Writer in Residence

The Writer in Residence is an annual appointment to foster New Zealand writing, with support from Creative New Zealand.

Applications for the 2021 Residency are currently open and will close on 30 September. See the full role description and application form on the Current Vacancies page of the University's website. Enquiries can be directed to modernletters@vuw.ac.nz.

Please note: applications are also currently open for the Emerging Māori Writer's Residency.

About the residency

Creative New Zealand Logo

The Writer in Residence appointment is jointly funded by Te Herenga Waka - Victoria University of Wellington and Creative New Zealand and housed at the University's International Institute of Modern Letters (IIML). It has been created to foster New Zealand writing by providing the appointee with the opportunity to write full-time within an academic environment for the period of tenure.

Applications are invited from writers in all areas of literary activity, including drama, fiction and poetry, New Zealand art, biography, history, music, society and culture, etc. Applicants should be authors of proven merit normally resident in New Zealand or New Zealanders currently resident overseas. There is no restriction on the occupation of applicants, but they should not be employees of Creative New Zealand or Victoria University of Wellington, nor have been employed on a full-time basis by Victoria University of Wellington in the twelve months prior to the closing date.

Beginning in 2019 we also offer a three-month Emerging Pasifika Writer in Residency, and a three-month Emerging Māori Writer's Residency, both jointly funded by the University and Creative New Zealand.

Current Writer in Residence - Catherine Robertson

Catherine Roberston (photo by Russell Kleyn)

Catherine Robertson's fiction is celebrated for its witty, precise and emotionally involving depictions of contemporary life. All six of her novels, which include The Hiding Places, Gabriel's Bay, and What You Wish For, have reached number one on the New Zealand bestseller list, and several have been published in Europe.

Catherine completed her BA in English Literature, and her Master’s in Creative Writing at the IIML. She is well-known nationally as a panellist on RNZ’s The Panel, and as book reviewer, feature writer and New Zealand writing scene commentator. She has been Vice President of the Romance Writers of New Zealand, and currently represents New Zealand Society of Authors on the Book Awards Trust. She also teaches creative writing at Arohata prison and is a literacy tutor in prison as a Howard League volunteer.

While holding the residency, Catherine will work on a novel set in Wainuiomata in the 1970s and early 1980s. The story will feature the Wainuiomata Cycling Club, which grew from modest and unlikely beginnings to become one of the most successful in the country.

Read more

Penguin Books author profile

Catherine's website

Read about Catherine's MA experience

Previous writers

All images are © Robert Cross