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.
Timaru-based writer Owen Marshall has published or edited almost thirty books, including novels, short stories and poetry including Living as a Moon, Watch of Gryphons, Carnival Sky, The Larnachs and Drybread. His 1999 novel Harlequin Rex won the 2000 Deutz Medal for Fiction at the Montana Book Awards. He has held fellowships at the universities of Canterbury and Otago and in Menton, France. Marshall is an adjunct professor at the University of Canterbury, which awarded him the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters in 2002. In 2000, he became an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to literature and in 2012, a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit. In 2013 Marshall was awarded the Prime Minister’s Award for Literary Achievement in fiction.
Marshall used his residency to complete a contemporary novel concerning a love affair between a mature couple, one a widower, the other married, in which he will explore the power of such emotional attachments and their sometimes irrational and damaging consequences.
Marshall shared his time with Witi Ihimaera.
Witi Ihimaera is a novelist, short story writer, anthologist and librettist, was born in Gisborne. He is of Te Whanau A Kai and Ngati Porou descent with close affiliations to Te Aitanga A Mahaki, Rongowhakaata, Tūhoe, Te Whakatohea, Te Whanau-a-Apanui and Ngati Kahungunu. His works include Tangi, The Matriarch, The Whale Rider, (which was made in to a film by Niki Caro in 2002), the semi-autobiographical Nights in the Gardens of Spain, and The Parihaka Woman. A memoir, Maori Boy has just been released by Random House. Ihimaera became a Distinguished Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2004, for services to literature.
Ihimaera used his time at the Randell Cottage to work on a second volume of his three-volume memoir Native Son, covering the period 1961 to 1990, a trajectory that sets his life against national and international history, delineating the professional dilemmas as well as the personal. The residency enabled him to consult his own archives at the J.B. Beaglehole Room and also the Foreign Affairs archives at the National Library.
Ihimaera shared his time with Owen Marshall.
Tina Makereti is the author of two books: a novel, Where the Rēkohu Bone Sings (Vintage 2014), and a short story collection, Once Upon a Time in Aotearoa (Huia Publishers 2010), which won the Ngā Kupu Ora Māori Book Awards Fiction Prize 2011. In 2009 she was the recipient of the Royal Society of New Zealand Manhire Prize for Creative Science Writing (non-fiction), and in the same year received the Pikihuia Award for Best Short Story Written in English. In October 2012 Tina was Writer in Residence at the Weltkulturen Museum in Frankfurt, and in 2013 she was Curator-at-Large for the New Zealand Film Archive. Tina has a PhD Creative Writing from Victoria University, and teaches creative writing at Massey and Victoria Universities. She is of Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Te Ati Awa, Ngāti Maniapoto, Pākehā and, in all probability, Moriori descent. She usually lives on the Kāpiti Coast with her partner, daughters, unruly dog, and three bossy chickens.
Tina’s project is an historical and allegorical novel based on the experiences of the indigenous people, in this case, a Māori child, who were exhibited in Victorian London, and elsewhere in Europe, as cultural artefacts and oddities. She’s planning a first-person narrative which will explore the dehumanisation and loss of dignity involved.
Denis Welch is a poet, novelist, journalist, editor, media commentator, columnist and biographer. The Wellingtonian has also been described as a ‘serial maker of puns’.
His project, while resident at Randell Cottage, is a biography of former New Zealand Prime Minister Norman Kirk. Denis says he is enjoying the cottage’s proximity to parliament and to the National and Turnbull libraries. Denis has stood twice for Parliament for both the Values and Green Parties, and has published a biography of Helen Clark, Helen Clark – A Political Life (Penguin), and a novel.
Denis says the six-month residency is a huge boost for him and for the book he’s working on, giving him time and space to focus on the writing. A former deputy editor for the New Zealand Listener, he is also a bulletin editor and media commentator for Radio NZ National.