Historic Randell Cottage in Wellington, New Zealand, has been a writers’ residency for New Zealand and French writers since 2001. The Randell Cottage Writers Trust works in partnership with Creative New Zealand, the Embassy of France, the New Zealand-France Friendship Fund and Wellington City Council.
The cottage has two bedrooms and a writing studio. It is located in inner-city Thorndon close to the Lilburn Residence, Rita Angus Cottage, Wellington Asia Residency, and the Katherine Mansfield Birthplace, and within walking distance of the National and Turnbull Libraries.
The 2016 French writer in residence is Nicolas Fargues, author of ten novels including J’étais derrière toi – I was Behind You (Pushkin Press, London) – which has been translated into fifteen different languages. Fargues was born in 1972 in the Paris region and spent his childhood between Cameroon, Lebanon and Corsica. He studied modern French literature at La Sorbonne University and completed his master’s thesis on the life and work of Egyptian author Georges Henein. Fargues’ first novel Le Tour du propriétaire was published in 2000. He has spent the last few years between Indonesia, Paris, Yaoundé and Madagascar.
Fargues will be in residence from mid-January to late June 2016.
The 2016 New Zealand writer is Auckland writer Stephanie Johnson. Johnson is the author of several collections of poetry and of short stories, of plays and adaptations, but is best known for her novels. These include Crimes of Neglect (1992), The Heart’s Wild Surf (1996), The Shag Incident (2002), Music from a Distant Room (2004), The Open World(2012), and The Writing Class(2013) and its sequel The Writers Festival (2015). She is a past winner of the Deutz Medal for Fiction (2003), has been shortlisted for New Zealand literary awards and longlisted internationally.
Johnson has held the Katherine Mansfield Fellowship (2000) and in 2001 was Literary Fellow at Auckland University. She has taught creative writing and English at the University of Auckland and Unitec. For the past two years, she’s been a teaching fellow in history at the University of Waikato. She was co-founder and creative director (with Peters Wells) of the Auckland Writers and Readers Festival.
She will be in residence from July to December 2016.