Emerging Pasifika Writer in Residence

About the residency

The Emerging Pasifika Writer's Residency was established in 2019 by Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington, with the support of Creative New Zealand. It is open to writers at an early stage of their careers, with a growing body of work in any genre. It includes a writing room, mentorship, and a stipend of $15,000.

The Residency is unique in offering the chance to work within an established community of writers at the University's International Institute of Modern Letters (IIML), with a mentor from the Pasifika arts community.

During the application period, applications are invited from Pasifika writers in all areas of literary activity, including drama, fiction and poetry (page and performance), devised performance, creative non-fiction and graphic novels. Please note: film and television scriptwriting projects are not eligible.

Applicants should be writers at an early stage of their career, with a growing body of work, and must be either New Zealand citizens or hold permanent residency. There is no restriction on the occupation of applicants, but they should not be full-time employees of Creative New Zealand or the University, nor have been employed on a full-time basis by the University in the twelve months prior to the closing date.

The 2022 Resident is Tamara Tulitua.

The 2023 Residency will be held in the second half of 2023. A full role description and application will be available on the Current Vacancies page of the University's website (and linked from this page) early next year, when applications open for the position. Enquiries can be directed at any time to modernletters@vuw.ac.nz.

We also offer the three-month Emerging Māori Writer's Residency, and the full-year Victoria University of Wellington/Creative New Zealand Writer in Residence on an annual basis.

2022 Emerging Pasifika Writer in Residence—Tamara Tulitua

2022 Emerging Pasifika Writer in Residence Tamara Tulitua. (Image supplied.)
2022 Emerging Pasifika Writer in Residence Tamara Tulitua. (Image supplied.)
Tamara, a Wellington-based writer of Samoan descent, traces her lineage through the villages of Lefaga, (Safa'ato'a, Gagāifo, and Matāutu) on her mother's side, and on her father's side through Sapapāli'i, Vailima, and Tanugamanono. Tamara's work has appeared in literary journals and other online publications including Turbine | Kapohau and the Dominion Post. Her writing considers identity and belonging, 'upending the questions "Are you a real Samoan?" and "Can you speak Samoan?" by exploring the myriad identities and dialects we embody and express.'

Held in the second half of 2022, the residency will provide Tamara with a stipend of $15,000 over three months and access to a mentor. She intends to work on a collection that mixes prose and poetry as it explores the experiences of tama'ita'i Samoa (Samoan women) in diasporic settings around the world.

Previous Emerging Pasifika Writers in Residence

All photos by Robert Cross.

2021  Simone Kaho

2020 Tavita Nielsen-Mamea

Due to COVID restrictions, no portraits were taken of these residents. Although awarded for 2020, Tavita's residency was held in 2021, again due to COVID restrictions.