Friday, November 23, 2012

Greg McGee awarded 2013 Menton Fellowship

Award-winning playwright and author Greg McGee has been awarded the prestigious Katherine Mansfield Menton Fellowship for 2013.

The Fellowship is one of New Zealand's oldest and most esteemed literary awards.  It provides a residency of at least six months in Menton, France and NZ$75,000. The support of the city of Menton enables a New Zealand author to work at the Villa Isola Bella, where Katherine Mansfield lived and wrote during the latter part of her life.

McGee plans to work on his fourth novel, set in New Zealand and Italy, during his Menton residency.  “I am honoured to be following in the footsteps of many of New Zealand’s finest writers as the Menton Fellow and, like them, I deeply appreciate the time and space the fellowship gives me to concentrate on a major project, particularly since my project requires research in Europe,” he says.

McGee’s first play, Foreskin’s Lament (1981), is one of New Zealand’s most successful and drew on rugby culture of the time to comment on national values. As crime writer Alix Bosco, McKee is the author of the award-winning novel Cut and Run (2009) and Slaughter Falls (2010). He has won several TV awards, including Best Drama Writer for two of his political documentary dramas:  Erebus: the Aftermath (1987), and Fallout (1994).  This year he has produced two new books: a biography of All Black Captain Ritchie McCaw - The Open Side and a novel, Love & Money (2012).

Richard Cathie, Chair of the Fellowship Trust, said the selection panel was most impressed with this project. “It is pleasing that another prodigious talent is joining the long list of eminent writers who have worked in Menton.”

Established in 1970, the Menton Fellowship is open to established and mid-career New Zealand writers. There have been 42 recipients, including Janet Frame, Michael King, Lloyd Jones, Witi Ihimaera, Bill Manhire, Dame Fiona Kidman, Jenny Pattrick and, in 2012, Justin Paton.

The Fellowship is an initiative of the Winn-Manson Menton Trust and is administered by Creative New Zealand. The Trust gratefully acknowledges $25,000 grants from the New Zealand/France Friendship Fund and the Jack Jeffs Charitable Trust towards the residency.

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