Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search


Eleanor Catton’s creative writing students celebrate win

October 16, 2013

Eleanor Catton’s creative writing students celebrate her Man Booker Prize win

A huge roar of delight echoed through the corridors of Manukau Institute of Technology’s Faculty of Creative Arts in Auckland, New Zealand this morning.

Eleanor Catton (28) is the youngest ever recipient of the Man Booker Prize and teaches creative writing to 30 Bachelor of Creative Arts students at the Institute.

Her class had gathered to watch a live stream of the Man Booker Awards ceremony. All were quietly hopeful that their teacher would take home one of the world’s most significant literary prizes.

“We all just lost it when Eleanor was announced as the winner,” says Kirsti Whalen (24), one of Catton’s creative writing students.

“It’s surreal - seeing her achieve such incredible global success gives me hope for the future. We’re just so proud of what she’s achieved.”

Whalen says Catton has been much more than simply a teacher to her class.

“She’s a mentor, and she’s one of us. Ellie’s win means that New Zealand’s voice is being noticed and heard on the global contemporary literary scene. She’s shown that as a people, we’ve got stories that are worth telling, worth listening to. Winning something like the Man Booker is an incredible, inspirational achievement.”

Ms Catton teaches both programmes in partnership with some of New Zealand’s most accomplished writers, including Professor Witi Ihimaera, Professor Albert Wendt, Robert Sullivan, Sue Orr, and Anne Kennedy.

Having been taught by Catton this year, Whalen says the greatest thing learnt from the Man Booker Prize winner is to not be afraid of failing.

“Ellie’s shown me that success is hard work and not just about the writing but also being a present member of the literary world, reading widely and exploring what it means to be a working writer.”

Whelan says she’s very proud to be studying at Manukau Institute of Technology.

“We’re learning from some of New Zealand leading writers and the Faculty of Creative Arts is a great space for growth and development,” she says.


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis: Review - A Girl Named Mo

Moana Ete brought her three-piece band A Girl Named Mo to Wellington's intimate and iconic Bats Theatre last week for a five-night residency. Each show was recorded and filmed live for the release of her debut album 'Platonic/Romantic' on Loop records later this year. More>>

For The Birds: Who Will Be Crowned Bird Of The Year?

The competition involves well-known and enthusiastic New Zealanders acting as ‘campaign managers’ for their favourite birds with many going to great lengths to get New Zealanders to vote for their chosen bird... More>>


  • Image Out-Link - Giselle Clarkson on Twitter
  • Gordon Campbell: On Bob Dylan's Nobel (And The Surplus)

    So Bob Dylan has just won the Nobel Prize for… Literature? Wow. I’d be just as happy if he’d won for his work on particle physics (“One Grain of Sand”, “Simple Twist of Fate”) or got the Economics prize for his work on the theory of contracting (“Don’t Think Twice Its Alright”) ... More>>


    Scoop Review Of Books: Whose Goat Was That?

    Mysterious Mysteries of Aro Valley is a sharp, satirical and sometimes downright scary romp through and around that valley in ways that made me question the realities of the places I thought I knew so well. More>>


    NZ On Air TV Funding: More Comedy Comes Out Of The Shadows

    Paranormal Event Response Unit is a series conceived by Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi as a TV spin-off from their highly acclaimed feature film What We Do In The Shadows. More>>


    Mars News: Winners Announced For The 2016 Apra Silver Scroll Awards

    Wellington singer-songwriter and internationally acclaimed musician Thomas Oliver has won the 2016 APRA Silver Scroll Award with his captivating love song ‘If I Move To Mars’. More>>


    Get More From Scoop



    Search Scoop  
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news