The $7,000 fellowship is awarded each year to a mid-career or senior writer to work on a project that shows a high level of literary merit and national significance.
Kapiti Coast writer Tina Makereti will use the fellowship to work on her fiction project the Imaginary Lives of James Pōneke. Tina said “I’m so very grateful to receive the NZSA Peter & Dianne Beatson Fellowship as it means I’ll be able to take valuable time out to complete this novel. The Fellowship not only supports the project financially, but provides crucial encouragement and just the right amount of time pressure to get things done! Ngā mihi nui ki te whānau Beatson mō tēnei taonga miharo.”
Selection panel convenor Joan Rosier-Jones commented: “there were a number of most worthy applications for the fellowship and the final eight applications were so close in merit that the task of choosing one was enormous. The panel were eventually unanimous in their choice of Tina Makereti for The Imaginary Lives of James Poneke. It is very fine writing and an entertaining concept which should guarantee a wide market”.
This annual award is made possible with grateful thanks to the generosity of the Beatson’s. In 2015 the fellowship was awarded to Michael Harlow who used the time to work on his manuscript All the Pianos in the Wood. He also used the stipend to accept an invitation to represent NZ at the ‘Europa in Versi’ Poetry Festival at Lake Como, Italy. Previous recipients have included Emma Neale, Mandy Hager, Carl Nixon, Glenn Colquhoun, Sue McCauley and Marilyn Duckworth.
We congratulate Tina Makereti and also the applicants who were shortlisted.