Sarah Laing

Sarah Laing is a fiction writer, cartoonist, illustrator and graphic designer whose work is re-introducing adults to the graphic novel genre - comics - they loved as children. Her latest illustrated book, Mansfield and Me, explores intersections between her life and that of Katherine Mansfield’s and was long-listed for the Ockham New Zealand Book Award.

Sarah’s first collection of short stories, Coming up Roses, was published in 2007, and followed her win of the 2006 Sunday Star Times Short Story Competition. She published the novel Dead People’s Music in 2009, followed by an illustrated novel, The Fall of Light, 2013. She is a co-editor of Three Words: An Anthology of NZ/Aotearoa Women's Comics.

She produces a graphic blog with a big following called Let Me Be Frank, in which she writes and draws about life around her - community, family, politics and personal obsession. Sarah was born in the USA, moved to Palmerston North as a teenager and now lives in Wellington.

“Sarah Laing’s gorgeous, playful drawings and self-deprecating humour lightly mask a complex meditation on writing, celebrity and the conscious construction of self. A very New Zealand coming-of-age story: brilliant, funny, thoughtful and smart.” – Dylan Horrocks, author of Hicksville and Sam Zabel and the Magic Pen.

It’s a remarkable ode to creativity and a personal journey to achieving one’s ambitions. If you love great memoirs and want to experience one that’s a bit unconventional but highly entertaining, this is the one for you.”  From Earth’s End on Mansfield and Me

For more info read Sarah's bio on the New Zealand Book Council website and check out her own website.




Photo credit: Grant Maiden Photography

Festival sessions held

An Art Class with Sarah Laing

Sarah Laing Workshop, introduced by Cressida Bishop

Award-winning cartoonist, graphic designer and storyteller Sarah leads a 90-minute art class with a focus on telling your own stories through cartooning. For those aged 16 and over. Materials provided. 

All art levels are fine – comics are a very embracing medium! It’s more about the story, and Sarah has some techniques to pass on for those who feel unsure of their drawing skills.


“Oh to be a writer, a real writer”

Sarah Laing in conversation with Jane Forrest Waghorn

Part memoir, part biography, part fiction, Sarah’s graphic novel Mansfield and Me draws us into the fascinating but tortured world of Katherine Mansfield and its parallels with her own journey towards becoming a “real writer”.