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RAK Mason

RAK MASON FELLOWSHIP (since 2014) - closed

Open to fiction writers and poets based in Aotearoa New Zealand 

Application deadline: 1 August 2020 

Residency period: 3 weeks (not between 15 Dec - 15 Jan)

With thanks to generous sponsors from the Wairarapa community,  the Fellow will live in a rural self-contained cottage hosted by people with an interest in supporting the arts.

The purpose of this RAK Mason Fellowship is to support writers by giving them time and space to focus on their project, and to honour one of New Zealand’s foremost writers, RAK Mason (1905-1971), with his intense energy, commitment to literature, and his interest in the ways different literary forms inform each other.

NZPS welcomes applications from writers currently based in New Zealand.  Applicants can be working in any way and do not have to relate to RAK Mason in terms of style or content. As part of the supported residency, the Fellow is encouraged to offer an activity for the community, such as a reading or workshop.

Selection of the 2020 Fellow will be based on the nature and strength of an applicant’s proposed writing project and the degree to which both the Fellow and the local community will benefit from it, although the focus remains on supporting the writer by providing the necessary time and space for sustained work. Applicants can be at any stage in their creative ‘careers.’

The RAK Mason Fellowship provides

-Time and space to devote to one's creative practice

-3 weeks accommodation (valued at $1260) in a rural self-contained cottage

-Project management support

-Transport within Wairarapa

-NZ Pacific Studio may host an Open Studio Day during the residency, at which the Fellow will be asked to give a short presentation/performance to visitors.

Our RAK Mason Fellows:

2020 - Jenny Powell, a writer and performer in Dunedin, New Zealand, has seven individual and two collaborative collections of poems. She is also a secondary school literacy and English teacher. Her RAK Mason Fellowship project is for her upcoming eighth collection, Meeting Rita, based on the artist Rita Angus - "We, that is Rita and I, are friends in the present time," Jenny writes. Starting points for the poems utilise some of Angus’ paintings, plus shared events and personality traits.  She will appear at the 2020 Yarns in Barns Festival on 18 October, reading with our Ema Saiko Poetry Fellow Rebcca Hawkes, as well as James Brown and Tim Wilson.

Jenny Powell has been a finalist in the UK Plough Poetry Prize, twice in the International Aesthetica Poetry Competition and in the UK Mslexia Poetry Competition. Her memoir The Case of the Missing Body (OUP 2016) was New Zealand Book of the Month. Her collaborative projects include WWI Centenary piece, Montecillo Child, written and co-directed by Powell and performed at Toitu Otago Settlers Museum. She wrote and performed a collaborative multimedia production in Dunedin’s 2017 Fringe Festival. Toitu’s Song is a commissioned choral work with composer Anthony Ritchie.

In 2020, she has been judge of the Poems in the Waiting Room Competition, has co-edited a poetry collection by the late Elizabeth Brooke Carr - Wanting to Tell You Everything (Caselburg Press) - has featured on NZ Poetry Shelf, toured as part of the duo J & K Rolling and will be reading at Lan Yuan, Dunedin Chinese Garden on NZ Poetry Day. She is a support poet for the NZ Poet Laureate David Eggleton.  Seven of her children’s poems have been selected for the NZ Children’s Animal Poems anthology, and her work will appear in Ian Chapman’s book about New Zealand life in the 1960’s. Poems from the proposed project, Meeting Rita, have appeared in Landfall, Takahe and on the Poet Laureate’s blog.

For more about Jenny, visit her website here.

2019 - Jackie Davis, writer, from New Zealand, has authored two novels (Breathe and Swim, published by Penguin NZ), plays (Whether I Fall, a one-act play, and A Time Like This, a full-length play, both of which she also directed), and fiction and poetry. She has  published in New Zealand, Australia, Japan and  USA. She holds an MA in Creative Writing from Victoria University, received the NZSA Foxton Fellowship and the Lilian Ida Smith Award, and has undertaken writing residencies both in New Zealand and abroad. Her short fiction for both adults and children has been broadcast on RNZ. During her three-week RAK Mason Fellowship, she worked on a novel and presented with Sue Wootton at Masterton District Library.

2018 - Melanie Carter, poet and educator, Egypt/USA, teaches composition and creative writing at The American University in Cairo. In 2015-6, she traveled to New Zealand and considered the connections between creativity and the geological dynamism of Aotearoa's islands, spending several months at NZ Pacific Studio.  During her 2018 Fellowship, she transcribed the voices of Normandell and its garden, worked on a long poem she began in 2015, and co-facilitated a writing workshop at Masterton District Library.

2017 - Sian ni Mhuiri, playwright/dramatist, Ireland. Her Fellowship project was developing a play about her NZ and Irish grandmothers, in English, Gaelic and Te Reo. She collaborated with Auckland poet Makyla Curtis - for more: Radio New Zealand Interview and Wairarapa News article.

2016 - Annabel Wilson, writer, Wanaka/Wellington. Wilson developed the screenplay for 'No Science to Goodbye', narrating its first performance (excerpts) at Mount Bruce Community Hall, later travelling it to Rippon Hall in Wanaka for the Festival of Colour, and to BATS Theatre, Wellington.

2015 - Madeleine Slavick author and photographer, USA/Hong Kong/NZ. During her fellowship, Slavick prepared 'Town' a book manuscript of work set in rural Aotearoa, and exhibited 'Hong Kong Song' at Aratoi Museum, which later showed at Wallace Arts Centre as part of the Auckland Arts Festival.

2014 - Tracy Farr, fiction writer, Wellington. Farr worked on her second novel (The Hope Vault) at NZPS and led a workshop on writing the novel. She also began the short story 'Once Had Me' which went on to win the 2014 Sunday Star Times Short Story Award. Here is her blog entry about her Fellowship.