The winners of the 2018 D’Arcy Writers’ Grants are Renee Liang and Mary Paul. They will each receive $5000 for 10,000-12,000 word essays.
The judges decided on the two winners from the largest field of applicants since the grants were first offered by generous New York-based expatriates, Mark and Deborah D’Arcy.
Renee Liang plans an essay that examines ‘the issue of poverty in New Zealand and its current impact on families through the lens of a paediatrician’, using ‘research results, statistics and case studies.’ The judges decided Liang, who is a second generation Kiwi of Chinese descent, has proven writing ability and, as a paediatrician, is close to the subject she has chosen.
Mary Paul plans an essay arguing that New Zealand made ‘a paradigm shift in the 1980s and early 1990s from a protected economy and relatively equal society to a free market one’ and discussing how it has ‘affected all lives…’. Paul teaches and supervises courses in life writing, theatre, cultural studies and New Zealand literature at Massey University, Albany (Auckland).
The grants provide $5,000 each for two successful applicants and the winning essays will be published in special sections of North & South magazine. The winning essayists will retain copyright and moral rights for the work but the Committee will hold the publishing right.
The judging panel was writer Gordon McLauchlan (chair); Virginia Larson, editor of North & South; Jackie Dennis, of Script to Screen; writer Hamish Keith; writer Bruce Ansley; and NZ Society of Authors (PEN NZ Inc) CEO Jenny Nagle.