David Hill (author)

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David Hill
BornBilly Hill
1942 (age 76–77)
Napier, New Zealand
Pen nameDavid Hill
Occupationfiction writer
children's writer
Genregeneral fiction, young fiction

David Hill (born 1942) is a New Zealand author, especially well known for his young adult fiction. His young fiction books See Ya, Simon (1992) and Right Where It Hurts (2001) have been shortlisted for numerous awards. He is also a prolific journalist, writing many articles for The New Zealand Herald.[1]


David Hill was born in 1942 in Napier.[2] He gained an MA (Hons) from Victoria University of Wellington in 1964 and taught English in secondary schools in New Zealand and England before becoming a full-time writer in 1982.[3][4]

His work includes fiction, plays and reviews and articles in newspapers, journals and magazines, both in New Zealand and overseas. His books for young people range from picture books to books for young adults.[4] His novels have been published around the world and translated into various languages[4] and his work has also been broadcast on the radio.[5] He visits schools as part of the Writers in Schools programme[6] and is one of the presenters on the Coursera online course Writing for Young Readers: Opening the Treasure Chest.[7] He enjoys writing for teenagers because he sees them as an exciting and challenging audience to write for: sophisticated readers, who are at a stage where they are coming across many new ideas and experiences in their lives for the first time.[8]

He cites Maurice Gee as his favourite author, and Joy Cowley and Margaret Mahy as his favourite children's authors.[2]

Hill currently lives in New Plymouth.

Awards and Prizes[edit]

David Hill was the Robert Lord Writer in Residence in Dunedin from June–August 2003.[9][10] In 2010, he participated in the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa.[11] He was Artist-in-Residence (co-sponsored by Massey University and the Palmerston North City Council) in Palmerston North in 2016.[12] He is also a frequent speaker at literary festivals and took part in the Auckland Writers Festival Schools Programme in 2017.[13]

He was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) in 2004.[14]

In 2005 Hill became the 15th recipient of the Storylines Margaret Mahy Medal and Lecture Award.[15][16]

Many of Hill's books have won or been shortlisted for awards and named as Storylines Notable Books. See Ya Simon won the 1994 Times Educational Supplement Award for Special Needs and was awarded the Storylines Gaelyn Gordon Award for a Much-loved Book in 2002.[5] In 2013 My Brother's War won the Junior Fiction Award at the New Zealand Post Children's Book Awards, and also the children's choice award in that category.[17][18]


  • [1970] The Seventies Connection
  • [1981] Introducing Maurice Gee
  • [1984] On Poetry: Twelve Studies of Work by New Zealand Poets
  • [1986] Ours But to Do
  • [1987] Taranaki
  • [1988] The Boy
  • [1990] A Time to Laugh
  • [1990] The Games of Nanny Miro
  • [1992] See Ya, Simon (winner of 1994 Times Educational Supplement Award for Special Needs and Children's Literature Foundation Gaelyn Gordon Award for a Much-Loved Book. NCSS-CBC Notable Children's Trade Book in the field of Social Studies.[19] Bank Street College Children's Book of the Year.[19] Reprinted in the United States.[19])
  • [1994] A Day at a Time
  • [1995] Curtain Up
  • [1995] Kick Back
  • [1995] Take It Easy (also reprinted in the United States)[19]
  • [1995] The Winning Touch
  • [1996] Second Best
  • [1997] Fat, Four-eyed and Useless
  • [1999] Just Looking, Thanks
  • [2001] Right Where It Hurts (winner of 2003 LIANZA Esther Glen Medal, New Zealand Post Children's Book Awards 2003 shortlister)
  • [2001] The High Wind Blows
  • [2001] The Sleeper Wakes
  • [2001] The Name of the Game
  • [2002] Where All Things End
  • [2003] My Story: Journey to Tangiwai, The Diary of Peter Cotterill, Napier 1953 (New Zealand Post Book Awards for Children & Young Adults 2004 junior section finalist)
  • [2003] No Big Deal
  • [2003] No Safe Harbour (New Zealand Post Book Awards for Children & Young Adults 2004 adult section finalist)
  • [2004] Coming Back (New Zealand Post Book Awards for Children & Young Adults 2005 young adult section finalist)
  • [2005] Bodies and Soul
  • [2005] Running Hot (New Zealand Post Book Awards for Children & Young Adults 2006 young adult section finalist)
  • [2006] Aim High
  • [2006] Hill Sides
  • [2006] How I met myself, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 0521686202
  • [2007] Black Day
  • [2007] The Forgotten Children
  • [2007] Duet (Youth Book)
  • [2012] My Brother's War
  • [2014] The Deadly Sky
  • [2015] First to the Top: Sir Edmund Hillary’s Amazing Everest Adventure (listed as a Storylines Notable Book for 2016, won the Non-Fiction Award in the Children's Choice segment of 2016 New Zealand Book Awards for Children & Young Adults)
  • [2016] Enemy Camp (finalist for the Esther Glen Junior Fiction Award and the Children's Choice Junior Fiction Award in 2016 New Zealand Book Awards for Children & Young Adults)
  • [2016] Speed King
  • [2017] Flight Path


