Wes Lee is a writer, based in Auckland, New Zealand. Her chapbook of short stories Cowboy Genes was published by Grist Books at the University of Huddersfield and launched at the Huddersfield Literature Festival in March 2014.

She was the 2010 recipient of The BNZ Katherine Mansfield Literary Award, New Zealand’s foremost award for the short story, and has won a number of prizes for her writing, including, The Short Fiction Writing Prize (University of Plymouth Press), The Over the Edge New Writer of the Year Award in Ireland, and The Bronwyn Tate Memorial Award in New Zealand. 

She has been shortlisted for numerous awards, including, The Bryan MacMahon Short Story Award; The Seán Ó Faoláin Short Story Prize; The Scott Prize (Salt Publishing) in London.

Most recently she was awarded second place in The London Magazine Poetry Prize 2015; third place in the 2014 Troubadour Poetry Prize in London; shortlisted for The Frogmore Poetry Prize 2016, and The Remember Oluwale Prize 2016 in the UK.

Her writing has recently appeared in a number of literary journals and anthologies, including, Westerly, Landfall, Poetry London, Magma, Riptide, The Stony Thursday Book, Going Down Swinging, The Sleepers Almanac, NOON, Underneath: The University of Canberra Vice-Chancellor’s Poetry Prize Anthology 2015, The Canterbury Festival Poet of the Year Anthology 2015, The London Magazine, Meniscus, Cordite, and The Best New British and Irish Poets 2016.

‘Of the five stories in Cowboy Genes, three struck me: Diseases from Space, The Gardenia Girls, and especially Crash Test Dummies. If you are weary of cheap cynicism being passed off as profundity, you’ll feel great empathy for Victor, the central character of this story, who yearns for things that are life-changing, life-affirming.’ – Jim Greenhalf (Telegraph & Argus).


Launched at the Huddersfield Literature Festival 2014, Cowboy Genes brings together a selection of Wes Lee’s short fiction.


Cowboy Genes is published by Grist Books at the University of Huddersfield and is available from Amazon and Inpress Books.


‘In Wes Lee’s beautiful collection of short fiction, the shadow of death looms.’ – Michael Stewart (Cafe Assassin, 2015).