Historic opportunity for writers
New Zealanders come together to secure historic opportunity for writers
Thursday 5 November 2015 7pm
It’s official. Kiwis love literature - and many generous New Zealanders have come together to ensure that a coveted overseas opportunity for writers is able to continue.
The Katherine Mansfield Menton Fellowship has sent a writer to Menton every year since 1970 - to the villa where Katherine Mansfield once wrote some of her best work. Following a reduction in corporate sponsorship, the Winn Manson Menton Trust recognised that the Fellowship was at risk and teamed up with the Arts Foundation of New Zealand to secure it. Fundraising efforts over the past year have been well supported by literature lovers across New Zealand. It is now looking likely that it will be saved – but there is still a way to go.
Campaign Chairman, Keith Ferguson, says that they are now very close to reaching the $800,000 target with $730,000 raised, “we are proud of our success to date, but still require generosity to get across the line.” When $800,000 has been raised, the Arts Foundation will manage the residency, including selecting the recipient and announcing them at the Westpac New Zealand Arts Awards. The Capital sum will allow the residency to continue to be awarded biennially without corporate backing.
In the interim, the Winn Manson Menton Trust has secured some funds toward a short residency, awarded this evening at a ceremony in Wellington. Poet and fiction writer, Anna Jackson has been selected for a 3-month residency that she will use to re-write her collection of poems, The Pastoral Kitchen. She hopes that the opportunity will give her, “perspective for thinking about New Zealand in relation to elsewhere. “The uninterrupted time to write somewhere else would allow “a much more architectural conception of the collection.”
Funds raised to date are thanks to the generosity of donors, book clubs across New Zealand, and a grant from Creative New Zealand. A campaign highlight has been two charity auctions, one in Auckland and one in Wellington, which together raised $68,000.