This year’s Michael King Writers Centre residency selection panel once again had their work cut out for them with a high number of applications received for the 18 residencies planned across 2023. There were 108 applicants totalling 509 individual applications across all of the available categories. A continuing trend is the high number of applicant in the emerging writers category. There is clearly a large and growing demand for developing writers to have an opportunity to retreat and work on their craft. This underpins our kaupapa of supporting grassroots growth in the literary sector.  

The Michael King Writers Centre Trust is looking forward to welcoming and hosting a diverse cohort of writers who, during their time in Devonport’s Signalman’s House, will work on an exciting and eclectic range of topics including: an indigenous Moana Pasifika “eco-gothic” vampire novel, a play about friendship, and how power status shifts and evolves in friendships over a series of years, a collection of creative non-fiction stories about migration, Ukraine, alienation, escapism and belonging, a novel which has at its essence a whakatauki which points to the strength of women and another novel that is about the collapse of democracy in an organisation of alpaca breeders. For the first time, a collection of short stories in te reo for adult readers is going to be the focus for one writer.

Established writers to receive residencies are: Duncan Sarkies, Sam Brooks, Rosetta Allan, Jacquie McRae, Caroline Barron, Helen Heath, Liz Breslin, Mary-anne Scott, Sherryl Clark and Joan Fleming.

Emerging writers awarded a residency are: Daniel Satele, Josie Shapiro, Gwynneth Porter, Nataliya Oryshchuk, Amber Esau, Hana Aoake, Atakohu Middleton, and Ruby Porter.

‘Reading and assessing this year’s applications was a huge privilege for the selection panel’, says board of trustees Chair, Melanie Laville-Moore. ‘We were impressed by the breadth and quality of writing across a wide spectrum of proposed projects, and especially delighted to award an eight-week residency. Acclaimed Wellington poet, Helen Heath will enjoy an extended stay in the Signalman’s House as she works upon an exciting work of non-fiction’.

All residencies are made possible with thanks to support from Creative New Zealand.

The Michael King Writers Centre thanks all applicants and wishes our residency recipients the very best of luck with their work.

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'Character to some extent is much a construction of the reader as it is of the writer.' - Lloyd Jones

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