Mike Riddell Writer’s Residency 2024

Mike Riddell Writer’s Residency 2024

Applications are now open for the Mike Riddell Writers’ Residency in the village of Ōtūrēhua in Central Otago. The residency honours the writer Mike Riddell, who instigated the idea of administering a writer’s residency in Ōtūrēhua.  The idea was to offer a generously donated package of house and stipend to a writer or writers over 12 winter weeks in the hope that they would find inspiration in this grand landscape as well as the support of a group of committed writers who have made this village their home.

The residency of six or twelve weeks includes the exclusive use of a three bedroom home and a weekly stipend of $1000 during the stay.  The house (built 2012) sits in the centre of the village, three doors from the pub and store. Power, internet, and firewood are covered by the residency.

The Under Rough Ridge Writer’s Retreat Trust members invite applications from serious writers of proven literary merit of the genres of fiction, nonfiction or poetry. ‘Proven literary merit’ means having published at least one book as well as a body of work in recognised publications.

The residency is intended for writers for whom the stipend and the opportunity to dedicate several months to working on a specified project will represent a life-changing benefit. It’s therefore likely that the successful applicant will be an emerging or mid-career writer.

Applicants should be Aotearoa New Zealand citizens or permanent residents actually living in this country, and at least 35 years of age.

There is the possibility for the residency to be shared between two people for six weeks each. Please specify whether you wish to stay for 6 or 12 weeks.  We require each resident to send us a written report at the end of their stay about their time in the village and their writing project. We also ask the resident/s to donate a copy of one of their books to the house.

Resident/s are responsible for their travel to and from Ōtūrēhua and transport while here, as well as their own food. Please note that shopping facilities in the village are limited. Ranfurly is 25 kms to the north, and Alexandra 60 kms to the south.

Applicants also need to be aware that maturity, resilience and good health are needed to live in rural Central Otago through the winter!

The residency cannot be held concurrently with another literary grant. If, at the time of selection, the successful applicant has been awarded one, the Mike Riddell Writer’s Residency will go to the next person on the shortlist.

The proposed project may not constitute all or part of an academic thesis, whether or not funding has been received for that study.

Any published work arising from the residency should acknowledge the award.

Applications for this year’s residency opened on 26 February and close on Friday 5 April. Please follow the link on the website https://www.underroughridge.co.nz/residency for a downloadable copy of the criteria and an application form. The Trust’s decision will be notified to all applicants by the middle of May, and the successful applicant will need to take up residence in Ōtūrēhua in mid June, or six weeks later if residency is shared. Applications may be sent by e-mail to rose@fylm.co.nz, or by mail to Rose Riddell, Under Rough Ridge Writers’ Trust, Oturehua 9387.

You have to be here, you / have to feel the deep / slow surge of the hills, / the cloak of before, the wrench / of beyond”

— Brian Turner


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