CLNZ / NZSA Research Grants

The Research Grants are proudly bought to you by the New Zealand Society of Authors (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. Four Open $5,000 Research Grants are available most years.

Dates for 2021:

The CLNZ / NZSA Research Grants will open for applications on Thursday 13 May 2021, and will close at 4.30pm Friday 11 June.

More information, including an application guide and conditions, will be available closer to opening.

Past Recipients

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 (read the 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