New Zealand Writer in Residence

Time Frame

In 2021 the Creative New Zealand residency will run from April to September. We have made this change in response to the disruption created by Covid-19 in the hope that it will allow the 2021 French Randell lauréate to join us in Wellington from July to December. The lauréate will spend the first three months of the residency in alternative accommodation. We are hopeful that the overlap will lead to collaborative projects and events.

New Zealand writer applications close on the first Friday in November each year.  The application documentation is updated annually. See the 2021 version for general guidance.  Interested candidates are advised to refer back to this site in September 2021, once applications open, for the latest version for 2022. 

Please email if you need confirmation of an exact date.

What does the Residency offer?

Rent-free accommodation in the two-bedroom central city cottage, and a stipend, currently set at $27,450.

What are the eligibility requirements?

We’re looking for writers whose work has already been published or performed and well received. We particularly want to hear from mid-career and Māori and Pasifika writers.

Your proposal may be in any genre, including:

  • Fiction
  • Poetry
  • Children’s writing
  • Drama
  • Biography
  • Other literary non-fiction
  • Writing on arts topics

The following persons are not eligible for selection:

  • Employees of Creative New Zealand
  • Members of the Arts Council, The Arts Board, Te Waka Toi and the Pacific Arts Committee
  • Students of tertiary institutions working towards the completion of a tertiary qualification
  • Current trustees of the Randell Cottage.

Applicants must be New Zealand citizens by birth, registration, or residency.

What will the selection panel consider when awarding the residency?

Major factors in making the selection will be the literary achievement of the applicant to date, and the ability to produce a work of substantial literary quality.

The Trustees and their advisers will make the final selection.

What do you mean by mid-career?

We know that mid-career is a broad and elastic term. For us, it covers writers who may have published one or two or even three books, writers who may have had a significant body of well-received work (such as essays, poems and short stories) published on websites, in journals or anthologies or performed either locally or internationally, and who may have appeared at international literary festivals. We’re looking for the writer who is no longer “emerging” but isn’t quite yet “established” and to whose career this residency would represent a significant boost.

Are families or couples welcome at the Cottage?

Oh yes! Despite the space constraints of the cottage, several writers have been accompanied by their partners and/or children. They include Kirsty Gunn, Tina Makereti, Amélie Lucas-Gary and our 2020 writer Michalia Arathimos.


The writer will be expected to participate in any associated social activities and be prepared to promote the Trust and the residency at every opportunity.

The writer may be required to make the cottage available to the public for a day during the tenancy. Any associated costs, within reason, will be met by the RCWT. The day will be decided at the start of the residency.

The Trust will make every effort to promote the resident writer and his or her work during the residency including on the RCWT website.

A printed acknowledgment and the logo of the RCWT and Creative New Zealand are expected in any published work that results from holding the residency. Logo provided.

Report by writer

Within one month of completing the residency, the writer will provide a report on progress with their project, including any comments on the residency itself.

NB: The cottage is furnished, non-smoking and pet-free.

The residency was tremendous. It is extremely rare for a writer to have a period in his or her life free from financial insecurity. – Peter Wells, inaugural New Zealand Writer 2002.


Click the image for full size

The Randell Cottage Writers Trust logo for publicity and media purposes, and for writers to use in their published work following the residency.