Write Across Media’s founder Kerry Sunderland is curator and coordinator of the Nelson Arts Festival’s literary programme, Pukapuka Talks, and a part-time creative writing tutor at Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology. She is also an author, freelance journalist, magazine editor, film reviewer and radio presenter/producer.
Kerry was awarded a Master of Arts in Creative Writing (with Merit) from the International Institute of Modern Letters at Victoria University of Wellington in 2017, during which she wrote the first draft of her memoir, Beyond the Blue Door. She was joint winner of the 2018 Hachette Mentorship for a revised draft of this memoir. Beyond the Blue Door will be published in 2021.
Her personal essay, ‘Scared to Death’, was published in Headlands: New Stories of Anxiety (Victoria University Press, 2018). ‘Scared to Death’ deals with similar themes to Beyond the Blue Door. It is currently being adapted to the screen by Auckland-based producer David Jacobs and director Mia Maramara.
As a journalist, she has published more than 200 articles in various publications and journals including North & South, The Spinoff, Turbine Kapohau, Stuff/The Nelson Mail, New Zealand Yoga Scene and Wild Tomato in New Zealand, and Inside Film, Screen Education, Metro Magazine, Research News and HR Monthly in Australia.
Kerry also has more than 25 years experience in media and marketing communications and has run her own communications agency since 1999 (established as Evolve Media, it was rebranded as Write Across Media in 2013).
As well as an MA, Kerry has a Bachelor of Arts from RMIT University and a Graduate Diploma in Evaluation from the University of Melbourne, specialising in qualitative and quantitative research methods. She has also successfully completed a number of short courses in both traditional and interactive screen writing at the Australian Film Television and Radio School.
For the first 10 years of her career, Kerry worked for a student union and a media agency whose clients included various trade unions, health promotion agencies and other socially progressive organisations.
By the mid 90s, Kerry saw an opportunity to carve out a niche as a content creator in the new world of the World Wide Web and undertook a largely self-funded interactive media study-tour in North America in early 1996. She then started producing web sites.
After spending 18 months living and working in the United Kingdom in the late 90s, Kerry returned to Australia and started her own business, Evolve Media Consulting, at the end of 1999.
From October 2000 to June 2012, she was contracted to the Australian Market and Social Research Society (www.amsrs.com.au) as managing editor of RESEARCH NEWS, during which time she managed all aspects of production for 129 editions of the monthly magazine.
Over the past couple of decades, Kerry has also written feature articles for a wide range of other publications including INSIDE FILM, METRO, FILMINK, HR MONTHLY and AUSTRALIAN EDUCATOR. She has also worked as a freelance travel writer and film reviewer (most recently, in early 2012, for ABC North Coast Radio).
In conjunction with Hatchling Productions, she secured funding for the web site to accompany the award-winning documentary THE MAN WHO STOLE MY MOTHER’S FACE, then oversaw interface design and the production of all content.
In early 2005, Kerry produced the web site for the multi-platform documentary I TOLD YOU I WAS ILL: THE LIFE AND LEGACY OF SPIKE MILLIGAN.
In 2009, she produced the web site for award winning documentary THE BURNING SEASON.
In 2008, Kerry teamed up with director Sandra Cook to produce an online social network called Journey Beyond Road Trauma. JBRT was launched at Easter in 2010. In 2011, it was a finalist in the inaugural 3M-ACRS Diamond Australian Road Safety Awards and also in the 2011 Australian Road Safety Awards.
In 2015, Kerry was host and producer of Fresh Start Monday on Fresh FM, which broadcasts across the top of New Zealand’s South Island.
In 2017, she joined Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology as a part-time tutor in the Diploma in Writing for the Creative Industries and is currently developing three new communications courses for the NZ Diploma in Arts and Design.
She was appointed Nelson Arts Festival literary programme coordinator in January 2018 and has also offered four residential writing retreats in the top of the South Island (find out more at www.writeacrossnewzealand.com).
Kerry has also performed as a story teller at events including ‘Couch Stories’ and ‘True Stories, Told Live’.