17 Jun 2016

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Six new promising Maori writers to begin Te Papa Tupu Writing Incubator

Another round of Te Papa Tupu will kick off at the start of July with six new Māori writers selected to go through the unique incubator.

“The quality of the submissions was high,” says judge Whiti Hereaka. “Many of the chosen writers impressed me with their ability to build fictional worlds and tell stories from viewpoints that are seldom told.”

Submissions this year gave the shortlisting team a diverse selection to choose from: historical non-fiction, poetry, fantastical short film scripts and memoirs were just a few of the entries.  However, the judges couldn’t look past the intriguing fictional works submitted by the chosen writers, ranging from chick-lits to short story collections to YA novels with a cross-over appeal.

Judge Reina Whaitiri was also encouraged by the wide range of writing being done by Māori and the standard of the shortlisted writers, “Te Papa Tupu will be a great opportunity for these writers to be mentored and supported while they work towards completing their manuscripts.”

The successful writers will work with chosen mentors for six months to develop and refine their writing abilities. Congratulations to these six writers:

Shirley Simmonds, Levin
Lauren Keenan, Wellington
Stephanie Matuku, New Plymouth
Pere Durie, Papamoa
Tahlia Tini, Auckland
Terri Tetau, Ashhurst

“I’m thrilled to be accepted onto the programme,” says mentee Stephanie Matuku. “Writing can be a lonely journey and it’s so nice to know that I’ll have a mentor with experience and passion, walking the path with me and helping me over the rocky bits.”

Writers will meet their mentors for the first time on July 8 when they attend a workshop in Wellington to kick off the incubator.

Te Papa Tupu is a Māori Literature Trust initiative supported by Creative NZ and Huia Publishers. For more information contact Jd Nodder on jd.nodder@huia.co.nz