The Michael King Writers’ Centre is calling for applications for the first Maori writer’s residency at the centre in 2010.
The residency is being offered with the support of Te Waka Toi, the Maori Arts Board of Creative New Zealand.
The residency is for eight weeks from 14 May next year. The selected author will have free accommodation at the writers’ centre in Devonport, use of its writing studio and will receive a stipend of $8,000.
It is the first time the centre has been able to offer a residency especially for a Maori writer. It has had 10 writers in residence since it was established in 2005. Next year, it will have two short residencies and a six-month residency, as well as the residency especially for a Maori writer.
Chairman, Bob Ross, said he was delighted the centre was able to offer a residency for a Maori writer for the first time.
“As part of our commitment to honour the memory of Michael King, supporting Maori writers and celebrating Maori writing are important strands of our activities. All of our residency opportunities are open to Maori writers. However, we believe that a special residency dedicated for a Maori writer will be a positive development for Maori literature.”
The Maori residency has been developed with the assistance of prominent novelist Witi Ihimaera, who was one of the founding trustees of the centre and has recently taken on a role as a specialist adviser to the trust.
Mr Ross said the centre was grateful to Witi and to Te Waka Toi for their support in this new initiative.
The centre aims to support New Zealand writers and promote New Zealand literature by providing opportunities for authors to work full-time on a major project.
The residency is open to emerging and established authors, working on a project in fiction, non-fiction, drama, poetry or creative writing. Applicants will have to demonstrate that they are writers of proven merit. They must be usually resident in New Zealand or hold New Zealand citizenship.
Applications close on Friday 12 February 2010. The selection panel expects to announce its decision in early March.
Information about the opportunity, eligibility, the terms and conditions, and how to apply is available on the centre’s web site at www.writerscentre.org.nz