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Jillian Sullivan wins NZSA Peter & Dianne Beatson Fellowship

15 September 2017

Jillian Sullivan wins NZSA Peter & Dianne Beatson Fellowship!

Central Otago writer Jillian Sullivan is the recipient of the NZSA Peter & Dianne Beatson Fellowship 2017. The fellowship is administered by The New Zealand Society of Authors (PEN NZ Inc) Te Puni Kaituhi O Aotearoa.

Jillian will use the fellowship to work on a collection of creative non-fiction essays (including poetry) set in Central Otago and with a strong conservation base.

“I’m greatly encouraged and thankful to have the backing of the NZSA Peter and Diane Beatson Fellowship for my project. Thank you.”

The $7,000 fellowship is awarded each year to a mid-career or senior writer to work on a project that shows a high level of literary merit and national significance.

Jillian Sullivan teaches creative writing each year for the Highlights Foundation in America and works part-time as a nurse aid at the Maniototo Hospital. She is the author of twelve books, including the 2016 memoir A Way Home, building a strawbale house and a new life in Central Otago (Potton and Burton). Her awards include the USA’s Highlights Fiction Award, the Kathleen Grattan Prize and the Takahe Prize for poetry. Read more about her work and blog at

Selection panel convener David Hill commented: 'Judges so often say it was hard to choose a winner. In our case, it was extraordinarily difficult. Each of the short-listed projects would make a worthy recipient of this fellowship. We hope all their projects will be published and further enhance NZ literature. In the end we all felt that Jillian's meticulous, respectful and evocative essays, enriched by narratives and poetry, will provide a fascinating insight into an iconic part of NZ, at a time when land and our stewardship of it are increasingly relevant and urgent topics. It's a project which perfectly fits the concept of this fellowship."

This annual award is made possible with grateful thanks to the generosity of the Beatson's. In establishing this fellowship, they have given NZ authors a valuable opportunity to be economically secure while they bring a project to completion. It's a commitment and affirmation for New Zealand writers. The New Zealand Society of Authors Te Puni Kaituhi O Aotearoa is most grateful.

In 2016 the fellowship was awarded to Tina Makereti who used the time to work on her fiction project the Imaginary Lives of James Pōneke. Previous recipients have included Michael Harlow, Emma Neale, Mandy Hager, Carl Nixon, Glenn Colquhoun, Sue McCauley and Marilyn Duckworth.

We congratulate Jillian Sullivan and the other outstanding applicants shortlisted for 2017.


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