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Fifi E. Colston (1960-) Biography

Personal, Career, Member, Writings, Work in Progress, Sidelights

Born 1960, in York, England; Education: Massey University, diploma, 1980; Victoria University, M.A., 1983. Hobbies and other interests: Painting, swimming.


Freelance illustrator, 1981-2003; Weta Workshop, Wellington, New Zealand, staff writer, 2003—.


New Zealand Illustrators' Guild (president, 1998-2001), New Zealand Writers Guild, New Zealand Society of Authors.


(Self-illustrated) Fifi's Crafty Arts, two volumes, Scholastic (Auckland, New Zealand), 1995.

(Self-illustrated) Fifi's Festive Fun, Scholastic (Auckland, New Zealand), 1996.

Fifi Verses the World, Steele Roberts (Wellington, New Zealand), 1999.

Verity's Truth (novel), Scholastic (Auckland, New Zealand), 2003.


Anthony Holcroft, The Old Man and the Cat, Whitcoulls (Auckland, New Zealand), 1984.

Anthony Holcroft, The Oldest Garden in China, Whitcoulls (Auckland, New Zealand), 1985.

Ruth Corrin, Not without Randolph, Scholastic (Auckland, New Zealand), 1993.

Diana Noonan, Dear Tom, Lands End, 1995.

Ruth Corrin, Get Real Paddy Manson, HarperCollins (Auckland, New Zealand), 1996.

Brosie Browne, This Tail, Lands End, 1996.

Diana Noonan, It's My Bread, Learning Media (Wellington, New Zealand), 1997.

Anna Kenna, Brother Trouble, Learning Media (Wellington, New Zealand), 2001.

Wiremu Grace, Nga Taonga O Te Kaitiora, Huia Publishing (Wellington, New Zealand), 2002.

Author of humorous poetry column, Next magazine, 1994-2002; author of humor page for About Kids magazine. Illustrator of New Zealand children's titles, including Janet Slater-Redhead, Mr. Magee Comes Home for His Tea, Scholastic (Auckland, New Zealand); Barbara Hill, Rain, Scholastic (Auckland, New Zealand); Elizabeth Pulford, Midnight Feast, Scholastic (Auckland, New Zealand); John Parsons, Mystery Valley, Nelson ITP; Quentin Flynn, The Great Egg Problem, Nelson ITP; Margaret Cahill, Going Places, Learning Media (Wellington, New Zealand); The Great New Zealand Activity Book, New Zealand Illustrators's Guild (Wellington, New Zealand); Hannah Rainforth, Toroa (The Albatross), Huia Publishing (Wellington, New Zealand); Te Takaro Rama Whaita, Huia Publishing (Wellington, New Zealand); Chelsea Wharepapa, Te Wahi Ahuahanga, Huia Publishing (Wellington, New Zealand); and Te Waari Carkeek, Panui Pangarau, Huia Publishing (Wellington, New Zealand). Contributor of articles and illustrations to school journals, popular magazines, and early reading books.

Work in Progress

A children's television series, Wild Cards, for broadcast in New Zealand; a novel for children.


New Zealand-based author and illustrator Fifi E. Colston told SATA: "Writing is a relatively recent career for me. I have spent my years since graduating from design school as an illustrator. After twenty years drawing blueberries and motorcycle helmets for the advertising world, I felt inspired to write. My tentative foray onto the keyboard ended up in winning a national competition, and Verity's Truth is the result. Looking for a structure within which to write and buoyed up by my success, I applied for Victoria University's M.A. in Scriptwriting. I and nine others were accepted and I have been immersed in reading, writing, research, film, television, and theatre ever since. I have managed in the course of avoiding some of my study to write another kids' novel, create an art piece for New Zealand's fantastic yearly Wearable Art Show (mine is a Bodice-Ripper—a wearable novel) and work part time at the Weta Workshop on a writing team. Weta is the digital and special effects production company for Peter Jackson's "Lord of the Rings" trilogy and … King Kong.

"I love to write humour, without forgetting that you can have something to say—other than a series of one liners. Having kids myself and being immersed in their worlds for the past fifteen years, I find writing for this age group a satisfying and fascinating thing to do. It gives me a chance to be any twelve-year-old I want to be! I endlessly milk my kids for information, news, views and dialogue. One day they'll forgive me."

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