Robert Lord Writers Cottage Trust Announces Residencies For 2024

Published: Wed 21 Feb 2024 11:17 AM
Six writers have been awarded 2024 residencies at the historic cottage in Ōtepoti Dunedin UNESCO City of Literature, and applications for the NZYWF Young Writer in Residence 2024 will open in late April.
The Robert Lord Writers Cottage Trust is delighted to announce its residencies for 2024 have been awarded to April-Rose Geers, Feana Tu’akoi, Sally Bollinger, Keagan Carr Fransch, Emma Hislop and Holly Walker.
The University Book Shop Otago 2024 Summer Writer in Residence was April-Rose Geers. A poet and researcher from Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland and currently a lecturer at Canterbury University, April spent six weeks at the cottage working on a creative nonfiction memoir interspersed with poetry detailing her journey as a poet-activist and her research on an Iranian political prisoner, poet, and Bahá'í.
Kirikiriroa Hamilton-based writer Feana Tu’akoi is the University of Otago College of Education Creative New Zealand Children's Writer in Residence Fellow 2024. An award-winning children’s novelist with a strong background in educational writing, Feana started writing in 1997 when she couldn’t find any children’s books that included Tongan people or ideas. She plans to use the Fellowship to write her first mystery adventure novel.
Sally Bollinger (she/they), a cartoonist and filmmaker from Te Whanganui-a-tara, will be working on her first full-length graphic novel, Total Party Kill, in which a party of anxious, online Dungeons & Dragons players meet in real life for the first time and embark on a road trip from Wellington to Wanaka to rescue a fellow player whose tweets are rapidly becoming suicidal.
Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland-based playwright and actor Keagan Carr Fransch is the recipient of the 2024 Auckland Pride Playwright Residency: Praise the Lord. As part of the year-long programme, which involves a series of writing, workshopping and developing opportunities for an emerging queer playwright, Keagan will spend two weeks at the cottage working on the play Dimensions in Black.
Taranaki-based writer Emma Hislop (Kāi Tahu) will take up a second residency at the cottage. Her first stay, in 2021, helped her finish her debut collection of short fiction Ruin (THWUP, 2023), recently longlisted for the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards 2024. Emma is part of Te Hā Taranaki, a collective for Māori writers established in 2019. She is currently working on a novel.
Dr Holly Walker (she/her, Pākeha) was the University Book Shop Otago 2021 Summer Writer in Residence. While at the cottage, she completed the first draft of her PhD in Creative Writing – a collection of personal essays exploring the experience of having a family member in prison for a serious offence, and the ethics of writing about it. On her second visit to the cottage, Holly will be reworking this collection for publication.
Applications will open in late April for the NZYWF 2024 Young Writer in Residence award, a four-week residency offered by the New Zealand Young Writers Festival in association with the Robert Lord Writers Cottage Trust.
Playwright Robert Lord bought his cottage in Titan St, Dunedin, after taking up the 1987 Burns Fellowship at the University of Otago. Located near the university and the town centre, the worker's cottage has three furnished rooms and a courtyard garden. It has been run as a rent-free residency for writers since 2003.

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