The Michael King Writers Centre announces recipients of  International Exchange with Australia

Media Release

New Zealand writer Dominic Hoey and Australian writer Kathryn Heyman have been announced as the recipients of the 2024 New Zealand-Australia residency exchange, an international residency programme held by Varuna, the Australian National Writers House in collaboration with the Michael King Writers Centre in Auckland.


The four-week residency exchange will take place during October and November 2024. Before flying to Wellington to participate in the Verb Wellington Readers & Writers Festival, Kathryn will spend her time at the Michael King Writers Centre working on a memoir based on creative investigation. Dominic will work on his latest book, a novel, at Varuna and will appear at the Blue Mountains Writers Festival.

Both writers’ centres said We received some truly wonderful applications. The standard of applications for this exchange program was very competitive’.

Dominic is a Tāmaki Makaurau-based poet, author and playwright. His two novels, Iceland and Poor People With Money were New Zealand bestsellers. Iceland was long-listed for the 2018 Ockham Book Award. He’s released four successful poetry collections, including I Thought We’d Be Famous and most recently The Dead Are Always Laughing at Us. In 2019 he co-founded Dead Bird Books (DBB), a small press publishing writers who sit on the margins of the New Zealand publishing industry. He is also the founder of Learn To Write Good, a creative writing programme teaching craft to people who don’t have access to formal education. Dominic has written and performed two critically acclaimed one-man shows; Your Heart Looks Like a Vagina, a dark comedy about living with Autoimmune disease, and 45 Cents An Hour about the realities of being an artist in Aotearoa. In a former life, Dominic released four rap albums and was an MC battle and slam-poetry champion. He’s performed his poetry in Australia, Europe, England, Japan, Canada and America.

Dr Kathryn Heyman is the author of six novels and the acclaimed memoir, Fury, which was shortlisted for the Adelaide Festival Awards for Literature and is in development as a feature film.  Her first novel, The Breaking, was shortlisted for the Stakis Award for the Scottish Writer of the Year and longlisted for the Orange Prize. Her other awards include the Arts Council of England Writers Award, the Wingate Prize and the Southern Arts Awards, and nominations for the Edinburgh Fringe Critics’ Awards, the Kibble Prize, and the West Australian Premier’s Book Awards.  She received the Copyright Agency Author Fellowship for Fury.  Alongside her publishing career, she has also written several dramas and serials for BBC Radio.

Chair of the Board of Trustees, Melanie Laville-Moore says The growing partnership between the Michael King Writers Centre Trust and Australian equivalent Varuna House remains a key highlight in the calendars of both organisations. We’re so excited to see what Dominic Hoey achieves during his upcoming stay in the Blue Mountains. We look forward to welcoming Australian writer Kathryn Heyman for her stay at the Signalman’s Cottage on Mt Takarunga later this year’.

For more information on the exchange see Michael King Writers Centre Website.

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