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Writer Tracey Hill awarded Glenn Schaeffer Award

MEDIA RELEASE 10 February 2004

Writer Tracey Hill awarded Glenn Schaeffer Award

Emerging novelist and Victoria graduate Tracey Hill will take up a coveted position at the prestigious Iowa Writers’ Workshop later this year, after winning the Glenn Schaeffer Award for 2004.

Ms Hill will join gain direct entry to the small group of writers selected for the prominent Iowa Writers’ Workshop each year (www.uiowa.edu/~iww/). The Workshop has produced a dozen winners of the Pulitzer Prize, three recent US Poet Laureates, and numerous winners of the National Book Award and other literary honours.

Originally from Hamilton, Ms Hill moved to Wellington in 2003 as an interesting change after she had spent some time studying and working in Otago. While her first degree was in philosophy and political science, she won the BNZ Katherine Mansfield Novice Writer's Award in 1995 and relished the opportunity to take part in Victoria University’s MA in Creative Writing programme, run through the International Institute of Modern Letters (IIML) under the guidance of Professor Bill Manhire.

Ms Hill has been working on a novel entitled Fool’s Cap and says her writing has developed while she has been at the IIML. The novel is a black comedy about life on a fictional, entirely round island somewhere in the northern hemisphere. Ms Hill plans to have completed the novel before she leaves for Iowa in August, so that she can concentrate on some other ideas while she takes part in the Workshop.

Mr Schaeffer’s generosity has enabled a number of Victoria students to attend the prestigious workshop, providing them with direct entry to Iowa and a scholarship of US$20,000 to support their year of writing.

Past winners include Paula Morris in 2002 (Queen of Beauty) and Anna Livesey in 2003 (Good Luck) who have both stayed on in Iowa to pursue further study. Ms Morris, who won the best first book Montana Book Award for Queen of Beauty in 2003, will graduate in May with a Master of Fine Arts after completing a range of teaching and research components during her time in Iowa, including a position as their international writer-in-residence.

The IIML is an international centre for creative writing and was founded by Glenn Schaeffer, an American philanthropist and literary activist. The centre is co-headquartered at Victoria University and the University of Nevada and has centres at a number of American campuses including the prestigious Iowa Writers’ Workshop.

The IIML also acknowledges and supports the work of emerging writers through the Prize in Modern Letters, a biennial award worth $60,000. The inaugural recipient was Catherine Chidgey, (The Transformation, 2003) who has published four novels since completing the MA in creative writing at Victoria. This year, the winner will be announced on 13 March during Readers and Writers Week, as part of the New Zealand International Arts Festival.

Ends

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