Inclusion Initiative recipients

CoNZealand has worked to be inclusive of indigenous, marginalised and underrepresented people. As such, it created two initiatives to assist New Zealand artists and those from the rest of the world to participate in the convention.

Participants were asked if they wished to take part in this display page. The following participants did so:

Aotearoa Initiative:

This was funded through donations made to the convention, and through a sponsorship programme with Kereru Beer. In particular, CoNZealand gratefully acknowledges the donation of the late Barry Newton, and Jim (and wife’s name) Curtain.

Emma Weakley

I am a freelance illustrator based in Kapiti, New Zealand. I have been working on a semi professional basis since 2007.

My first book, Jack and the Beanstalk was published in 2010. That Kind of Planet, a collection of my short comics, was published in 2016 and won the Sir Julius Vogel Award for best production/publication in 2017. I have also won the Sir Julius Vogel award in 2008, 2014, and 2017 for best professional artwork. I use a mixture of traditional drawing and digital painting. My experience is largely with book illustration, short comics, and individual commissioned artwork and illustrations.


Twitter – @TheNinjaZebra

Instagram – @theninjazebra

Drawing of Emma Weakley

Kalin M. Nenov

Kalin M. Nenov is a translator, editor, publisher, agent, and writer. Currently, he lives in Sofia, Bulgaria, and serves as Creative Director of the Human Library Foundation. His translations have appeared in various magazines and anthologies, most notably Up and Coming: Stories by the 2016 Campbell-Eligible Authors and most recently in Compelling Science Fiction #15 in 2020. Many of them have been collected in the forthcoming ФантАstika: Almanac of Bulgarian Speculative Fiction.

Find more on Kalin’s Goodreads Author Profile:

Photo of Kalin M. Nenov

Elizabeth Heritage

Nō Ingarangi aku tīpuna
He tangata tiriti ahau
I whānau mai au i Tāmaki Makaurau, i te rohe o Ngāti Whātua
Ko Waitematā te moana
Ko Ōwairaka te maunga
Ināianei e noho ana au ki Te Whanganui-a-Tara, i te rohe o Te Āti Awa
Ko Elizabeth Heritage taku ingoa

My ancestors come from England
I am here [in Aotearoa New Zealand] by virtue of the Treaty of Waitangi
I was born in Auckland in the traditional tribal area of Ngāti Whātua
Waitematā Harbour is the body of water that is special to me
Mount Albert is the mountain that is special to me
I now live in Wellington in the traditional tribal area of Te Āti Awa
My name is Elizabeth Heritage

Michi Trota

Michi Trota is a four-time Hugo Award-winner and British Fantasy Award winner. She is Editor-in-Chief of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America, co-editor with Isabel Schechter of the WisCon Chronicles Vol. 12 (Aqueduct Press), and the first Filipina Hugo Award winner. Michi is also the Senior Editor of the news site Prism. She was the first Managing Editor/Nonfiction Editor of Uncanny: A Magazine of Science Fiction and Fantasy, and is also an essayist, public speaker, and fire performance artist with the Raks Geek/Raks Inferno troupe in Chicago.

Michi Trota (she/her)

4-time Hugo Award Winner & British Fantasy Award Winner


Writer, Editor, Speaker


Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America, Editor-in-Chief


Raks Geek/Raks Inferno, Fire & Flow Performer |

Casey Lucas

When she isn’t writing, Casey Lucas splits her time between the video game and comics industries. She localises Japanese manga for the English-language market for Seven Seas Entertainment and serves as a community developer for Dinosaur Polo Club, working on Mini Metro and Mini Motorways. You may know her voice from her commentary for the New Zealand Ice Hockey League or her work on Seasons 2 and 3 of MONSTERS OUT OF THE CLOSET, an LGBTQ horror fiction podcast. Her web serial INTO THE MIRE was shortlisted for the Sir Julius Vogel Award in 2020 and her short fiction has appeared or is upcoming in DIABOLICAL PLOTS and YEAR’S BEST AOTEAROA NEW ZEALAND SCIENCE FICTION AND FANTASY. She’s active on Twitter as @CaseyLucasQuaid.

Reuben Baron

Reuben Baron is a queer, Jewish, autistic writer and filmmaker. They’re an editor for and regularly present panels at Anime Boston and Arisia. Their short films The Making of a Superhero Musical and The Music of Erich Zann have played at film festivals, and they’re currently trying to get one of their feature screenplays produced. Follow them on Twitter at AndalusianDoge.

Silvana Paath

Silvana Paath lives in West Java, Indonesia. Science fiction and fantasy is her staple food ever since she watched Xena the Warrior Princess and Star Trek: TNG. She has read more than 100 SFF works in 2020. She is one of the co-founders of Westeros Indonesia  – the country’s fanclub for A Song of Ice and Fire novel series. When she is not interacting with authors on Twitter, she spends her time reading and discussing books and media in various SFF groups in Goodreads. Her dream is to become a Lady Astronaut, but for now she’s happy to read more space SF with great female leads. (

Richard Finn

Richard Finn was the Programme Director of WhitireiaNZ’s Stage and Screen Arts course until 2016, when he decided to take leave to enjoy a mid-life crisis. He has worked for many years as a professional theatre director, and more recently as a script-writer, gaining his M.A. in Creative Writing in 2010. He is a passionate believer in the power of performing arts as a training medium, and collaboration as an educational process. In 2017, after moving to Melbourne, he became a father for the first time. He then repeated this world-shifting event in 2019. He is now a full-time at home dad, (of which there are less than 5% of two parent families in Australia) to his two daughters. Somewhat isolated, he shares his primary-care-giver time with working on his Doctorate of Creative Arts at the University of the Sunshine Coast, Australia. Occasionally he still finds time to play his guitar.

Justin C. Key

Justin C. Key is a speculative fiction writer and psychiatrist. His short stories have appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Strange Horizons, and Crossed Genres. His novelette, The Perfection of Theresa Watkins, will be published by this fall and he’s currently working on a near-future novel inspired by his medical training. When Justin isn’t writing, working in the hospital, or exploring Los Angeles, California with his wife, he’s chasing after his two young (and energetic!) sons. You can follow his journey at and @JustinKey_MD on Twitter.

Kat Kourbeti

Kat is a queer SFF writer based in the UK. She co-organises the London Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Group, Spectrum, and is also on the concom for ConTamination 2020, a new virtual science fiction convention with a pandemic theme, set to take place in September. 

She has been in fandom for most of her life and, contrary to what her glaringly North American accent might suggest, is in fact from Greece.

Andi C. Buchanan

Andi C. Buchanan is a queer and disabled writer/reader/editor/fan who lives just north of Wellington and is the author of From a Shadow Grave, an urban fantasy based on a real Wellington murder – and the rumoured haunting that followed. Winner of a 2019 Sir Julius Vogel Award in the Best Short Story category, their fiction is published in Fireside, Apex, Kaleidotrope, Glittership, and more. Andi also edited a collection of SFF that included gender diverse pronouns, which earned a place on the Otherwise/Tiptree honour list. You can find them at