Creative NZ gives nod to Waikato’s writers in residence

8 August 2014

John Newton

Waikato's current writer in residence: John Newton.

Waikato University’s writer in residence programme has just secured funding for 2016 and 2017, thanks to Creative New Zealand’s Toi Uru Kahikatea (Arts Development) Investment Programme.

Total funding of $52,000 was awarded, which will go towards the programme for 2016 and 2017.

Future of Waikato’s Writers in residence

Associate Professor in English Sarah Shieff says that this is terrific news for the future of Waikato’s writers in residence. “It means that Creative New Zealand has real faith in what the residency delivers, and in our ability to support writing at the highest level.”

More than $27 million over three years has been offered to 40 arts organisations throughout the country in Creative New Zealand’s latest round of investment funding.

Each year the University of Waikato invites applications for the position of Writer in Residence, for twelve months, from 1 January to 31 December.

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.

A stand-out feature of the residency position is the use of the Michael King house, says Associate Professor Shieff. “Writers in residence are invited to use the King house in Opoutere for up to two weeks, at no cost to them.  It's a haven for writers, and we want to do all we can to make their time productive and happy.”

Working on new books

Poet and literary historian Dr John Newton is currently the writer in residence for 2014 and is working on two books while he is here.  One a book of poems, the other he says will be a fresh take on New Zealand writing in the mid-20th century

The writer is expected 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.

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