Jul 04

Lani Wendt Young

Personal Life:

Lani Wendt-Young (born in Apia, Samoa) is a published Author living in Auckland, New Zealand. She is married to Darren Young and have five children together.

She is also the niece of well-known Author & Writer – Albert Wendt.



After finishing high school in Washington DC, Wendt-Young returned to New Zealand, studying English Literature and Women’s Studies at Victoria University in Wellington. She later studied for a diploma in Teaching at Wellington’s College of Education.


Professional Career:

Wendt-Young worked as an English teacher for 7 years at Samoa College, Pesega Church College and Robert Louis Stevenson School. Throughout her teaching career, she still managed to write articles for the local newspaper and herself. Her writing career was launched when the National University of Samoa held a Short Story competition in 2002, she went on to win with ‘A Sister’s Story’.

Since then, her work has been published in collections out of New Zealand, Australia and Samoa. Wendt-Young’s fiction for children has been published in the Primary school Journal Series in New Zealand.

In 2009, Wendt-Young was commissioned to research and write the narrative non-fiction book Pacific Tsunami Galu Afi, it gave interwoven first-hand accounts of over 180 people from survivors, rescuers, medical teams and aid workers, as well as stories on those who died from the tragic event. The book was funded by the Australian Government Aid program and all book sale profits went back to tsunami survivors that were interviewed. This was Wendt-Young’s first book.

Wendt-Young’s novel ‘Telesa:The Covenant Keeper’, which is intended for a Young Adult audience, sees a blend of Pacific mythology into a contemporary Young Adult love story that involves fantasy, thriller and romance. The book is the first of Wendt-Young’s Telesa trilogy series. The e-book version was released in September 2011, with over 13,000 downloads to-date since it’s release. The print version of the book was first launched in her native Samoa in October 2011, and then launched in Auckland (New Zealand) on December 13, 2011, which was jointly hosted by AUT and Auckland University.

The highly anticipated second novel to Wendt-Young’s Telesa trilogy series – ‘When Water Burns‘, was released in both e-book and print version during the month of June 2012. It is a worthy sequel to ‘The Covenant Keeper‘, which will introduce new characters such as Keahi from Hawaii and the Tongan Telesa Sisterhood and their Covenant Keeper.

Wendt-Young will be releasing the third book to the Telesa trilogy series titled ‘The Bone Bearer’ at the end of July 2013.


Highlights & Awards:

  • 2011 USP Press Fiction Award Winner for ‘Sleepless in Samoa’ – A collection of Short fiction.
  • 2010 Commendation Prize Winner (Commonwealth Short Story Competition)
  • 2002 Winner of the N.U.S (National University of Samoa) Telecom Short Story Competition












Source – Lani Wendt Young, Amazon

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