Lani Wendt Young

Photo credit: E-Tangata

Lani Wendt-Young

Apia, Samoa

A former teacher in Samoa, writer, editor, publisher and journalist.

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 as a journalist. Her writing career as an author was launched when the National University of Samoa held a Short Story competition in 2002, where 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. The boook 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.

The conclusion to the Telesa trilogy series was published in June 2013 in Kindle and paperback editions, titled “The Bone Bearer”.

2019 recipient of a New Zealand Society of Authors Waitangi Day Honor
2018 ACP Pacific Laureate selected by the Africa, Caribbean, Pacific Group of States
2018 recipient of the Douglas Gabb Australia Pacific Journalism Internship, hosted by ABC News and the Australian Dept of Foreign Affairs and Trade
2017 One of 10 “outstanding journalists” from the Pacific selected to report on the 2017 United Nations Climate Change Conference, held in Bonn, Germany
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


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