Former leading New Zealand publisher and bookseller, and widely experienced judge of both the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the Montana New Zealand Book Awards, talks about what he is currently reading, what impresses him and what doesn't, along with chat about the international English language book scene, and links to sites of interest to booklovers.
Tuesday, September 05, 2017
Major shake-up of awards by NZ’s national writer-residency organisation
Zealand’s largest writer-residency organisation has totally revamped its
programme for 2018 following calls by writers for greater flexibility.
Michael King Writers’ Centre provides a year-round programme of residencies at
the historic Signalman’s Cottage on Takarunga Mt Victoria in Devonport,
Auckland. Residents receive accommodation, the use of a studio and a generous
residencies were awarded in 2017, ranging from eight weeks to six months, but
the new 2018 residencies will be available for up 13 writers, and applicants
can stay for as little as a fortnight at the centre. A Pasifika residency has
been added to support Pasifika writing.
heard anecdotally that some writers were finding it hard to commit to some of
the longer residencies, so we did a survey of over 130 writers, and they clearly
told us they’d like more flexibility. So we’re opening these wonderful
residencies right up,” said Catriona Ferguson, chair of the MKWC’s board of
people, especially emerging writers, told us they were in the ironic position
of not being able to accept free accommodation, a studio, and a healthy
stipend, because it meant too long a break from their regular lives.
hope to attract a more diverse range of writers with this new schedule,
including oneswho, at this stage in
their career, are keen to have a place and dedicated time to write, but can
only commit to a relatively short time away.”
increased flexibility is great for us too,” said Ferguson, “in that it allows
us to broaden the scope of writers we can support”.
HOW ARE THE MICHAEL
KING WRITERS’ CENTRE RESIDENCIES DIVVIED UP NOW?
University of Auckland Residency: 20
The Māori Writer’s Residency: Between
two and eight weeks
Pasifika Residency: Between two and
Emerging Writer Residency: Between
two and four weeks
residency programme aims to support New Zealand writers and promote the
development of high-quality New Zealand writing. Projects can be in a wide
range of genres, including non-fiction, fiction, children and young adult, drama
residencies are offered with the assistance of Creative New Zealand.
WHO CAN APPLY?
from all over New Zealand, including those who live in Auckland, are welcome to
* The 20
week residency, offered in partnership with the University of Auckland, is for
an established author who will benefit from the academic environment.
* The shorter
residencies are open to emerging, mid-career or established writers.
who do not qualify for the supported residency programme are able to apply to
be a visiting writer on a paying basis.
WHAT IS THE MICHAEL
KING WRITERS’ CENTRE?
in 2005, the Centre was established to realise Michael King’s dream of having a
residential retreat for New Zealand writers so that they would have time and
money to work on a major project over an extended period.
New Zealand writers have held residencies at the centre since 2005.
* The current writer in residence
is Anthony Byrt whose first book, This Model World: Travels to the Edge of
Contemporary Art was shortlisted for the 2017 Ockham Royal Society Te Apārangi Award for General Non-fiction.
resident writers include Man Booker prize-winner Eleanor Catton, who wrote the
final draft of her novel The Luminaries
at the centre.Additionally, Sarah Laing,
Vincent O’ Sullivan, Chris Price and Frankie McMillan (this year’s University
of Auckland/MKWC resident), were all longlisted for the 2017 Ockham New Zealand
MORE INFORMATION ON
further information about applying for residencies, pleasecall Tania Stewart: