnachan Architects and New Zealand’s Gift to the World: the youth justice Family Group Conference (both 2014).

I have been a judge of the national book awards six times, was vice-president of the NZ Society of Authors and am a foundation member of the NZ Association of Manuscript Assessors.

I blog at Quote Unquote, tweet as @stephenstra and when The Spinoff asked me to do a piece about “the dark arts of book editing”, this is what I wrote.

Coast by Bruce Ansley