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University of Auckland congratulates Eleanor Catton

University of Auckland congratulates Man Booker winner Eleanor Catton

The University of Auckland congratulates novelist Eleanor Catton for winning the Man Booker prize for her novel The Luminaries at a ceremony in London today.

Catton was awarded the University of Auckland’s Residency at the Michael King Writers’ Centre in Devonport and wrote the final draft of the novel at the centre last year.

Co-hosted by the Department of English in the Faculty of Arts, the Residency enables a writer to spend six months at the Centre, an historic villa in Devonport. The writer also receives an office in the English Department and is supported by a $30,000 stipend.

After she completed the residency Catton urged fellow New Zealand writers to apply for the residency for 2013.

"Virginia Woolf insisted that a writer needs only two things to be able to write: money, and a room of her own. The recipient of the University of Auckland Michael King Writer's Residency receives both: an office in beautiful Devonport and a generous stipend on which to live. As the 2012 resident I have done great work here, working much longer hours than I could ordinarily manage at home. The Michael King Writers' Centre, the first institution of its kind in New Zealand, is a lovely and peaceful place to live. This is a wonderful residency."

The University of Auckland Residency is also an opportunity for an author to benefit from an academic environment, and to contribute to teaching and creative mentoring in the Department of English. It coincides with the University’s second semester.

Catton is just 28-years of age and already the author of the award-winning novel The Rehearsal (2008).

The Luminaries is set in during the goldrush in Hokitika in 1866.

There were more than 150 entries for the Man Booker Prize this year and The Luminaries was one of six on the short-list.

The University of Auckland’s Residency is for established authors to devote themselves to a major project.  Writers must be working on a specific project within a range of genres, including fiction, poetry, drama and non-fiction. Applicants should have a substantial publishing record of proven merit.

The current writer in residence, novelist Sarah Laing, is working on the first draft of her graphic novel on the life of Katherine Mansfield.

Twenty-six New Zealand writers have held residencies at the centre since 2005.


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