Dame Joy Cowley

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Joy Cowley has been writing for as long as she can remember. Her illustrious career began in 1953 when she had an after-school job editing the children’s page of The Manawatu Daily Times. From that humble beginning Cowley has become an internationally recognised author. She has written many novels and hundreds of stories and is the Patron and a trustee of Storylines – the Children’s Literature Foundation of New Zealand.

A “slow” reader as a child, Cowley’s world transformed when she was given a book that engaged her, turning her into an instant reader. This formative experience also made Cowley an advocate for beginner readers, slow readers and readers who have English as a second language. She firmly believes that “learning to read must be a pleasurable and meaningful exercise. If it isn’t, then we teach children to read and to hate reading at the same time". 

Cowley’s stories are engaging and lively. She believes humour is important, as is relating to children on their level, reflecting their culture to them and making them feel powerful. Hugely popular, her stories are read by children worldwide.

In this excerpt from an interview on RNZ’s Sunday Morning with Wallace Chapman, Cowley talks about her writing process and how she created books to engage her own children with reading.

Listen to the entire interview on RNZ. 

Find out more about Dame Joy Cowley:

Visit Joy Cowley’s website. 

Read more about Dame Joy Cowley on the New Zealand Book Council website. 

Image: Screengrab from interview with Wallace Chapman.

Catalogue Reference A282940

Year 2018


Interviewer: Wallace Chapman, Sunday Morning, RNZ National

Excerpt: 00:03:23

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