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 poetry, plus young adult adventure novels. Most recently, she has edited an Aotearoa novella, a Te Araroa memoir, a dark novel meandering up the Waikato, 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.
Michelle is fluent in German.
Her clients are international.
Michelle Elvy is founding editor/co-ordinator of the international literary journal Flash Frontier: An Adventure in Short Fiction, based in New Zealand, and Aotearoa New Zealand’s National Flash Fiction Day. She is Assistant Editor for the acclaimed Best Small Fictions series, which features some of the world’s best short short fiction annually (guest editors include Robert Olen Butler 2015, Stuart Dybeck 2016, Amy Hempel 2017, Aimee Bender 2018; Rilla Askew 2019, and Kwame Dawes 2020). In 2018 she edited, with Frankie McMillan and James Norcliffe, Bonsai: Best small stories from Aotearoa New Zealand (Canterbury University Press), launched at Christchurch’s 2018 Word Festival. In 2019/20 she is editing, with Paula Morris and James Norcliffe, Ko Aotearoa Tātou | We Are New Zealand, an anthology of fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry and visual art celebrating the complex voices, experiences and ethnicities that form contemporary New Zealand
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.
2020 writing course
In 2020, Michelle launches a new year-long writing course: 52|250 A Year of Writing. This course is for all levels, 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.
The 52|250 challenge is in the commitment to writing every week – 250 words every week. It’s a slow build. Like any new skill, writing can be nurtured and developed with intense focus over time. This course will help demystify and encourage the act of writing.
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. In 2016, she was also short-listed for the Grimshaw Sargeson Fellowship for her novel draft, 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). A list of publications, interviews and awards can be found here.
Michelle’s newest work, the everrumle (Ad Hoc Fiction), is a small novel made of small stories, launched in June 2019 at the UK Flash Fiction Festival.
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.
Other creative affiliations include the Tuesday Poem collective and the Take Flight poetry group, plus 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.
Travel and current geography
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 much of her adult life. From 2002 to 2019 she lived aboard her sailboat, raising two children and crossing the Pacific, Indian and Atlantic Oceans. Since 2013 she and her family have meandered along coastlines of Southeast Asia (from Indonesia and Malaysia to Singapore and Thailand) and Africa (based two years in Tanzania and exploring Madagascar, Kenya and Mozambique, then sailing to South Africa and Namibia). In 2018/19 they left Africa and sailed to North America, the Caribbean and then Panama, transiting the Panama Canal in September 2019 and arriving back in their home waters of the Pacific.
In December 2019, Michelle put down roots in Dunedin, in the South Island of Aotearoa New Zealand.