CLNZ | NZSA Research Grants

The Research Grants are proudly bought to you by the New Zealand Society of Authors Te Puni Kaituhi o Aotearoa PEN NZ Inc (NZSA) and Copyright Licensing New Zealand (CLNZ) to support New Zealand writers by providing assistance to writers who wish to undertake research for a fiction or non-fiction writing project.

A broad range of fiction and non-fiction writing projects are eligible for these grants, however some works and projects are excluded, so make sure you carefully read the application guide before applying.

Application form for the CLNZ | NZSA Research Grants will be available when grants open

Four Open $5,000 Research Grants are available in 2024

One of the four Research Grants is targeted at diverse writers and diverse and new topics, and writers who propose to write on issues or subjects that are topical in present day Aotearoa.

Applications open 10 May 2024 (9am)
Applications close 7 June 2024 (4pm)

Please keep an eye on this page, our social media pages, and (if you are a member) on the Literary Bulletin for updates about the grants.

Past Recipients

2023 Read the full media release about the winners here

Trevor Bentley – with book project Te Kaewa – The Wanderers: Māori Sailors on EuroAmerican Ships, 1790s-1890s

Saige England – with novel project No Graves for Ghosts

Hana Tapiata – with book project Atua Rei: the wisdom of Māori goddesses and ancestral knowledge

Michael O’Leary – with project History of Paekākāriki

2022 Read the full media release about the winners here

Maria Samuela – with project novel, Kana

Bonnie Etherington – with book project, A Fried Egg in Space

Sylvan Thomson – with book project, The Third Kingdom

Emma Espiner (Ngāti Tukorehe, Ngāti Porou) – with project Practical skills for the zombie apocalypse (working title)

2021 Read the full media release about the winners here

Lauren Keenan (Te Ātiawa ki Taranaki), for her project Rākau: The Lost Tree

Anthony Green, for his project Hurt, Hope, and Healing

Lillian Duval, for her project Six-legged Ghosts: Stories of the Insects of Aotearoa

Grant for a writer whose project is on diverse and new topics, and on issues or subjects that are topical in present day Aotearoa New Zealand: Bonnie Maihi, for her project The Brilliance of Resilience – Hope for a generation

2020 Read the full media release about the winners here

Fraser Smith for his project Bouncing Back

Vasanti Unka for her project Somewhat Indian – A New Zealand Story

Elizabeth Cox for her project Elemental: New Zealand’s Women Architects

Wystan Curnow for his project Colin McCahon, Let Us Possess One World.

2019 Full media release about the winners

Open Grant: Giovanna Fenster – writing ‘Be Reasonable’. This entry impressed the judges with its originality. “We felt that as research continues the subject may broaden to investigate areas as yet unexplored. A clever concept with contemporary applications.”

Open Grant: Philip Simpson – writing ‘Remarkable Plants of Aotearoa New Zealand’. The judges said that Philip’s project will be another volume in this author’s fascinating exploration of our country’s flora. Philip is described by one of the panel as ‘a botanist story teller’ and another as ‘like being taught by a favourite teacher.’

Open Grant: Ghazaleh Golbakhsh – writing ‘The Shah of Grey Lynn and Other Stories’. The judges felt Ghazaleh’s entry was outstanding. It was “a piece of writing that kept enticing you back for yet one more read.”

Stout Grant: Joanne Drayton – writing ‘A Good Listener’. Joanne Drayton is an acclaimed New York Times bestselling author who has published six books and numerous chapters and articles. The judges said Joanne has a deserved reputation and her writing has a wide popular appeal. “A well thought out and engaging proposal for a project of national significance and interest.”


Open Grant: Jock Phillips – writing ‘A History of New Zealand in 100 Objects’. This book will tell the history of New Zealand in an accessible and interesting way – through the stories of 100 objects carefully chosen to be representative and intriguing.

Open Grant: Philip Matthews – ‘Funny As’, the first comprehensive history of comedy in New Zealand. Covering everything from live performance to literature to screen culture, it looks at how we express our sense of humour and what for.

Open Grant: Pip Desmond – ‘Some People Feel the Rain’ about the death of 21-year-old Nicky Stevens.

Stout: Dr Mike Dickison – ‘The New Zealand Amateur Naturalist,’ a collection of practical activities for Kiwis aged 9–teen encouraging them to explore and observe the natural world and become citizen scientists.

Jamie Robins
Phil Garnock-Jones
Pip Hall
Michalia Arathimos

Susy Pointon
Jared Davidson
Grace Millar
Aaron Fox

Heather McQuillan
Paul Moon
Philippa Werry
Paul Bensemann

Hannah August
Alison Wong
Adam Dudding

Witi Ihimaera
Laurence Fearnley

Kelly Ana Morey
David McGill

Jenny Argante
Stout Grant

Bradford Haami
Rebecca Priestley

Jocelyn Robson
Bill Morris

Simon Nathan
Peter Wells