EDITING, MENTORING, MANUSCRIPT ASSESSMENT
Michelle Elvy is an editor whose experience varies from very short fiction to novel-length manuscripts. She works as a mentor and private tutor with a range of writers.
Michelle has edited novels, memoirs, essays and short stories as well as collections of haibun, flash fiction and prose, plus young adult adventure novels. She is fluent in German. Her clients are international. Recent editing work includes an Aotearoa novella, a Te Araroa memoir, a nonfiction sailing adventure by one of the world’s renowned sailors, a philosophical rumination on love and a post-post-modern absurdist deconstructionist novel with an identity crisis. She has also judged / co-convened numerous writing awards, including the Lilia Ida Smith Award (2020) and the Bath Novella-In-Flash competition (2021 and 2022).
Originally from the US and still fond of the tidewater region of the Mid-Atlantic eastern seaboard, Michelle has lived in Europe, Canada, Mexico and the South Pacific. From 2002 to 2019 she lived aboard her sailboat, raising her two children, living simply and meandering from Mexico to Alaska, Southeast Asia to the African continent, sailing to distant places including the South Atlantic’s St Helena and Ascension Island, the Cook Islands’ Palmerston Nuie, and East Africa’s Lamu and Zanzibar. Her world sailing travels include transiting the Panama Canal in September 2019 and arriving back in her home waters of the Pacific.
Michelle lives in Ōtepoti Dunedin, in the South Island of Aotearoa New Zealand.
Michelle Elvy is founding editor/co-ordinator of the international literary journal Flash Frontier: An Adventure in Short Fiction and Aotearoa New Zealand’s National Flash Fiction Day. She is Assistant Editor for the Best Small Fictions series, which features some of the world’s best short short fiction annually (guest editors include Robert Olen Butler, Stuart Dybeck, Amy Hempel, Aimee Bender, Rilla Askew and Rion Scott. Other books she has co-edited include Bonsai: Best small stories from Aotearoa New Zealand (Canterbury University Press), Ko Aotearoa Tātou | We Are New Zealand, an anthology of fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry and visual art celebrating contemporary New Zealand’s complex voices, experiences and ethnicities and the forthcoming anthology born of the Love in the Time of COVID project, curated with Witi Ihimaera.
Past editing projects have included working on the editing teams of Flash Fiction International, eds. James Thomas, Robert Shapard and Christopher Merrill (W.W. Norton) and a book for offshore adventuring families, Voyaging with Kids (L&L Pardey). Michelle served as editor at Awkword Paper Cut 2013-14 and fiction editor of Blue Five Notebook 2011-18. She has guest edited at Smokelong Quarterly and has judged numerous competitions, including short story, flash fiction, collaborations and poetry — most recently for the Bath Flash Fiction Award (2016) and Reflex Fiction (2018). Michelle teaches editing, grammar, flash fiction and advanced writing.
Michelle teaches at 52|250 A Year of Writing. There are three courses offered in 2022, with material developed for adults and youth:
Whether you are a writer trying to hone your short stories or poetry, or a curious individual new to writing and looking for the beginning point, 52|250 will challenge you to explore new directions, with a focus on writing / honing every week. Like any new skill, writing can be nurtured and developed with intense focus over time. The courses help demystify and encourage the act of writing. Info here.
Awards and publications
A Pushcart nominee, a Watson Fellow, a Fulbright Scholar, a three-time finalist in the Glass Woman international writing competition, Michelle is also the recipient of a New Zealand Society of Authors/Auckland Museum Library grant and a New Zealand Society of Authors mentorship grant. She has been short-listed for the Grimshaw Sargeson Fellowship, and her story ‘Lost and Found in Berlin’ placed second in the Nivalis Short Story Competition.
Her poetry, fiction, travel writing, creative nonfiction and reviews have been widely published, most recently in The Feminine Divine (Cynren Press 2019), New Micro (W.W. Norton 2018), Ofi Press (2016-2018), Manifesto: 101 Political Poems from Aotearoa New Zealand (Otago University Press 2017) and Borderlands & Crossroads: Writing the Motherland (Demeter Press 2016). Michelle’s work has appeared in The Commuting Book (flash fiction) initative and Verb Wellington (novel excerpts).A list of publications, interviews and awards can be found here.
Michelle is a member of the New Zealand Association of Manuscript Assessors and the New Zealand Society of Authors. She is a mentor and assessor in the NZ Society of Authors Mentoring and Manuscript Assessors programme.
She has been a member of the Tuesday Poem collective and the Take Flight poetry group, Auckland’s Poetry Live, the rhythm & verse series and the Spit.It.Out. spoken-word festival, She has presented her work at National Poetry Day gatherings, the Auckland Museum Society, the KGB literary series in NYC and in university guest appearances.