Writer in Residence

Each year the University of Waikato invites applications for the position of Writer in Residence, tenable for twelve months normally from February.  The emolument is jointly funded by the University of Waikato and Creative New Zealand, the Arts Council of New Zealand Toi Aotearoa.  The position is open to poets, novelists, short story writers, dramatists, and writers of serious non-fiction. The appointment will be made on the basis of a record of publications of high quality.

The Writer is required to live in Hamilton during the tenure of the award.  There are no teaching or lecturing duties attached to the award, the sole purpose of which is to give the Writer the freedom to write.  It is expected the Writer will participate in the cultural life of the University.  On occasion the writer will be able to take up residence in and make use of the Michael King Writers Retreat in Opoutere.

Applications are closed for the 2019 Writer in Residence.

Closing date for applications was Friday the 12th October 2019 (NZ Time). We will be announcing the 2019 Writer in Residence shortly.

Enquiries can be made to Assoc. Prof. Sarah Shieff, telephone 07 838 4466 extension 8425 or email:

2018 Writer In Residence - Therese Lloyd

Wellington poet and soon to be the University of Waikato’s writer in residence for 2018 Therese Lloyd began her journey with poetry at the age of 5 and since then she describes writing as her one constant.

Therese takes up her residency at Waikato University in January and since starting in 1991 the program has hosted some of New Zealand’s most prominent and recognized creative writers including Tessa Duder, Michael King and Maurice Shadbolt.

“University writers’ residencies are fantastic opportunities for any writer and I feel really honored to have been chosen as this year’s Waikato University writer in residence” she says “ I’ve heard great things about Waikato’s School of Arts, the English Programme in particular, and I’m looking forward to being a small part of that community for the year.” Therese states.

The writer in residence position is open to writers of many different genres allowing them to spend twelve months focusing solely on their craft.

Acting Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Professor Allison Kirkman says that “The Faculty is absolutely thrilled to have attracted a Writer in Residence of the calibre of Therese. I know that students and staff will benefit immensely from her creative presence on the campus and her contribution to a vibrant literary culture. The Faculty has been exceedingly fortunate with the quality of the applications we received for this post and Therese’s application was amongst a very strong field. She joins a very special group of writers who the University has been privileged to have had as Writers in Residence since 1991”

Therese views the opportunity to study at Waikato as a way of getting to know an area of the country she is not familiar with. “Waikato is a university I’m not familiar with, so it will be a great opportunity to ensconce myself in a different university culture. Also, despite spending much of my childhood in Hawkes Bay, I didn’t often venture further North, so the Waikato region is still a bit mysterious to me. I’m hoping to get the chance to do some exploring.”

Therese has recently completed her PhD in creative writing with the creative component of her thesis a collection of poems entitled The Facts and being published in February 2018.

Winner of the prestigious Schaeffer Fellowship Therese had the opportunity to attend the Iowa Writers Workshop in the US in 2006. This resulted in her creating and publishing her first full-length collection of poems Other Animals in 2013, complimenting her chapbook many things happened released in 2007.

Her plans for 2018 Residency revolve around writing, reading and performing her work. “The Waikato writer’s residency will give me the chance to complete a new book and that’s a very exciting prospect,” and in her words “having the real time just to write will be glorious”

Her advice to those that are perusing their passion in writing;

“The writing community in New Zealand is small so collaboration is a great idea. Working closely and sharing information with other writer’s means that mini communities can develop ……Poetry and creative writing give you a chance to think about and re-imagine the world and your place in it. When you read something truly great, it’s beyond beneficial, it can be transformative.”

Previous Writers in Residence

2017 Bob Orr
2016 Steven Toussaint
2015 Mandy Hager
2014 Dr John Newton
2013 Professor Andrew Sharp
2012 Michael Morrissey
2011 Jeffrey Holman
2010 Albert Belz
2009 Catherine Chidgey
2008 Christopher Bourke
2007 Ken Catran
2006 Peter Wells
2005 Tina Shaw
2004 No appointment
2003 Mitch Thomas
2002 Kate Camp
2001 Anna Jackson
2000 John Dickson
1999 Beryl Fletcher
1998 Elspeth Sandys
1997 John Cranna
1996 John Pule
1995 Renee
1994 Michael King
1993 Mona Williams
1992 Maurice Shadbolt
1991 Tessa Duder