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Applications open for Shanghai writers’ programme

New Zealand's literary exchange with China continues this year with an invitation for a New Zealand writer to spend two months in Shanghai.

Last year, Huo Yan, a young writing star from Beijing, took up the first Rewi Alley Fellowship in New Zealand for two months. This year a New Zealand writer will be selected for a two month residency in Shanghai. Applications for that opportunity are now open.

The selected writer will join an established international writers’ programme run by the Shanghai Writers’ Association, the city’s most prestigious literary organisation, in September and October this year.

The writers receive free accommodation in an inner-city apartment, a small stipend for living expenses and return air travel. They’re invited to take part in discussions and literary events and are required to write an article on a nominated theme before the residency starts. Apart from that obligation, the writers are able to work on a project of their choice.

Up to seven writers from all over the world are in the programme each year. Many celebrated writers have taken part, including Malaysian Tash Aw, who was long-listed for the 2013 Man Booker Prize.

New Zealand applications will close on Friday March 7 and should be posted or emailed to the Michael King Writers’ Centre. Application details can be found on the centre’s website, or email the centre. The selection will be managed by a panel appointed by the Michael King Writers’ Centre and the NZ China Friendship Society.

The opportunity is part of the first significant literary exchange between New Zealand and China. A writer from Shanghai will hold a similar fellowship at the Michael King Writers’ Centre in Auckland in 2015. The exchange follows the inaugural Rewi Alley Fellowship in May 2013, when 25-year-old Huo Yan from Beijing, held a two-month residency at the Michael King Writers’ Centre with funding through the NZ China Friendship Society.

The project is a partnership between the New Zealand China Friendship Society, the Michael King Writers’ Centre, the Shanghai Writers’ Association and the Shanghai People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries. The Shanghai Writers’ Association will fund the 2014 residency, while the NZ China Friendship Society will fund the 2015 residency via their Simon Deng Li Fund, established in 2012 to encourage cultural links between New Zealand and China.


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