Fiona Farrell’s first publication, a collection of poems, was published in 1987. Since then, she has published two further poetry collections, one of which, The Pop-Up Book of Invasions, written while she held a residency in Donoughmore in Ireland, was runner up for the 2006 Montana Poetry Award. She has also written several plays, including Chook Chook which remains one of Playmarket New Zealand’s most frequently performed texts with over a hundred productions in New Zealand, Australia, the UK and Germany. Her short stories have been widely anthologised, and her first novel, The Skinny Louie Book, won the New Zealand Book Award in 1992. She has published five subsequent novels, three of which have also been shortlisted for that award and nominated for the Dublin International Impac Literary Award.. Most recently, she has published non-fiction, including The Broken Book, a collection of essays and poems connected with walking and the experience of the Christchurch earthquake, shortlisted for the Book Awards in 2012. She has received various awards including the 1995 Mansfield Fellowship to Menton, the 2007 Prime Minister’s Award for Fiction, the 2011 Burns Fellowship at Otago University and in 2012, the ONZM for Services to Literature.
In 2013 she received the Creative New Zealand Michael King Fellowship to work on twinned books concerning the rebuilding of a damaged city. The first volume, The Villa at the Edge of the Empire (non-fiction), was published to critical acclaim in 2015. The second, titled Decline and Fall on Savage Street (fiction), is due for publication in 2016.