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Writing fellowship doubles in value

October 10th 2006

Writing fellowship doubles in value

Law firm Buddle Findlay is celebrating the 20th anniversary of one of New Zealand's most successful literary fellowships by doubling the annual financial grant it makes to the Buddle Findlay Sargeson Fellowship from $20,000 to $40,000 a year.

The award, offered each year in partnership with The Frank Sargeson Trust, also allows an outstanding published New Zealand writer to live and write rent-free in the Sargeson flat, located next to Auckland University. Well-known writer Emily Perkins is the current holder of the fellowship. She took up her year-long tenure at the Sargeson apartment in February where she has been working on her new book, Novel About My Wife, for Bloomsbury Publishing.

The fellowship was established in 1987 to commemorate Frank Sargeson and provide assistance for New Zealand writers. Next year will also be the 10th anniversary of Buddle Findlay's sponsorship. Applications for the 20th anniversary fellowship close on November 3.

Buddle Findlay National Chairman, Sarah Roberts, says the award is about giving talented writers the freedom to focus on their creative activities.

"It is an opportunity for some of our most notable writers to develop their ideas, viewpoints and visions and in doing so contributing to the intellectual capital of our country."

Prime Minister Helen Clark said at a function held in June to mark this year's sponsorship, that the annual fellowship had contributed hugely to New Zealand literature.

"With the list of former Fellows, including Janet Frame, Alan Duff, Kevin Ireland, Michael King, Marilyn Duckworth, and so many others, we know that the Buddle Findlay Sargeson Fellowships are aimed at contributing to the support of our leading literary talent," she said.

Background information

Frank Sargeson Described as one of New Zealand's greatest literary innovators and mentor to the literary community, Frank Sargeson was a novelist and short story writer who became internationally known as the pioneer who broke from colonial literary traditions to an idiom that expressed the rhythms of New Zealand speech and experience. He qualified as a lawyer before committing himself to full-time writing and a day-to-day struggle, which he described as "physically, mentally and financially exhausting".

Past winners Past Buddle Findlay Sargeson Fellows (from 1997 onwards) include Fiona Samuel, Peter Cox, Karyn Hay, Craig Marriner, Toa Fraser, Debra Daley, Denis Baker, Riemke Ensing, Vivienne Plumb, Chad Taylor, Shonagh Koea, Diane Brown, Catherine Chidgey, Sarah Quigley, Tina Shaw, Kapka Kassabova, Sue Reidy, James Brown, Charlotte Grimshaw.

Earlier Sargeson Trust Fellows include Janet Frame, Alan Duff, Kevin Ireland, Michael King and Marilyn Duckworth.

Emily Perkins Emily Perkins first won attention in 1996 following the publication of her first book Not Her Real Name and Other Stories (Picador) which won the Best First Book (Fiction) at the Montana Book Awards (NZ), the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize (UK) and was short-listed for the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize (UK).

Her novels are Leave Before You Go (Picador) and The New Girl (Picador), which was also short listed for the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize.

Her short stories, poems and essays have appeared in numerous anthologies, and been broadcast on radio in the UK and in New Zealand.

ENDS

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