17 November 2017
Michael King Writers’ Centre 2018 Residency Recipients Announced
Next year New Zealand’s largest writer-residency organisation will host its largest-ever number of residencies, offering opportunities to 15 emerging and established writers – historians, memoirists, essay writers, fiction writers, poets and dramatists.
Established writers include Courtney Sina Meredith (Early Summer), Fiona Samuel (Winter) Jacquie McRae (Māori residency), Tracy Farr (Spring) and Mark Broatch (Late Spring).
The six-month University of Auckland Residency at the MKWC has been awarded to acclaimed playwright Victor Roger who will work on a novel and a collection of short fiction. ‘Having written an essay last year for the Academy of New Zealand Literature about the state of Pasifika fiction,’ Victor says, ‘it’s very clear that New Zealand is lacking Pasifika novelists. One of the huge drivers for me to finish this work is the desire to add another voice to the canon.’
The newly established Pasifika residency will be held jointly by historian Trevor Bentley and poet Serie Barford who will each spend two weeks at the centre in Devonport.
The first recipient of a Pasifika residency for emerging writers is ‘radical accountant’ Pala Malisa, son of former Vanua’aku Pati cabinet minister Sela Molisa and civil servant and the writer Grace Molisa.
The first recipients of Māori residencies for emerging writers are fiction writers Helen Waaka and Kelly Joseph, and essayist Nadine Millar.
Other emerging writers awarded residencies are Alan Drew, Lawrence Patchett, and Rosetta Allan.
By winter Fiona Samuel will take up a four week residency to work on a novella – an imaginary memoir based on a significant event in the life of her grandmother and her great aunt.
Jacquie McRae will take up the Māori Writer’s Residency to work on a new work of fiction based on facts about the colourful history of the temperance movement in New Zealand and the resulting illicit trade of home brewed whiskey.
Tracy Farr been awarded the four-week Spring Residency to work on her latest project; her third novel – the story of three sisters, identical triplets born in an amusement park in the first decade of the twentieth century. The novel explores the sisters’ ability to describe the world and make it into sense, and to live lives filled with wonder. It is a novel that is deeply interested in voice and in identity – how they form, how they develop and change.
In the late spring, Mark Broatch will spend two weeks working on completing the final draft of a contemporary novel that has at its centre an exploration of modern relationships and male friendship.
The Early Summer Residency has been awarded to Courtney Sina Meredith. Courtney will hold a four-week residency. Her project is a work of creative non-fiction. Courtney says ‘this will be a book of creative non-fiction that plaits together stories of young creatives in Aotearoa with an emphasis on Pasifika, Maori and Queer voices. This book is inspired by the ‘real life’ stories I have been privileged enough to hear, receive and observe – as a writer, educator, arts administrator, and more recently as a feature writer and contributing editor’.
All of the residencies are available thanks to support from Creative New Zealand.
The Michael King Writers’ Centre thanks all applicants and wishes all our residency recipients the best of luck with their work.