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Call for entries for NZ’s leading literary fellowship

Media release: 30 August 2016

Call for entries for New Zealand’s leading literary fellowship

Applications for the 2017 Grimshaw Sargeson Fellowship are now open.

This will mark the 30th year of the Fellowship, a national literary award offering published New Zealand writers, both here and overseas, the opportunity to focus on their craft full-time by providing an annual stipend of $20,000 and tenure at the Sargeson Centre in Auckland.

This milestone provides the Fellowship with an excellent opportunity to look at how far New Zealand literature has come and to celebrate what the country’s talented authors are doing today, says Frank Sargeson Trust Chair Elizabeth Aitken-Rose.

Aitken-Rose says that being a writer in the digital age brings with it a world of opportunity, but also its own unique set of challenges.

“It gives writers the unprecedented opportunity to take control of their publication, distribution and self-promotion – something we have never seen before. It opens up the options for so many more writers,” she says.

“We are exposed to some wonderful talent we may never have known about before. But this can also make it more challenging for writers to cut through. The Fellowship provides authors with a platform from which they can continue to build their careers, and time to dedicate to their projects.”

Aitken-Rose says the Fellowship enjoys seeing the way writers embrace the opportunities the digital world offers to their work.

2015 Fellow, New Zealand playwright, screenwriter and novelist Duncan Sarkies used the opportunity to work on The Mysterious Secrets of Uncle Bertie's Botanarium, a collaborative multi-media project incorporating writing, art and music.

Aitken-Rose says the Fellowship is looking forward to seeing what other projects authors will be working on. “It is an exciting time to be part of the literary community in New Zealand.”

In 2016 the fellowship was awarded to Diana Wichtel and Breton Dukes. Other previous winners include Alan Duff, Michael King, Marilyn Duckworth and Janet Frame.

The Fellowship has been recognising and supporting some of our greatest talents for more than 30 years, says Grimshaw & Co Partner Paul Grimshaw.

“It offers vital support to New Zealand writers to focus, uninterrupted, on their work,” Grimshaw says. “They are contributing to New Zealand’s literary landscape and we are very proud to support them.”

Applications close on 30 September 2016 with the tenure due to start on 1 April 2017. Download the application form here.

Further information on the Fellowship is available here. Any queries can be directed to Elizabeth Bennie at or on +64 9 375 2393.

- ENDS -

About Grimshaw & Co

Grimshaw & Co are leaders in dispute resolution, with experience across all areas of civil and commercial litigation. Established in 2005, Grimshaw & Co have offices in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

About Frank Sargeson Trust

The Frank Sargeson Trust was formed 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. The first fellowship was awarded to Janet Frame in 1987. Learn more about Frank Sargeson and the Fellowship here.

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