International Residency

Shanghai Writing Program 

New Zealand's literary exchange with China is available through a partnership between the New Zealand China Friendship Society, the Michael King Writers’ Centre, the Shanghai Writers’ Association, and Shanghai People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries.

Since the exchange began in 2013, three Chinese writers have enjoyed a residency at the Michael King Writers’ Centre on the slopes of Mount Victoria at Devonport in Auckland. In 2013 Huo Yan, a young writing star from Beijing, took up the first Rewi Alley Fellowship then in 2015 acclaimed novelist Xiao Bai from Shanghai was the second Rewi Alley fellow. Last year Yin Jian Ling held the two mointh residency. Yin is a poet, essayist, novelist, literary critic, illustrator and translator; a versatile Chinese writer of children’s literature, who has covered a wide range of subjects

In 2014 Alison Wong was the first New Zealand writer selected to join the international writers’ programme.  Alison writes of her experience:  The Shanghai International Writing Program was invaluable as research for my new book, but also for stimulating fresh creativity and inquiry through exposure to a completely different environment, language and culture. The connections made, whether with Chinese or other international writers were personally and professionally rewarding. I recommend the residency to writers with a sense of adventure and curiosity.

In 2016 Heidi North Bailey was the recipient of the exchange. Heidi said at the time:

‘I’m having a marvellous, stimulating and productive time. The Shanghai writers programme has organised some thoughtful activities for us including visiting a writer's home, and we have participated in several stimulating cross cultural literary discussions. 

But I am also having plenty of time to put hands to keyboard and write. Being here is such a gift’. 

For more on Heidi’s exchange see:

Watch this space for updates on the 2018 programme.




Huo Yan

Huo Yan, from Beijing, who held the Rewi Alley Fellowship at the Michael King Writers' Centre in 2013.

Alison Wong

Alison Wong who took part in the 2014 Shanghai Writing Program in Shanghai

Xiao Bai

Xiao Bai who held the 2015 Rewi Alley Fellowship at the Michael King Writers’ Centre