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.
After a break in the residency exchange programme due to the global pandemic, we are very happy to announce that, Melinda Szymanik has been selected as the fourth New Zealand writer to join the 2023 Shanghai Writers’ Association’s International Writing Programme.
Melinda will join writers from eight other countries around the world for two months in Shanghai in September and October this year. The writers receive free accommodation in an inner-city apartment, a small stipend for living expenses and air travel.
For an update on Melinda’s time so far see here.
In September 2019 we welcomed Sun Wei to the centre for her residency. Described as one of China’s most original and leading voices, Sun Wei, Shanghai born and bred, is a former journalist, documentary filmmaker, and corporate general manager. She has published 23 books including novels, a novella collection and two short story collections.
Since the exchange began in 2013, three other Chinese writers have also enjoyed a residency at the Centre In 2013 Huo Yan, a young writing star from Beijing, took up the first Rewi Alley Fellowship, followed by acclaimed novelist Xiao Bai from Shanghai in 2015. In 2017 Yin Jian Ling held the two-month 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 2018 Frances Edmond was the recipient of the exchange and she wrote ‘One cannot live in a place even for a short time without it becoming a part of the psyche, leaving its imprint on the essence of who you are. The opportunity provided by the Shanghai residency, the experience of living and writing in that enormous, vibrant, hospitable city is a rare gift, one to be treasured and always remembered’.