19 May 2010
Author and playwright, David Hill has been awarded a three-month residency to participate in the 2010 International Writers Program (IWP) at the University of Iowa in the United States.
The residency is the result of a partnership between the university and Creative New Zealand and David will be using the time in Iowa to work on a novel for young adults.
A versatile fiction writer, reviewer, playwright and children’s writer, Napier-born David spent 14 years as a secondary school teacher before writing fulltime.
His many published books range from studies on poetry to young adult fiction, for which he has received numerous prizes. His first young adult novel See Ya, Simon, an story of friendship with a boy dying, at 14, of muscular dystrophy, was recognised in the United Kingdom winning the 1994 Times Educational Supplement Award for Special Needs.
Since then he has received further accolades ; in 2002 the Childrens Literature Foundation Gaelyn Gordon Award for a Much-Loved Book (See Ya, Simon), the 2003 LIANZA Esther Glen Medal (Right Where It Hurts), and the 2005 Margaret Mahy Medal and Lecture Award for distinguished contribution to childrens literature.
In 2005 he published teenage novels Bodies and Soul and Running Hot, with the latter nominated in the young adult category of the 2006 NZ Post Children’s Book Awards. His last three novels Duet, The River Runs and Fire on High have also been novels for young adults.
David acknowledges that writing is, and needs to be, a solitary job. “However when the chance comes to be with people who share similar ambitions, delights and frustrations, it’s wonderful.”
“I read a little while back that New Zealand books earn the country almost as much in overseas income as our white wine trade, so I hope to encourage people to take a few more deep draughts of our authors,” he said.
Creative New Zealand Chief Executive Stephen Wainwright said the Iowa residency is a unique professional development opportunity for established New Zealand authors.
“As well as gaining personally from the residency, David will be a wonderful ambassador for New Zealand literature. Common to all previous recipients is the forging of friendships, the continuing of collaborations and the validation of their writing,” he said.
About the IWP
Founded in 1967, the IWP was the first international writers’ residency at a University of Iowa and remains unique in world literature. More than 1000 writers from 100 countries have completed residencies with New Zealand joining in partnership in 1992.
The residency includes travel costs, accommodation, a stipend and is supported by Creative New Zealand with a $21,000 grant. Previous recipients have included Gordon McLauchlan, Vivienne Plumb, James Norcliffe, Penelope Todd, Brian Falkner and Kathy White.