Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Entries open for New Zealand’s leading literary fellowship

Applications for the 2018 Grimshaw Sargeson Fellowship are now open.

In its 31st year, the Fellowship is a national literary award offering published New Zealand writers, both here and overseas, the opportunity to focus on their craft full-time by providing an annual stipend of $20,000 and tenure at the Sargeson Centre in Auckland.

Poet Steven Toussaint, who has just completed his tenure at the centre, after being jointly awarded the 2017 Fellowship, says the experience was invaluable.

“I believe both young and more seasoned writers would find in the Fellowship a wonderful opportunity to get some serious work done,” says Toussaint.
“The Fellowship provided me with four months of unmitigated attention to focus on my next collection of poems and I am happy to say I left with a finished manuscript.”
“Trying to write and publish poetry that people want to read is a challenge full stop,” says Toussaint who had his first collection of poems The Bellfounder published in 2015.

For authors, the ability to take dedicated time out and focus on their work is so often the catalyst to creating something truly remarkable, says Frank Sargeson Trust Chair Elizabeth Aitken-Rose.

“We are pleased we are able to offer writers this opportunity and it is always wonderful to see what they are able to create.”
For the first time in its history, the 2017 Fellowship was awarded to two poets. Aitken-Rose says it is excellent the Fellowship celebrates across genres and would encourage authors to consider applying, no matter their area.

Past fellows have worked in many fields including poetry, creative non-fiction, novels, plays and film scripts and Aitken-Rose says the judges are looking forward to seeing what projects the applicants will be working on.

The Fellowship has been recognising and supporting some of our greatest talents for more than 30 years, says Grimshaw & Co Partner Paul Grimshaw.
Previous Fellows include Duncan Sarkies, Diana Wichtel, Alan Duff, Michael King, Marilyn Duckworth and Janet Frame.

“It offers vital support to New Zealand writers to focus, uninterrupted, on their work”, Grimshaw says. “They are contributing to New Zealand’s literary landscape and we are very proud to support them.”

Applications close on 6 October with the tenure due to start on 1 April 2018. Download the application form here.

Further information on the Fellowship is available here. Any queries can be directed to Elizabeth Bennie at or on +64 9 375 2393.

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