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2024 Sargeson Fellowship Announced

New Zealand writers Josie Shapiro and Zoë Meager have been awarded the prestigious 2024 Sargeson Fellowship.

The fellowship is a national literary award which for the past 36 years has offered published New Zealand writers the opportunity to focus on their craft full-time. Named in memory of New Zealand writer Frank Sargeson, it offers an annual stipend of $20,000 and an eight-month tenure at the Sargeson Centre in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland.

Josie Shapiro's short fiction and book reviews have appeared in journals and anthologies and her debut novel, Everything is Beautiful and Everything Hurts, won the inaugural Allen and Unwin Fiction Prize. Shapiro plans to use her residency to work on her second novel, about three friends, our relationship with art, and why we sometimes take great risks and lose it all.

"It is such an honour to be awarded the Sargeson Fellowship, and it's an incredible source of encouragement at this early stage in my career. I'm truly thankful for the time and space the Sargeson Fellowship will give me to focus on my writing."

Zoë Meager's short fiction and prose poetry has been widely published locally and abroad and her work recognised in a number of literary awards. She plans to use her time to work on a short fiction collection examining the lives of women and children, centring around 'Things with faces', which was awarded the Commonwealth Short Story Prize, Pacific Region.

“I feel very lucky to have been picked to receive this gift, which will be my first chance to write full-time. The kind of encouragement and material support offered by the Sargeson Fellowship is so precious and I’m deeply grateful. It’s also such a big honour to be included alongside the list of writers who have previously held this residency.”

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Frank Sargeson Trust Chair Elizabeth Aitken-Rose says:

“The Sargeson Literary Fellowship has recognised and nurtured many of Aotearoa New Zealand’s exceptional writers for over thirty-six years. In 2024, Josie Shapiro and Zoë Meager join this legacy and were selected from an outstanding field of applicants. They will have the time and support to focus on work that will undoubtedly embellish the imagination and understandings of us all.”

About the Sargeson Fellowship:

The inaugural Sargeson Fellow in 1987 was Janet Frame, who described the importance of Sargeson’s friendship for her personal and literary life in the second volume of her autobiography, An Angel at My Table. In 2007 the fellowship became the Buddle Findlay Sargeson Fellowship, and between 2014 and 2023 was the Grimshaw Sargeson Fellowship under the sponsorship of law firm Grimshaw & Co. Sargeson Fellowship recipients over the years have included Charlotte Grimshaw, Catherine Chidgey, Paula Morris, James George, Hera Lindsay Bird, Chloe Lane, Kelly Ana Morey, Evana Belich and Nathan Joe.

About the Frank Sargeson Trust:

The Trust was set up in 1983 by Christine Cole Catley, Frank Sargeson’s heir and executor.The Trust aims to continue Sargeson’s lifelong generosity to writers through providing residential fellowships, while preserving his house in Takapuna, Auckland, as New Zealand’s first literary museum.For further information, see: https://franksargeson.nz/

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