Meet Theresa Sjoquist


Hello. Please…. give me your coat, and pull up a pew. I’m a published author, and freelance writer with over 30 years experience.

I am based in North-Western Auckland from where I engage in contract writing and professional speaking for a variety of clients.

Yvonne Rust: Maverick Spirit, my coffee-table style book published by David Ling, is a major biography, and has recently also been released as a fully illustrated eBook.

I am a member of the Auckland Chamber of Commerce. I’m also  a Toastmaster (ACS), Ezines Expert Author, contributing writer to www.suite.io.com, Member of National Speakers Association,  a Member of NZ Society of Authors (PEN),  registered Marriage Celebrant, Member of Celebrant’s Association of New Zealand (CANZ)

I have successfully developed, through advertising sales, the bottom lines of three faltering Australasian publications to the point of significant turnaround.

I understand writing to sell.


Browse through tabs below to read about arenas which have formed an important part of my writing experience, and thus resulted in substantial portfolios.

Arts

In Nelson in the late 80s, local entertainment was provided by bands in pubs and occasionally a concert might be presented at the School of Music. Like many younger people I found out which pubs provided the entertainment I enjoyed most. At one of these venues I encountered an up and coming local group. The story is much longer but I was invited to manage them, and began to get some real traction.  I saw that there was an opening for quality entertainment in Nelson and set about filling the gap as a concert presenter and promoter, all at my own risk. Not only did I enjoy success, but I developed a much broader taste for musical performance.

In Sydney in 1999, I worked for an Australasian arts magazine which continually received invitations to events in the hopes of attracting a review.  The invitations covered everything; theatre, dance, literary launches, symphony, opera, exhibition openings, small orchestras, choral groups, ethnic performance – anything you can think of.  I went to all of them and was often out five or six nights a week over a period of two years. The net effect was to broaden my knowledge, interest, and contacts in the Australasian arts world.

Today I slide consistently back to the arts for writing fodder. The human spirit manifests at its highest power and beauty through the arts, and in my view, cannot be over-promoted. More, better.

Yvonne Rust, QSM - The Biography

The biography, Yvonne Rust: Maverick Spirit, celebrates the eccentric, brilliant, and dogged New Zealand pioneering potter, prolific artist, and passionate arts educator, Yvonne Rust, QSM (1922-2002).  The completed work included the location and interview of 400 people, many of them well-known artists.

Yvonne’s great grandfather, John Stewart Rust, arrived in Whangarei when 36 houses constituted the township.  His son, Alexander, fathered Gordon who was Yvonne’s father and a native schools headmaster. In 1928, when Yvonne was six, Gordon was posted to Te Hapua, New Zealand’s northernmost community. The Great Depression was just beginning to bite and the bottom was falling out of the gum market, the local source of income.

 “Te Hapua was a Maori community and Yvonne was  the only white child. TB was rife, unemployment high, facilities virtually non-existent.”
 Te Hapua was a Maori community and Yvonne was the only white child. 75% of Te Hapua’s population suffered from TB, unemployment was high, and facilities virtually non-existent.  The schoolhouse was the only accommodation for visitors to the area and Yvonne grew up with a constant stream of guests at home; among them, Judge Acheson, the Maori Land Court judge, the captain of the scow, scientists studying the flight of the godwit, newspaper men, the school inspector. Like her mother, Annie, she attended Canterbury College of Art (Ilam) in Christchurch and studied metalwork. Graduating with a Diploma in Fine Art in 1946, she went on to teach art in schools at a time in New Zealand when art was just being introduced into the general curriculum as part of a new approach to education.
“At the forefront of the pottery movement, she was a significant influence on the development of art in NZ.” 
At the forefront of the pottery movement, she was a significant influence on the development of art in NZ, consistently battled for the experimentation and utilisation of NZ’s raw materials by artists, and inspired many of NZ’s great ‘creatives’. Yvonne Rust: Maverick Spirit (David Ling, 2011) 246 pages, colour on art stock – available now. Also available as fully illustrated eBook.

Boating articles and Nautical features

In the early 90s I was a live-aboard cruising sailor for a couple of years. On our way north from Nelson, we stopped into Whangarei’s Town Basin which was then an undeveloped commercial fishing wharf with a large shed. In 1992 we sailed out of Opua  for our first offshore trip to the Fiji Islands, and were promptly dismasted about thirty nautical miles off the NZ coast. After hours of slopping around in nauseating three metre seas without a rig to balance us, we were finally able to motor slowly back to Opua, and from there eventually travelled in company back to Whangarei for repairs. I left the boat and became the local boating columnist.

The weekly boating column written during the mid-90s recorded not only the comings and goings of international and NZ yachts and sailors into Whangarei, but also the brief histories of local boats built in New Zealand in the early 1900s. In retrospect, these constitute something of a nautical historical record, however brief. Around the same era I was writing nautical features for international boating and sailing magazines.

Rural writing

Exhausted after completing the biography of Yvonne Rust, QSM, I needed respite in a less intense form of writing. The house I had utilised because it was in the same environment in which Rust had lived and worked was no longer required, and I moved directly across country to the opposite coast in Dargaville. There I began writing for a local rural monthly, and in gumboots, discovered a world I hadn’t encountered before.

People working in agriculture, or living on lifestyle farmlets, made great subjects. Whether they’d come up with farming innovations or had unusual hobbies or occupations outside of the farm,  rural people provide an anchor to nature,  the good earth, and to our food supply. Today I return to the rural environment often to satisfy my pen.

Metaphysics and animals writing

As an often introspective sort, I spend considerable time in pondering not just life, but humanity, the potential of expanding consciousness, human being, human/social development. It’s not all heavy either.  Some of the greatest and most useful thinking provides the most enjoyable laughs, particularly when you take into consideration the human penchant for keeping animals.

Miscellaneous articles about interesting people doing interesting things, metaphysics, and sometimes animals, are often targets for my pen. Pets provide a special brand of joy, companionship, and often, a lot of laughs. Articles about pets are a popular way to provide light, uplifting content too.

Photography

As a freelance writer, you learn very quickly that a great photo sells a story quicker than a story sells without one, so my photographic eye has developed sufficiently to provide good quality, descriptive images. The camera goes everywhere. It’s always snapping pics because readers like to have that extra thousand words with a story!

Publications

My work has featured in the following publications:

  • Boating NZ
  • Boating World
  • Chinese Eye
  • Classic Boat
  • Cruising Helmsman
  • Cruising World
  • Eye Magazine
  • Kaipara Lifestyler
  • Northern Farming Lifestyles
  • Good Reading Magazine
  • Northern Advocate
  • New Zealand Potter
  • NZ Today
  • Offshore Australia
  • Organic NZ
  • Scene Magazine
  • Sea Kayaker
  • Suite101
  • Sunday Star Times
  • Whangarei Leader
  • Nelson Evening Mail
  • Rainbow Network
  • State of the Arts
  • Syd – The Official Sydney Events Guide
  • The Beauty Book
  • Verve Magazine
  • Waikato Farming Lifestyles.

 

Copyright © Theresa Sjoquist