Te Papa Tupu writers announced for the 2021 MLT programme – whakamihi

Six aspiring Māori writers have been chosen to take a step forward in their journey to publishing.

The writers are: 

  • Ashlee Sturme (Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Ngāti Awa), Edgecumbe
  • Deborah Williams (Ngāi Tahu), Whāngārei
  • Geraldine Warren (Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Maniapoto), Auckland
  • Jade Kake (Ngāpuhi, Te Arawa, Te Whakatōhea), Whāngārei
  • Olivia Aroha Giles (Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Raukawa, Te Āti Awa, Te Ātihaunui-a-Pāpārangi Te Whānau-ā-Apanui, Ngāti Hinekawa), Ōtaki
  • Zeb Nicklin (Pāhauwera, Ngā Tokorima a Hinemanuhiri, Tūhoe, Tāmanuhiri, Rangitāne), Palmerston North.

    Top L-R: Ashlee Sturme, Deborah Williams, Geraldine Warren; Bottom L-R: Jade Kake, Olivia Aroha Giles, Zeb Nicklin

Reina Whaitiri, Whiti Hereaka and Eboni Waitere selected this year’s promising writers. ‘It has been a pleasure reading their work and discovering new ideas, new treatments of old stories, and reworkings of what it is to be human, to be Māori, to be a New Zealander,’ said Reina Whaitiri, poet, literature teacher and researcher, and previous Te Papa Tupu mentor.

‘The stories are interesting, meaty, humorous, risky, challenging and different. Many of the stories deal with topical issues, and some have drawn on real historical events and figures. Some draw on Māori mythology, and some have created new stories that delve deep into the Māori psyche. These submissions bode well for the future of writing by Māori. I constantly had to remind myself that what I was reading had not yet been published,’ Reina said.Whiti Hereaka, writer and trustee of the Māori Literature Trust, said, ‘It was truly difficult to narrow it down. If this year is not your year, don’t be discouraged. It took a couple of tries before I was accepted in Te Papa Tupu in 2012. Keep refining and polishing your work – and submit again.’

Te Papa Tupu commences in October. Writers will have the opportunity to share their experience through blog posts published online at mlt.org.nz.
About Te Papa Tupu

Te Papa Tupu is a unique writing programme that helps Māori writers to build confidence and improve their
writing in six months.
Te Papa Tupu is administered by Huia Publishers, which shares our vision of growing Māori writers.
Their team of experts will partner writers with a mentor who will work with them to develop a publishable manuscript.

To help them succeed in Te Papa Tupu and focus on writing, they will:

  • gain advice and help from a mentor to improve your manuscript
  • receive financial support throughout the six-month programme
  • attend three workshops and a national writers’ festival
  • connect with like-minded people.

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