Calling all writers – applications are now open for the 2021 Grimshaw Sargeson Fellowship.

14 September 2020

Commentary , News Articles

Media release: 14th September 2020

The Grimshaw Sargeson Fellowship is back looking for writers ready for their 2021 placements. The Fellowship, now in its 34th year, is a national literary award offering published New Zealand writers the chance to focus on their craft full-time, a historic environment to write in, along with financial support and networking opportunities. Applicants must be a New Zealand Citizen or have New Zealand permanent residency Frank Sargeson Trust Chair Elizabeth Aitken-Rose says now more than ever it is important to support New Zealand authors and creatives. “It’s great that we can provide these well deserving writers the opportunity to focus solely on their literary work for a few months. It gives them the opportunity to devote more time and explore ideas they might not otherwise be able to.”

“We want this Fellowship to enrich and nurture New Zealand’s literary landscape. It’s always exciting to see the work that our recipients create during their tenure, and we look forward to seeing what new concepts are put forward by this year’s talent.”

Writing about sex, human relationships and immigrant perspectives, poet Hera Lindsay Bird and fiction writer Michalia Arathimos were Grimshaw Sargeson’s 2020 fellows. Auckland-based Hera had to adapt, like most New Zealanders, and completed her fellowship at home due to COVID-19 lockdown. This didn’t dent her experience however, and she still continued to develop her project.

“It was such a pleasure to have a few uninterrupted months of time to focus on my work. Even though I didn't get the opportunity to use the building, it was still a great experience,” says Hera. “I really value the time and support this residency afforded, and don't think I would be where I am with my project without this concentrated period of time to think, reflect and work.

“Over the pandemic, most of the writers and artists I know have been reconsidering the function, intent and audience for their work, and while re-evaluating everything can be daunting, it can also be exciting and re-invigorating. I'm going to keep working on my book with renewed clarity and energy.”

Michalia is due to come up from Wellington at the end of the year to undertake her tenure at the Sargeson Centre in Auckland.
Aitken-Rose also says that it is wonderful to see a diverse range of authors apply for the Fellowship across all genres and encourages all established writers to consider applying, whether they are poets, biographers, playwrights or novelists.

“The contribution that they make to New Zealand’s culture is invaluable,” says Paul Grimshaw, Partner of Grimshaw & Co, “that’s why we continue to support New Zealand’s literary talent.”

Applications close on Friday 16 October 2020, with the tenure due to begin in April 2021.

Further information on the Fellowship is available here. Any queries can be directed to Elizabeth Bennie at or on +64 9 375 2393.

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About Grimshaw & Co

Grimshaw & Co are leaders in dispute resolution, with experience across all areas of civil and commercial litigation. Established in 2005, Grimshaw & Co are based in Auckland, representing clients across the country.

About the Frank Sargeson Trust

The Frank Sargeson Trust was formed in 1983 by Christine Cole Catley, Frank Sargeson’s heir and executor. The Trust aims to continue Sargeson’s lifelong generosity to writers through providing residential fellowships while preserving his house in Takapuna, Auckland, as New Zealand’s first literary museum. The first fellowship was awarded to Janet Frame in 1987. Learn more about Frank Sargeson and the Fellowship here.

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