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NZSA Peter & Dianne Beatson Fellowship 2019 Winner

Christchurch writer Frankie McMillan is the recipient of the NZSA Peter & Dianne Beatson Fellowship 2019

Frankie McMillan will use the fellowship to work on a novella. She says: 'I’m thrilled and enormously grateful to be the recipient of the Peter and Dianne Beatson Fellowship, 2019 -2020. I intend to put the grant towards the completion of a novella set in 1950s New Zealand. The project explores the lives of children and workers in a church run Children’s Home. It’s encouraging to receive this vote of confidence and to be able to set aside a sustained stretch of time to work on the project'.

Judging panel convener Tina Shaw commented: 'We were impressed with the quality of the shortlisted applications, and as panelist Rae McGregor comments: 'It fills me with joy to see such good New Zealand writing.' Frankie's writing sample, experimenting with narrative points of view, contains lovely writing, as we've seen in the past with her poetry and award-winning fiction. We consider the Beatson Fellowship will give Frankie the support and recognition to fully develop this project.'

The New Zealand Society of Authors (PEN NZ Inc) Te Puni Kaituhi O Aotearoa congratulates Frankie McMillan along with the five outstanding applicants who were shortlisted:- Pip Adam, Laurence Fearnley, Adrienne Jansen, Kelly Ana Morey, and Vivienne Plumb.

Frankie McMillan has an MA (Distinction) from the International Institute of Victoria University, Wellington. Her book, My Mother and the Hungarians and other small fictions, (CUP) was longlisted for the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards, 2017. She co - edited, along with Michelle Elvy and James Norcliffe, Bonsai: Best small stories from Aotearoa New Zealand (CUP) 2018. Both these books feature the short short form, ( flash fiction, prose poetry and haibun). A forthcoming collection of short fiction, The Father of Octopus Wrestling and other small fictions, ( CUP) is due for release in August, 2019.

This annual award is made possible with thanks to the generosity of the Beatson's. In establishing this fellowship, they have given NZ authors a valuable opportunity to be economically secure while they bring a project to completion. It's a commitment and affirmation for New Zealand writers. The New Zealand Society of Authors (PEN NZ Inc) Te Puni Kaituhi O Aotearoa is most grateful.

In 2018 the fellowship was awarded to Sue Wootton who used the time to work on her second novel, which tells the story of what happens to a group of friends when the 1948 polio epidemic sweeps through their tight-knit neighbourhood.

Previous recipients have included Jillian Sullivan, Tina Makereti, Michael Harlow, Emma Neale, Mandy Hager, Carl Nixon, Glenn Colquhoun, Sue McCauley and Marilyn Duckworth.

The NZSA Peter & Dianne Beatson Fellowship is an annual award open to NZSA members, for writers of fiction, non-fiction, poetry and drama who are currently working on a new project. Find out more about the fellowship.

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