Colleen Shipley

As the Marlborough Girls’ College Librarian, Colleen Shipley is on a mission to inspire local teens to read for pleasure. She also writes articles for professional publications and book reviews for New Zealand young adult fiction. In recent years Colleen has had a double life, researching local war history and writing her first novel Wrens Under the Radar.

Colleen lives in Marlborough, a stone’s throw from the farm house commandeered as a spy base for the women in her novel.

2022 festival session

Wrens Under the Radar 

- in conversation with Barbara DeLeo

Wrens Under the Radar by Marlborough librarian Colleen Shipley is inspired by the true story of eight women posted to a top secret mission in Blenheim from November 1942 to May 1944. The story of loss, healing and friendship provides a vivid snapshot of life in New Zealand during World War II. Colleen discusses her inspiration, fascinating research discoveries and road to publication.  


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