Announcing Six Māori Writers For Te Papa Tupu 2020
In this six-month programme, chosen writers will work alongside a mentor to develop their manuscript and improve their writing skills 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 writers’ community.
Reina Whaitiri, Whiti Hereaka and Eboni Waitere selected this year’s promising writers. ‘It has been a pleasure reading their work and discovering new ideas, new treatments of old stories, and reworkings of what it is to be human, to be Māori, to be a New Zealander,’ said Reina Whaitiri, poet, literature teacher and researcher, and previous Te Papa Tupu mentor.
‘The stories are interesting, meaty, humorous, risky, challenging and different. Many of the stories deal with topical issues, and some have drawn on real historical events and figures. Some draw on Māori mythology, and some have created new stories that delve deep into the Māori psyche. These submissions bode well for the future of writing by Māori. I constantly had to remind myself that what I was reading had not yet been published,’ Reina said.
Whiti Hereaka, writer and trustee of the Māori Literature Trust, said, ‘It was truly difficult to narrow it down. If this year is not your year, don’t be discouraged. It took a couple of tries before I was accepted in Te Papa Tupu in 2012. Keep refining and polishing your work – and submit again.’
The six writers are:
- Ashlee Sturme (Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Ngāti Awa), Edgecumbe
- Deborah Williams (Ngāi Tahu), Whāngārei
- Geraldine Warren (Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Maniapoto), Auckland
- Jade Kake (Ngāpuhi, Te Arawa, Te Whakatōhea), Whāngārei
- Olivia Aroha Giles (Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Raukawa, Te Āti Awa, Te Ātihaunui-a-Pāpārangi, Te Whānau-ā-Apanui, Ngāti Hinekawa), Ōtaki
- Zeb Nicklin (Pāhauwera, Ngā Tokorima a Hinemanuhiri, Tūhoe, Tāmanuhiri, Rangitāne), Palmerston North.
Te Papa Tupu commences in October. Writers will have the opportunity to share their experience through blog posts published online at