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New residency for speculative fiction writers

18 December 2019: Writers of science fiction, fantasy and horror will be given the freedom to write in the relaxed surroundings of a Bay of Plenty country estate thanks to a new writer’s residency offered by SpecFicNZ and the Wright Family Foundation.

Tauranga’s Lee Murray, an award-winning writer and a SpecFicNZ life member, has joined forces with philanthropist Chloe Wright of the Wright Family Foundation to offer the residency.

As well as accommodation, the winning speculative (encompassing science fiction, fantasy and horror) writer will receive up to $1000 towards transport and food costs, and 10 hours of mentorship or peer support to assist them in developing their work. In return, the writer will be asked to donate an hour of their time to a community writers’ group or school, which the residency will arrange on their behalf.

Lee says support and acknowledgement for a writer’s creative work, coming at the right time, can make all the difference in a career.

“In 1952 Janet Frame was saved from an imminent lobotomy when her doctor at Seacliff Hospital read about a literary award she’d received in a local newspaper. The New Zealand Society of Authors said Frame understood that it was not just the award money that was welcomed but also the boost in morale for an author who may have been feeling under-appreciated.”

Chloe says the residency is intended to identify speculative writers working in isolation and offer support. “It is important to nurture the arts and artists, as they are a vital link to creativity and the overall wellness of society.”

Entries are open to all writers of speculative works (short fiction, novella, or novel, for adults or youth) residing in New Zealand.

Applications for the Wright-Murray Residency close 30 March 2020. Details on how to apply can be found on the SpecFicNZ website


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