Gay Buckingham is best known as author of The Grand Electrification of the South, commissioned and published by The Power Company Limited, Invercargill, and her children’s novel, Kākāpō Keeper, based on the true story of nineteenth century conservationist Richard Henry, published by OneTree House, Auckland.
Gay’s short stories have been broadcast by Radio New Zealand and published in the Dominion Post, Turbine, Takahe magazine and Sunday Star Times, as well as online and in anthologies. She has had success in competitions in various genres including poetry, short, and very short, stories – some of her writing has featured on Wild Dunedin postcards and even been set to music! New Zealand Memories magazine has published her non-fiction material and Radio New Zealand has broadcast her children’s stories.
Gay is a graduate of the University of Otago, has an MA in Creative Writing from the IIML, Victoria University of Wellington, and is (mostly) domiciled in Dunedin, where she raised four children. Over the course of her life she has nurse-aided, waitressed, taught, been a relationship counsellor, worked in the family court, completed a BA as an adult student. These various pursuits led to her long term professional life as a mediator and she sees story telling as a natural progression of mediation: “A mediator helps people tell their experience – their story – in ways that others can understand, and through understanding comes resolution,” she says.
Often described as a regional writer – much of her work is set in southern New Zealand – she revels in describing the coast, bush, wildlife and farming community of the area where she grew up.
Gay is currently working on a series of linked short stories set in the Catlins area, Southland.
Gay writes in many different genres
Published in literary magazines Takahe and Turbine
Your Weekend of the Dominion Post, and the Sunday Star Times
International Literary Quarterly, an online literary magazine
Numerous pieces of short fiction broadcast by Radio New Zealand National
Contributor to Sweet As, a compilation of contemporary short stories by New Zealanders
Purchased and broadcast by Radio New Zealand National
Author of Kākāpō Keeper, a children’s novel published in 2021
Taped oral histories for a community group.
After We Said Goodbye, Sean Davison’s sequel to his book Before We Say Goodbye.
New Zealand Memories magazine
The Grand Electrification of the South, a history, published in 2016
Runner-up (Pacific Asian) in Commonwealth Short Story Competition
Runner-up BNZ Katherine Mansfield Short Story Competition
Runner-up Storylines Tom Fitzgibbon Award
Runner-up Storylines Janice Marriot Mentoring Award
Runner-up Sunday Star Times Short Story Competition