University of Otago fellowships named

Becky Manawatu

Becky Manawatu

Award-winning novelist and West Coast newspaper reporter Becky Manawatu has been named as next year’s University of Otago Burns Fellow.


The university also announced that Heather McQuillan is the University of Otago College of Education Creative New Zealand Children’s Writer in Residence.

Otago humanities division pro-vice-chancellor Prof Tony Ballantyne said next year’s recipients included award-winning writers and artists tackling challenging social issues; composers creating soaring operas, and dancers working with the community.

Burns Fellow Ms Manawatu lives in Waimangaroa, and is a reporter at the Westport News.

Her first novel, Aue, won the Jann Medlicott Acorn Prize for fiction and this year won the Hubert Church Prize for best first book of fiction.

Her work dealt with gritty social issues with an authentic voice, a university spokesman said.

She said she wanted to use the time to learn, grow and develop some intelligence and understanding, she said.

Ms McQuillan, an award-winning children’s writer, said her selection for the fellowship was an incredible boost.

Ms McQuillan lives in Christchurch, where she is the director at Write On School for Young Writers. She will take up the residency in the Robert Lord Cottage in North Dunedin.

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