At the Beach cover image
At the Beach

In 2012, my first New Zealand children’s book was published by Craig Potton Publishing (now Potton & Burton). That book, At the Beach, won the 2013 Elsie Locke Award for Non-Fiction. Since then I have had many more factual nature books published. See the home page for all my books. As a children’s author I enjoy taking part in Writers in Schools and running workshops and activities for children.

Education background

Gillian Candler
Gillian Candler

Prior to 2009, I was involved for a good number of years in educational publishing at Learning Media, a Crown-owned company which at that time was responsible for publishing the School Journal, Connected, and the New Zealand Curriculum. My work there included establishing the Connected series, developing science and mathematics resources for schools, oversight of the School Journal, developing digital resources, as well as working on the curriculum. Before working at Learning Media I was a teacher.

I have also worked as a publishing and education consultant. View my full profile on Linked In.

Judging roles

My judging and assessment roles draw on my publishing background and include:

  • Peer assessor for Creative New Zealand 2010-2013
  • CLNZ Non-Fiction Writers’ Awards 2010-2018
  • NZ Post Children’s Book Awards 2012
  • CLNZ Education Publishing Awards 2010-2011

Working with nature

Photo of Gillian with fairy prion
Fairy prion translocation project, Mana Island

As well as writing about nature, I am actively involved in conservation as a volunteer and citizen scientist. Current projects include: leading tramps and nature walks, monitoring lizards, monitoring pest-traps and bird counts. I am a member of Forest and Bird, Birds New Zealand, Wellington Botanical Society, Zealandia, the Brook Sanctuary and Friends of Mana Island. You can read about some of this work on my nature blog Explore and Discover Nature.


Contact to enquire about workshops, school visits, or regarding judging of awards. email: