Dunedin writer Sue Wootton is the recipient of the NZSA Peter & Dianne Beatson Fellowship 2018.
Sue Wootton will use the fellowship to work on an historical novel. She says: ‘I’m proud and delighted to be the recipient of the 2018 Peter and Dianne Beatson Fellowship. It’s really invigorating to receive this vote of confidence in my project, and wonderful to know that I can now dedicate a sustained stretch of time to work on my second novel, which begins during the 1948 polio epidemic and explores the effects of this on one NZ family’.
Sue Wootton’s poetry, fiction and essays are widely published in New Zealand and internationally, and her work has been recognised in a number of awards and competitions, including the International Hippocrates Prize for Poetry and Medicine, the Caselberg Poetry Prize, the Gwen Harwood Poetry Prize, the University of Canberra Vice Chancellor’s Prize, the BNZ Katherine Mansfield Short Story Competition and the NZ Poetry Society International Competition. Her debut novel, Strip (Mākaro Press), was longlisted for the fiction prize in the 2017 Ockham NZ Book Awards, and her fifth poetry collection, The Yield (Otago University Press) was a finalist in the 2018 poetry category of these prestigious national awards.
Selection panel convener David Hill commented: ‘Sue Wootton is a versatile and much-admired writer, with a growing track record in both poetry and prose. Her sample of work is distinguished by writing that is both adventurous and accessible.’
This annual award is made possible with thanks to the generosity of the Beatson’s. In establishing this fellowship, they have given NZ authors a valuable opportunity to be economically secure while they bring a project to completion. It’s a commitment and affirmation for New Zealand writers. The New Zealand Society of Authors (PEN NZ Inc) Te Puni Kaituhi O Aotearoa is most grateful.
In 2017 the fellowship was awarded to Jillian Sullivan who used the time to work on a collection of creative non-fiction essays (including poetry) set in Central Otago and with a strong conservation base. Previous recipients have included Tina Makereti, Michael Harlow, Emma Neale, Mandy Hager, Carl Nixon, Glenn Colquhoun, Sue McCauley and Marilyn Duckworth.
We congratulate Sue Wootton and the other outstanding applicants shortlisted for 2018.
The New Zealand Society of Authors (PEN NZ Inc) Te Puni Kaituhi O Aotearoa
Image of pohutukawa courtesy of James Kirkus-Lamont. Generously supplied via flickr for Creative Commons use.