You're receiving this newsletter from the Michael King Writers' Centre Trust because you are a subscriber.
Having trouble viewing this email? View it in your web browser.

Michael King Writers' Centre

Newsletter November 2016

Spring in the centre's garden
Photo: Ben Whimp

Spring at the MKWC

Jan McEwen

Much like the season, we have been going through a period of growth, change and renewal here at the centre. We bid farewell to Ka Meechan and have welcomed Jan McEwen (shown at left) as the new executive director.

Jan has a wealth of experience across event management, education, arts and the not for profit sector.

Catriona Ferguson, Chair of the MKWC Trust says, “We are delighted to welcome Jan to the Trust. Her knowledge of the not for profit sector will be a huge asset to the Trust alongside her enthusiasm for the arts and understanding of the local Devonport scene.”

The garden is lush with spring growth, we have had a gorgeous display of poppies and tulips and we have had several visiting writers to revel in the overall environment.

There is always plenty to be getting on with and plenty on the horizon – read on to see what has been happening.

Tania Stewart

Tulips in the centre's garden Tulips in the centre's garden

Alumni Writers in Residence

Several of our alumni have recently received recognition and released work including the following;

David Eggleton – David is one of our alumni having held a residency in 2009, he has been named winner of the 2016 Prime Minister's Award for Literary Achievement in poetry and his most recent collection of poetry, The Conch Trumpet won the 2016 Ockham NZ Book Award for Poetry.       Read more

Bill Direen – Bill held the University of Auckland/MKWC residency in 2010 and has recently completed the two projects he was working on whilst here. Bill says ‘the works are one long poem, titled Centre and the second is The Book of Return, an auto-fictional novel of diary entries during many years of returning to and leaving New Zealand.       Read more

Sarah Laing - Sarah completed her debut novel Dead People’s Music at the centre in 2008 when she held a six week residency. Sarah was welcomed back in 2013 as the University of Auckland / Michael King Writers’ Centre Fellow and she worked on her graphic memoir, Mansfield and Me. Grappling with Mansfield’s legacy as New Zealand’s finest short story writer, she examined her own desire to be a ‘real writer’ in lush watercolour illustrations. This book was launched on the 6th of October 2016 by Victoria University Press, in time for Mansfield’s 128th birthday.

Kelly Ana Morey – in 2014, Kelly Ana was awarded the Maori Writer’s Residency. The resulting novel, Daylight Second, she believes is the first New Zealand literary novel about the racehorse Phar Lap. Daylight Second was published on the 1st of October 2016 by HarperCollins.

Eleanor Catton – this year Eleanor’s debut novel The Rehearsal was adapted for feature film, written by Emily Perkins and directed by Alison Maclean.  The world premiere of the film was held at the NZ International Film Festival in July and then it went to general release and is still screening. The cast includes Kerry Fox and James Rolleston and it has received wide-spread critical acclaim.  A television adaptation of The Luminaries is currently in development.

Our hearty congratulations go to all our alumni for their achievements.

Visiting Writers – the front room

Our front room has been fully occupied in the lead up to Spring. We welcomed Michael Woodcock, Tui Allen, Paolo Rotondo (who was here as the recipient of the NZSA/Auckland Museum Research Grant) and Hussein Rawlings. Read more about these writers on our website

Dominique Cooreman who was a visiting writer in 2007 has recently completed and self-published the book she was working on at the time - LA BASSE-VILLE 1917: New Zealand Voices from Flanders Fields. Dominque says,"‘This book is intended as a tribute to New Zealand troops who fought in WW1 as well as their families, particularly those directly affected by operations at La Basse-Ville, Belgium, from 11 June through 28 August 1917. The book offers a mainly New Zealand perspective on those operations. The battle of La Basse-Ville has been considered up until now either as a prelude of Passchendaele or a follow-up of Messines battles in Belgium in 1917, during WWI."                                                   

 Dominique can be contacted at

NEWS - What has been happening?

2017 Residency Programme

MKWC is once again offering four supported residencies in 2017. The residency programme aims to support New Zealand writers and promote the development of high-quality New Zealand writing.

Writers selected for the 2017 residencies will have free accommodation at the Michael King Writers’ Centre in Devonport, use of the writer’s studio and receive a stipend.

Announcements for the 2017 Programme will be made mid to late November. For details of the residency dates and stipends, read more

Auckland Heritage Festival event – Lynn Dawson (Co-ordinator, Friends of MKWC)

Heritage Festival eventOn Sunday 25th September MKWC participated in the annual Auckland Heritage Festival with the theme: Now and Then - the changing face of Auckland. 
A new collaboration between the Michael King Writers Centre and Torpedo Bay Navy Museum was established this year for the Auckland Heritage Festival and to celebrate the coming 75th Anniversary of the Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN).    Read  more


Young Writers Programme Update

The Young Writers Programme is currently collating the submissions for Signals 2016, the fifth edition of its literary journal. The purpose of the journal is to showcase the work of the young writers who have enjoyed creative events with the Programme’s tutors (Ros Ali & Jo Emeny)  and guest authors since 2008 to the present. Young writers who have attended these events are invited to submit as many samples of prose, poetry, creative non-fiction, comics, lyrics or monologues as they wish. Alumni of the Programme are also welcome to submit, as well as those who have participated in Council-sponsored courses that Ros and Jo have run over the years. Signals will be launched in early December and will be available for sale from then for $10 per copy from the Centre. Contact      Read more

Residential Workshop: Writing New Zealand: People, Politics, Place
Caroline Barron (Programme Co-ordinator)

On Labour weekend the sun was shining on our 18 attendees and 19 presenters at Long Bay's Vaughan Park.  There must have been something in those rays, for the resulting inspiration, discussion and creativity has been white-hot, and insiders tell me all sorts of new creative endeavours and groups across the nation have formed as a result.    Read more

Residential Workshop
Residential Workshop items

International Residency

Heid North-Bailey in Shanghai
New Zealand's literary exchange with China continues and this year New Zealand writer Heidi North Bailey was selected to attend the international writers programme run by the Shanghai Writers’ Association in September and October 2016.    Read more