RAK Mason


The RAK Mason Residency was established in 2014 to support writers by giving them time and space for sustained work, creativity and exploration, 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.  The writer will live and work in a rural accommodation in Wairarapa, with use of a private studio. 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 Residency, the writer is requested to offer a public performance / reading / workshop, likely in collaboration with Wairarapa Word and Wairarapa Library Service.

Open to all writers - in any genre - based in Aotearoa New Zealand or abroad.

Application deadline: 31 January 2023, 5pm, NZT

Residency period: 3 weeks in May 2023

With thanks to generous sponsors from the Wairarapa community, The RAK Mason Writer's Residency offers

  • 3 weeks of accommodation in rural Wairarapa, with use of a private studio
  • an opportunity to give a public performance / reading / workshop
  • transportation within Wairarapa, if needed
  • project management support
  • a stipend

Note: Travel and any visa costs are not included. The residency is self-catering, although your host will provide some meals.


Apply by e-mail to NZ Pacific Studio (
Subject heading: "2023 RAK Mason Writer's Residency" with your name
Send the following  in ONE DOCUMENT (eg Word or PDF) –  please keep the file size under 1mb.
1. A short biography (under 100 words) 
2. A short description of the project you will focus on during the residency, its objectives and inspirations, and why it is important to you.
3. A comment on how the residency would benefit you and extend your practice at this time. 
4. Please outline the community activity you are prepared to offer. 
5. Please provide 2-3 samples of your creative work  - these can be links to work published online.
6. Two Referees – we will contact them if you are shortlisted. 
Selection: Selection is based on the nature and strength of an applicant’s proposed project, and the degree to which both the artist and the local community will benefit.  We are looking for a deep sense of commitment to one’s creative practice, as well as the desire and ability to connect with a wider audience and community. 

Previous writers to hold the RAK Mason Residency:

2020 - Jenny Powell, a writer, educator and performer in Dunedin, New Zealand, has eight individual and two collaborative collections of poems. Her Residency project was linked with her eighth collection, Meeting Rita, based on the artist Rita Angus - "We, that is Rita and I, are friends in the present time," she writes. Powell appeared at the 2020 Yarns in Barns Festival, reading with Ema Saiko Poetry Fellow Rebecca Hawkes, James Brown and Tim Wilson. She also led a workshop at Rathkeale College.

2019 - Jackie Davis, NZ writer, has authored two novels (Breathe and Swim, published by Penguin NZ), plays, short fiction and poetry. She holds an MA in Creative Writing from Victoria University, received the NZSA Foxton Fellowship and the Lilian Ida Smith Award, and has held residencies in New Zealand and abroad. As part of the Residency, Davis worked on a novel, presented with Sue Wootton at Masterton District Library, and led a workshop with the local writig group, Quill. 

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 RAK Mason Residency, Carter transcribed the voices of Normandell and its garden, worked on a long poem she began in 2015, and co-facilitated a 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 the Residency, Slavick prepared 'Town' a book manuscript of work set in rural Aotearoa, and exhibited 'Hong Kong Song' at Aratoi Museum, which also 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.