Monday, January 14, 2013

2013 Sargeson writers in residence announced

Two leading New Zealand fiction writers have been announced as the recipients of the annual Buddle Findlay Sargeson Fellowship for 2013.
The two new fellows, Hamish Clayton and Tanya Moir, will each spend five months in residence at the Sargeson Centre in central Auckland and receive a $20,000 grant. 
Buddle Findlay National Chairman Peter Chemis says the fellowship is about giving New Zealand writers the freedom to craft their stories.
“It has given creative space to some of New Zealand's most notable writers, allowing them time to develop and polish their ideas into works that become part of our heritage" he said.
"Being a writer can be a difficult task, it requires a lot of self sacrifice.  Our involvement with the fellowship acknowledges this".
Hamish Clayton holds degrees in Art History and English Literature from Victoria University of Wellington, where he is currently working on a PhD in English Literature.  He writes regularly for Art New Zealand and New Zealand Books and was the writer in residence at the Weltkulturen Museum, Frankfurt from September to October 2012.  His first novel Wulf (Penguin 2011) won the 2012 NZSA Hubert Church Best First Book Award for Fiction.
"To be selected as one of the Buddle Findlay Sargeson Fellows for 2013 is a real honour and a wonderful opportunity.  It allows me to take some brief time away from my PhD commitments and to honour my other great passion which is fiction writing.  I feel very privileged and lucky to be given this support and encouragement", says Hamish.
Hamish will move into the Sargeson Centre in February and will spend his time on a new novel which he began soon after finishing his first.  "It’s a story with a contemporary setting, unlike the historical Wulf, but it plays with similar themes.  It’s concerned with the gaps between art and reality, and between memory and history.  With the time and space the fellowship allows, I’m looking forward to settling in and finishing it and hopefully doing it the justice that I think it deserves."
The second fellow, Tanya Moir, a novelist based at Muriwai in Auckland, had her first novel La Rochelle's Road published by Random House New Zealand in 2011 and her second novel Anticipation is due to be published in March 2013.  Tanya has previously been long-listed for the Commonwealth Book Prize.  Her career, prior to writing novels, included stints as a radio copywriter, print journalist and television promo producer.
Tanya says of the fellowship "I'm hugely excited to be given the chance to sit down to five months of uninterrupted, guilt-free work on my new project.  After some years of living and writing in relatively remote locations, it will be fabulous to have not only the quiet of the Sargeson Centre in which to work, but research facilities like the Central and Auckland University Libraries on my doorstep".
Tanya plans to use her time at the Sargeson Centre to work on the first draft of her new novel, a contemporary western about an 'outlaw' and would-be cowboy who has gone to ground in the hills of Central Otago.
The Buddle Findlay Sargeson Fellowship is a national literary fellowship offered annually in partnership with The Frank Sargeson Trust.  The fellowship provides the opportunity for outstanding published New Zealand writers to write full-time in residence at the Sargeson Centre, adjacent to the University of Auckland, with an annual stipend of NZ$40,000 (the stipend is shared if there are two fellows).
The Frank Sargeson Trust established the fellowship in 1987 to commemorate Frank Sargeson and provide assistance for New Zealand writers.  In 1997 Buddle Findlay became the commercial sponsor of the fellowship, and is proud to support the literary future of New Zealand.

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