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NZSA / Auckland Museum Research Grant + Residency – Recipient Announced

The New Zealand Society of Authors (NZSA) and Auckland War Memorial Museum are delighted to announce the recipient of the NZSA Auckland Museum Research + Residency Grant.

The grant goes to Auckland writer Cassandra Tse whose winning proposal will utilise research drawn from the Auckland Museum Library's extensive collections.

Cassandra Tse is a playwright and theatre director whose previous writing includes the musicals The Bone Thief, M'Lady, Bloodlines and Right Dishonourable, and the straight plays Under and Long Ago, Long Ago. She is a previous winner of the Playmarket Playwrights B4 25 competition, and the co-founder and artistic director of Red Scare Theatre Company. She will receive a $5,000 grant and one month’s accommodation at The Michael King Writers Centre in Devonport while she undertakes her research.

Selection panel convener David Veart said: “The winner, Cassandra Tse’s play Gau was outstanding, scoring highly across all criteria on which the entries were assessed. As one judge commented, the piece ‘…explores new territory and sheds light on a lost or obscured history and experience.’ Other assessors commented on the powerful and creative use of language. The play also has strong links to the Museum library and collections especially connecting to the recent ‘Being Chinese in Aotearoa’ exhibition.

The NZSA/Auckland Museum Research Grant plays an important role in linking authors to resources, an importance that can be judged by the calibre of this year’s entrants. Given the closeness of the competition we offer the other applicants our best wishes for the future their projects, many of which left us wanting to be able to read the completed work.”

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We also congratulate those who were shortlisted for the grant. Shortlisted applicants - Karen Sydney and Paula Whetu Jones, Nick Bollinger, Murray Edmond, Philippa Werry, and Karen Wrigglesworth.

Now in its eighth year, The NZSA / Auckland Museum Research + Residency Grant is a wonderful opportunity for writers to develop a manuscript thanks to a stipend, guided access to the Auckland Museum’s documentary heritage collections and four weeks accommodation at The Michael King Writers Centre.

Adam Moriarty, Head of Collection Information and Access at Auckland Museum Tāmaki Paenga Hira says, “We at Auckland Museum are once again, delighted to invite New Zealand writers to access our Heritage collection. There are so many inspirational sources within the Research Library. manuscripts, ephemera, newspapers and periodicals, rare and contemporary books and pamphlets, photographs and more. We are excited to see how they might inform a new artistic or research endeavour.”

Past award winners have included historical novelists, archaeologists, biographers and recently a scriptwriter/playwright researching the earliest interaction of Pakeha and Māori for public performance.

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