New Residency a Valentine’s Gift for Writers

New Residency a Valentine’s Gift for Writers

Applications for a new three-week writer’s residency in Wellington will open this Valentine’s Day, 14 February 2020. The Verb Wellington Writers Residency is open to local and international writers and supported by Park Hotel and Katherine Mansfield House & Garden. The selected writer will spend three weeks immersed in the vibrant creative culture of Aotearoa’s capital city, writing in the birthplace of internationally acclaimed Modernist writer Katherine Mansfield and staying in the heart of the city at Park Hotel.

“Dedicated time and space for writing is invaluable for writers at any stage of their career, so this Residency is an incredibly exciting new opportunity,” says Verb Wellington Director, Claire Mabey, co-creator of the beloved annual literary event LitCrawl and the Verb Wellington Festival.

“Katherine Mansfield House & Garden holds a special place in Aotearoa’s literary landscape and Mansfield’s life and work still inspire writers around the world today. To be able to write in that space and stay in a contemporary 4-star hotel right amongst everything the city has to offer is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that will no doubt produce some compelling work.”

Both Park Hotel and Katherine Mansfield House & Garden are thrilled to support creativity and offer a uniquely Wellington experience through this new Residency.

Opened in 2016, Park Hotel is nestled between the bustling Terrace and Midland Park. With rooms named after birds that call New Zealand home, and a distinctly New Zealand-flavour that can be found throughout this independent, locally owned and operated hotel.

Owner Alex Cassels is known for doing Wellington with a twist, and has a track record of projects that are a bit different from the status quo in the capital. Cassels’ creative impact in the area includes The Perch, Park Hotel’s onsite pocket gallery featuring art by local artists.

“Verb is an important piece of Wellington’s creative puzzle. Park’s part in this residency is to give the selected writer the ever-valuable mental space and comfort to dedicate uninterrupted time to their craft,” says Cassels.

“This is the kind of partnership that is absolutely Wellington through and through and we’re thrilled to be a part of it.”

In the nearby historic area of Thorndon, the 1888 home of a young Mansfield and her fashionable colonial family illustrates the decorative trends of the late 19th-century with richly patterned wallpapers and warm native timber. Heritage roses and native plants flourish in the garden at the foot of Te Ahumairangi, near the site of what was once a Māori kāinga named Pakuao.

“During Mansfield’s short life, which was tragically cut short by tuberculosis in France at age 34, she changed the way the short story was written in the English language and her own life story and words fill the rooms the house here on Tinakori Road,” says Cherie Jacobson, Director of Katherine Mansfield House & Garden. “I think a writer will feel very much at home here!”

Applications for the Verb Wellington Residency are invited from writers of short stories, novels, poetry, creative non-fiction and memoir. The Residency will take place for three weeks during June and July and include a NZD$1,000 stipend from Verb Wellington. More information and the application form can be found at


Andrew Laking, Co-Director, Verb Wellington

+64 21 207 6466