Rachel O’Neill is an artist, film maker, teacher of creative writing, communications professional, and, above all poet. O’Neill will be using their six months at Randell Cottage to work on two projects: completing their third book, Symphony of Queer Errands, and a fourth, a collection of prose poems titled Master of the Female Half-Lengths.
O’Neill is a graduate of the Master of Creative Writing workshop at Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University’s Institute of Modern Letters. Their two previous collections of prose poems are One Human in Height (Hue and Cry Press, 2013) and Requiem for a Fruit (We Are Babies, 2021). They have been extensively published in anthologies and journals – most recently Best Small Fictions 2020 (Sonder Press, 2021), Out Here: An Anthology of Takatapui and LGBTQIA+ Writers from Aotearoa New Zealand (AUP, 2021), and Best New Zealand Poems 2019 ( IIML, 2020).
Wearing their artist hat, they provided illustrations for Bernadette Hall’s 2016 poetry collection Maukatere: floating mountain (Seraph Press, 2016) and they collaborate with arts collective All the Cunning Stunts, exhibiting in the European Union and Aotearoa.
- Read about Rachel O’Neill talking with Siân Robyns about listening practice.
- Read Rachel’s Residency report.
Applications are now open for one of New Zealand’s top writing residencies: the 2023 Creative New Zealand Randell Cottage Writers Fellowship. The fellowship comprises a generous stipend, funded by CNZ and currently set at $28,500, and six months’ rent-free accommodation in one of Wellington’s oldest heritage homes.
Lynn Davidson is a poet and novelist. Davidson’s most recent publication is the poetry collection Islander. She won the Poetry New Zealand’s 2020 poetry Award and holds a PhD in Creative Writing from Massey University.
Davidson will be using her time at Randell Cottage to write a memoir of her move to Scotland in 2016 and how, when prevented by Covid-19 from returning to New Zealand, she began exploring the life of her Great-Aunt Vida.
Watch Lynn Davidson talk about her time as the resident at Randell Cottage
Dunedin-based writer Paddy Richardson is the 2019 Creative New Zealand Randell Cottage Writing Fellow. Richardson has published seven novels and two short-story collections.
Her Randell project, The Green of Spring is the sequel to her 2017 novel Through the Lonesome Dark. Set in WWI New Zealand, it tells the story of young mining activist Otto Bader who is arrested as an ‘enemy alien’ and incarcerated on Somes Island along with others of Austrian and German origins.
- Read Paddy’s essay: Paddy Richardson on place-setting: getting it right
- Read Paddy’s Residency report.
Perth-based writer Stephen Daisley hit New Zealand headlines in 2016, when his second novel, Coming Rain, took out the inaugural Acorn Foundation Fiction Prize at the New Zealand Book Awards. Although at that stage an unknown quantity in his homeland, Daisley has won or been short- and long-listed for major Australian literary awards, including the Prime Minister’s Literary Award for Fiction for his first novel, Traitor, the 2016 Miles Franklin Award and the 2011 Commonwealth Writers prize for best first book.
Born in Raetehi, Daisley has worked as a shearer, musterer and bulldozer driver, and served as a soldier in the New Zealand Army, and always nursed a secret ambition to write. Unemployment in the mid-1980s prompted the move to Western Australia, where he went on to enrol as a mature student at Murdoch University, emerging with degrees in English literature and philosophy and a diploma in creative writing.
He’d been writing and submitting manuscripts to publishers since his 20s but had little success until Traitor in 2010. His work deals with violence and love, with the impact myths of masculinity have on men’s lives and the struggle to find beauty and love in a harsh world.
Daisley worked on two projects while at the Cottage. The first A Better Place Than This is to be published by Text Publishing. He describes it as a picaresque tale of a return home – from the mines of Australia to a New Zealand farm, and a meditation on the various forms love assumes in our lives.
The second project The Clearances is an historical novel set in 18th century Scotland, after the Battle of Culloden.
Stephanie 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.
Stephanie used her time at the Cottage to produce a non-fiction work, West Island: ‘Five Twenthieth Century New Zealanders in Australia’ to be published by Otago University Press in 2019. She also took some time to work on a novel, ‘Jarulan by the River’, an experiment in writing commercial fiction published pseudonymously in 2017.