17 Dec 2019
Sylvan Thomson has been awarded the 2020 Todd New Writer’s Bursary towards the completion of his first full-length work of fiction currently titled The Orchard.
The proposed novel is set in rural New Zealand. It is a coming-of-age story that follows the young protagonist, Henry, who feels himself to be caught between the opposing world views of traditional masculinity and queerness. Henry seeks refuge in the natural world and in literature as he attempts to carve out a place for himself in an increasingly perplexing world.
“The Todd New Writer's bursary will allow me to continue work on this project, which I started while completing graduate studies at the University of Michigan. The generous $20,000 stipend from Creative New Zealand will allow me to bring the rough draft up to a publishable level.”
Sylvan Thomson is a writer from Nelson. He holds a Master of Fine Arts from University of Michigan's Helen Zell Writer's Program and a Master of Arts from the International Institute of Modern Letters, Wellington. Sylvan’s works of fiction can be found in Sport, Metro and the Dominion Post. His non-fiction work has been published on The Wireless and collected in Tell You What: Great New Zealand Non-Fiction, 2016. His book reviews have been published in the New Zealand Review of Books.
The annual Todd New Writer's Bursary allows a promising published writer or presented playwright, at an early stage of their career, to work on an approved project. It aims to support the creation of a diverse range of new work and to increase and diversify readership and sales for New Zealand literature.
The Todd Corporation Ltd contributes $10,000 towards this bursary and the balance of $10,000 is provided by Creative New Zealand. More about Todd New Writer's Bursary.
Previous recipients include:
- Michael Steven to write a new collection of poetry (2018)
- Puleleki Bourke towards script development of a theatre work (2017)
- Lynn Jenner toward a work of creative non-fiction and poetry (2016)
- David Coventry towards a new novel (2015)
- Gemma Bowker-Wright towards a new novel (2014)
- Lawrence Patchett towards a new novel (2013)
- Gigi Fenster towards a new novel (2012)
- Tanya Moir towards a new novel (2011)
- Elena de Roo towards a collection of children's poems (2010).