Sonny Whitelaw

Sonny Whitelaw has enjoyed a successful career as a writer for over 30 years. Her work as a photojournalist has appeared in dozens of international magazines including National Geographic.

She won a Draco Award for her first novel, The Rhesus Factor, and all eight of her novels including five based on the television series, Stargate, have been international bestsellers.

A qualified adult educator with an MA in Creative Writing, Sonny taught writing courses to adults and teenagers in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne. In 2008 she moved with her teenage son to a small lifestyle property in Oxford, Canterbury.

When she’s not having an enormous amount of fun exploring the South Island, Sonny splits her time between researching and writing scientific reports, editing fiction and non-fiction manuscripts, and working on her own exciting young adult science fantasy series called The Runes of Creation. Find out more about this series here, on her website.

Sonny tutors the Write a Novel, Literary Short and Flash Fiction, and Advanced Novel Writing courses.



‘Challenging and enlightening. Sonny set the bar high and gave me the tools to reach it. Authentic learning experience.’ Sharon Shaw, Write a Novel Course

‘Hugely beneficial, encouraging, motivating – everything I’d hoped it would be. Couldn’t imagine a more ideal mentor than Sonny. Hardest part was saying goodbye. Couldn’t be happier with the experience and the learning.’ Sebastian Wells, Write a Novel Course

‘This was my second course with the NZ Writers College and the last six months have just been so creatively stimulating for me. This was my second time working with Sonny (she also tutored me for the Novel Writing Course) and she’s still amazing! She always manages to be encouraging yet at the same time critical in a way that truly improves the student’s writing. She worked at the things that I struggled with and never stopped helping me to get better.’ Nithya Narayanan, Literary Short and Flash Fiction Course

‘This course was fantastic. I learned so much and as a result have almost completed an entire novel. Sonny was such a great tutor to work with. I found her feedback honest and invaluable. She is also extremely patient, encouraging and kind. I have had a wonderful journey and have learned so much about my own abilities as a writer. Everyone at the NZ Writers College is very supportive. I would highly recommend NZ Writers College to anyone who feels they have a story to tell!’ Jolene Croall, Advanced Write a Novel Course

‘This course has been invaluable. I have learned so much. My tutor Sonny Whitelaw is the best thing that has ever happened to my writing. It was exactly what I needed.’ Haylea Silverwood, Write a Novel Course

‘My experience on the course was simply life-changing. I now have a future as a writer and have the skills I need to move forward. When I received the results of my final assessment, my overriding reaction wasn’t joy at the excellent result I’d achieved, it was sadness that my tutor Sonny would no longer be in my life. She believed in me, pushed me, encouraged me, and made me feel I could accomplish anything. I will miss her. The Advanced Write a Novel Course was the fourth course I’ve completed with the College and they have all fulfilled my needs, pushing me onwards and upwards. I have been with the College for two years and they have been the most fruitful and rewarding two years of my life.’ Michelle Peart, Advanced Write a Novel Course