11 November 2020
This year’s Michael King Writers Centre residency selection panel had their work cut out for them with a high number of applications received again for the 20 residencies planned across 2021.
There were 119 applicants totalling 433 individual applications across all of the available categories. A continuing trend is the high number of applicants in the emerging writers category. There is clearly a large and growing demand for developing writers to have an opportunity to retreat and work on their craft. This underpins our kaupapa of supporting grassroots growth in the literary sector.
The Michael King Writers Centre Trust is looking forward to welcoming and hosting a diverse cohort of writers who, during their time in Devonport’s Signalman’s House, will work on an exciting and eclectic range of topics including: a sequence of poems around the theme of endurance, with special reference to the Antarctic; a middle-grade sustainability fable for our unsettling times; and a domestic dramedy grappling with race, sexuality and family, examining the ways we keep our identities compartmentalised and separate. There is also an original overview of the use of prison labour in New Zealand’s long nineteenth century—from the Church Missionary Society’s use of convicts in 1814 to the state prison farms of the 1920s.
Established writers to receive residencies are: Kerrin P. Sharpe, Jane Bloomfield, Gina Cole, Steph Matuku, Jared Davidson, Kate Duignan, Kyle Mewburn, Octavia Cade, Tracy Farr, Pip Desmond, Helen Vivienne Fletcher, Anna Jackson, Ingrid Horrocks and Miro Bilbrough.
Emerging writers awarded a residency are: Emma Hislop, Lana Lopesi, Nathan Joe, Kiran Dass, Zarah Butcher-McGunnigle and Jordan Hamel.
‘Once again the selection panel was hugely impressed by the standard of writers and applications received for next year’s residencies at the Centre,’ says board of trustees Chair, Melanie Laville-Moore. ‘There are significant and high quality projects to be worked upon from a wide-range of writers at various career stages, and we very much look forward to welcoming them to the Centre across the year ahead.
The Michael King Writers Centre thanks all applicants and wishes our residency recipients the very best of luck with their work.