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Applications Open For Te Papa Tupu 2020

Once again, aspiring Māori writers have the opportunity to build their confidence in Te Papa Tupu, a writing programme developed by the Māori Literature Trust and administered by Huia Publishers.

Six chosen writers will spend six months working alongside a mentor to develop their manuscript and improve their writing skills, all to meet the end goal of having a publishable manuscript. Writers will also receive a stipend, attend workshops and writers’ festivals and become part of a writing community.

‘Te Papa Tupu has been a great way of taking writers with talent and giving them the opportunity to work with a mentor to develop their skills and also the chance to meet other writers, on the programme and at national and international writers’ festivals,’ said Robyn Bargh, Chair of the Māori Literature Trust.

Established in 2010, Te Papa Tupu has seen writers go on to publish their first book, and now we are seeing these writers publish further books and receive national recognition. Mark Sweet’s second novel, The History Speech, is a finalist in the 2020 New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults. Whiti Hereaka’s third novel, Legacy, won the Young Adult Fiction Award, and Steph Matuku’s second novel, Whetū Toa and the Magician, was a finalist in the 2019 New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults. Moreover, Whiti Hereaka and Jacquie McRae, past participants in Te Papa Tupu, are now mentors in the programme and supporting a new wave of talented writers.

Steph Matuku said, ‘My mentor, Whiti Hereaka, taught me about creative writing techniques and reviewed my work every week.’ While waiting for her first novel, Flight of the Fantail, to be edited, Steph completed Whetū Toa and the Magician. ‘I’d got into the habit of writing every day and was able to take what I’d learnt and apply it easily,’ she continues.

Te Papa Tupu is a unique programme that encourages writers to stand tall as Māori and to support each other to become a strong force within the literary community of Aotearoa.

Who can apply?

  • Māori writers who live in Aotearoa and have a completed manuscript
  • Writers of novels, short stories, children’s books, young adult books and non-fiction written in English or te reo Māori
  • Writers who are committed to attending, learning and fulfilling their dream of being published

Applications are now open and will close on 23 August 2020.

2018 Te Papa Tupu writers at the 2019 Syndey Writers' Festival.
L-R: Hone Rata, Nadine Hura, Shilo Kino, Cassie Hart, Ataria Sharman, Eboni Waitere (Huia Publishers), Colleen Maria Lenihan
Image credit: Colleen Lenihan

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