Since she was a child, Zoe Garden, 21, has held a passion for writing
“I remember when I was seven or eight,” she says, “I wrote a story about the end of the world and the survivors living on the tops of hills”.
“It was,” she admits, “not my most impressive story, but definitely the most fun.”
Throughout her childhood Zoe continued to write creatively. When she was 12, she was accepted into NZ Writer’s College, a school meant for high school students.
She completed two courses – creative writing and scriptwriting.
Three years later, Zoe’s love for creative writing became intertwined with journalism.
“I’ve always been fascinated by the news,” she states. “It all seemed very exciting to me – meeting a variety of people, discovering new stories and achievements”.
In 2018, upon graduating from ACG Senior College, Zoe was accepted into a Bachelors of Communication Studies at Auckland University of Technology (AUT).
“Throughout university my favourite classes were always journalism,” she says. “I found it challenging in a way – there’s a very big difference between writing fiction and non-fiction”.
In her first two years of studies, Zoe was a student journalist with the Pohutukawa Coast Times. By then, she’d been living in Beachlands for more than three years.
“I grew up in Botany,” she says. “Then I moved to Beachlands so I felt like I had a decent idea of the inner workings of east Auckland”.
In the third year of her degree, she chose Public Relations (PR) to be her major.
“I do enjoy PR however my true passion is journalism,” says Zoe.
Three months post-graduation, she has begun to write for the Times.
Zoe says she enjoys writing local stories more than general events. “It’s always interesting discovering stories about people within the community. There are always hidden gems – things you don’t know are there until you dig deeper”.
Outside of journalism and writing, Zoe enjoys history, football and films. She played football throughout her childhood and began a love of films when she first saw Aliens.
“People are terrified of horror films,” she says. “I love them!”
Zoe fills a spot in the newsroom left vacant by news editor Farida Master who is on a Sabbatical for several months.
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