01 Oct 2009

This content is tagged as Literature .



2 October 2009

Creative New Zealand celebrates the achievement of New Zealand literature in New Zealand Book month by highlighting the accomplishments of several leading New Zealand writers and publishers around the country and internationally.

Creative New Zealand is committed to promoting excellence and innovation within the New Zealand literature sector. Through different funding options, including residences, fellowships and awards the arts council of New Zealand supports access and participation for all New Zealanders.

Creative New Zealand is keen to encourage, promote and support New Zealand’s unique literary voice, said Creative New Zealand’s Chief Executive, Stephen Wainwright.

“The reading of books is a key part of every New Zealander’s daily life and this love of the written word is reflected in our recent survey New Zealander’s and the Art: Attitudes, attendance and participation in 2008; 78% of those over 15 describe themselves as being actively involved in literature. 54% have attended literature events more than two or three times, up from 49% – this is the highest increase out of all art forms since the last survey in 2005.”

Takakawriter Philip Simpson will be presented the $100,000 Creative New Zealand Michael King Writers’ Fellowship by the Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Chris Finlayson on 7 October. The largest New Zealand writing fellowship, it will allow Simpson to research and write a comprehensive natural and cultural history of the totara tree.

From 14 to 18 October thousands of publishers from all over the world will gather at the 2009 Frankfurt Book Fair. A major trade event for the global publishing industry it is identified by Creative New Zealand’s International Strategy as a key opportunity to promote New Zealand literature to the world.This year New Zealand will be represented at Frankfurt by the Publishers Association of New Zealand (PANZ), the New Zealand Book Council, Auckland University Press, Awa Press, Gecko Press and Calico Publishing. Also at the New Zealand stand will be Annabel Langbein Books, Biozone International, ESA Publications, Exisle Publishing, Hachette , Pearson, Penguin Group NZ, Stead & Daughters, Te Papa Press and Zenith Publishing.

Another key date on the literature calendar is the Prime Ministers Awards for Literary Achievement which will take place on 28 October at Premier House in Wellington. Established in 2003, there are three awards in recognition of writers who have made a significant contribution to New Zealand literature in the genres of non-fiction, poetry and fiction, with each recipient receiving $60,000.Be the first to know the Among the previous recipients are literary heavyweights Michael King, Lloyd Jones, Maurice Gee, Margaret Mahy, Bill Manhire, Philip Temple, Hone Tuwhare and Janet Frame.

New Zealand Book Month runs for the calendar month of October. The festival is designed to celebrate the work of local writers and illustrators, , and celebrates its 4th birthday with more than 200 uniquely Kiwi events and thousands of participants.

Creative New Zealand funding for literature

Part of the New Zealand Book Council’s annual funding has employed writers to inspire and motivate students through a range of workshops and lectures to read, write, and draw. The Writers in Schools programme features a snappy new format called Speed Date an Author introduced 58 children to six of their favourite authors in new programme launched two weeks ago in Wellington. These keen students learnt about several elements of writing, and have been invited to submit their writing in a short story competition, the winners of which will be announced during NZ Book Month.

Creative New Zealand also supports the annual New Zealand Post Book Awards and the New Zealand Post Book Awards for Children and Young Adults, administered by Booksellers NZ. These two awards celebrate excellence, identifying the very best books written by New Zealanders, published each year. On 1 October, the Call for Entries for the 2010 New Zealand Post Childrens Book Awards opened, followed by the 2010 New Zealand Post Book Awards a week later. Books published in 2009 are eligible for these awards.


Creative New Zealand brings key people from the literature sectors to New Zealand to see work and meet the New Zealand arts community. This years Te Manu Ka Tau programme has included a large delegation of international guests to participate in events around the 2009 Auckland Writers & Readers Festival.

Literature awards, fellowship and residences funded over the last year

Leading Maori writer Witi Ihimaera was honoured in August with the premiere Māori arts award Te Tohutiketike a Te Waka Toi at the 2009 Creative New Zealand Te Waka Toi Awards for his lifetime contribution to the development and retention of Māori arts and culture.

Literary residences and fellowships:

  • 2009 Fulbright Creative New Zealand Pacific Writers’ Residency in Hawaii’ (Toa Fraser)
  • the 2009 Creative New Zealand Michael King Writers’ Fellowship (Philip Simpson)
  • 2009/10 Berlin Writers Residency (James McNeish)
  • International Writing programme, University of Iowa (Kathy White) follow Kathys blog here

Contestable funding

From performance poetry to a graphic novel to literary festivals, over $1.25 million was awarded to the literature sector through contestable funding in the 08/09 financial year. This has gone to a variety of projects around the country including literary festivals in Waikato, Hastings, Whanganui, Invercargill, Auckland, Waitakere and Wellington,a national children’s writers and illustrators conference, the NZ Society of Authors for a programme of 2009 events and the 2009 Storylines Festival.

Individual funding for arts activities included:

  • a biography of Fatu Feu’u
  • the South Auckland Poets Collective towards production of a bookand film
  • Kapohia Ltd - towards a literature wananga based on te reo, fiction and waiata
  • Apirana Taylor - to write a series of children’s stories
  • The International Institute of Modern Letters towards the web-based publication “Best New Zealand Poems 2009”
  • University of Canterbury towards the 2010 Ursula Bethell/Creative New Zealand Residency in Creative Writing
  • University of Waikato towards the 2010 University of Waikato/Creative New Zealand Writer in Residence.