  1. ^ http://www.nzherald.co.nz/author/index.cfm?a_id=156
  2. ^ a b "Interview with David Hill". Christchurch City Libraries. 2002. Retrieved 22 October 2018.
  3. ^ "David Hill". Storylines. Retrieved 22 October 2018.
  4. ^ a b c "David Hill". Penguin Books.
  5. ^ a b "Hill, David". New Zealand Book Council: Te Kaunihera Pukapuka o Aotearoa. January 2017. Retrieved 22 October 2018.
  6. ^ "David Hill (1942-) Biography". Brief Biographies. Retrieved 23 October 2018.
  7. ^ "About this course: Instructors". Coursera. Retrieved 23 October 2018.
  8. ^ Harvey, Helen (12 April 2017). "David Hill: Why I gave up writing contemporary fiction for teens". Stuff. Retrieved 23 October 2018.
  9. ^ "Robert Lord Writers in Residence announced". Scoop. 25 February 2003. Retrieved 22 October 2018.
  10. ^ "The University of Otago College of Education Creative New Zealand Children's Writer in Residence". University of Otago. Retrieved 22 October 2018.
  11. ^ "Respected author granted international residency". Creative NZ. 19 May 2010. Retrieved 22 October 2018.
  12. ^ "Literary shortlists for Massey's artist-in-residence". Massey University Te Kunenga Ki Purehuroa. 9 June 2016. Retrieved 22 October 2018.
  13. ^ "Look, Listen & Learn: David Hill: War Stories (AWF Schools Programme 2017)". Auckland Writers Festival. Retrieved 22 October 2018.
  14. ^ "New Year Honours List 2004". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet: Te Tari o te Pirimia me te Komiti Matua. 31 December 2003. Retrieved 22 October 2018.
  15. ^ "Margaret Mahy Medal Award". Christchurch, New Zealand: Christchurch City Libraries. 2012. Retrieved 25 July 2012.
  16. ^ "Margaret Mahy Award". Storylines.org.nz. Auckland, New Zealand: Storylines Children's Literature Charitable Trust of New Zealand. 2012. Archived from the original on 6 July 2012. Retrieved 25 July 2012.
  17. ^ "Winners announced for New Zealand Post Children's Book Awards". New Zealand Post Children's Book Awards. Wellington, New Zealand: Booksellers New Zealand. 24 June 2013. OCLC 182896192. Retrieved 19 November 2013.
  18. ^ "Children's Choice Award". New Zealand Post Children's Book Awards. Wellington, New Zealand: Booksellers New Zealand. 27 June 2013. OCLC 182896192. Retrieved 19 November 2013.
  19. ^ a b c d Hill, David (1995). 'About the Author' from 'Take it Easy'. Dutton Children's Books. ISBN 0525457631.

External links[edit]