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Newsletter March 2018
The year has started well here at the centre and we have been focusing on getting some maintenance done on the house before the season changes - the house has been washed and the deck painted, along with the windows on the studio. We are grateful to the Devonport - Takapuna local board for a grant that enabled us to upgrade the signs we have on the garage. They are so much clearer and fresher looking.
We are excited to have already hosted four wonderful writers-in-residence; Allan Drew, Rosetta Allan, Lawrence Patchett and currently Victor Rodger. This year with the changes to our residency programme we are looking forward to supporting a total of 15 writers with their projects. It will be a busy but rewarding time here!

Tania Stewart                                            

Read on for more news and updates...    
Welcome to Victor Rodger
Victor holds the University of Auckland Residency which he started on the 19th of February. He will be with us until late in June. He is working on both a novel and short stories.
Victor is a writer of Samoan and Scottish descent.  His first  play, SONS, debuted in 1995.  Since then his plays have included MY NAME IS GARY COOPER (2007) and BLACK FAGGOT (2013), both of which have been performed internationally.  His most recent theatre work, CHRIST(CHURCH) ALMIGHTY made its debut as a work in progress during last year's Christchurch Arts Festival.  His short fiction debut, LIKE SHINDERELLA was published last year in the Maori and Pasifika anthology BLACK MARKS ON THE WHITE PAGE which was edited by Witi Ihimaera and Tina Makeriti. 
Recollections of Michael King
As part of the keeping the legacy of Michael King alive we are keen to hear from people who knew or met him and would like to send us a note of their recollections of him. If you had any kind of association with Michael we would love for you to write a few paragraphs about that. Please email us

NEWS – What has been happening?
Alumni Celebration
On Sunday 25th March the MKWC celebrated their alumni of which there have been 49 to date since the centre was first set up in 2005. Around 60 alumni, trustees, supporters and friends gathered to celebrate the work of the Trust and all the amazing New Zealand writers who have held residencies at the centre. It was a wonderful afternoon and the weather gods were kind.

Trust chair, Catriona Ferguson explained that 'last year we went out to writers and asked them what they needed from a residency - and our writing community told us in no uncertain terms, that they wanted shorter, more flexible residencies. So when we put out the call for our 2018 opportunities that’s what we offered.This means we have gone from offering four residencies each year to 15 over the course of 2018. The programme now also has opportunities for emerging and Pasifika writers'.

Geoff Chapple, who was the very first resident in 2005 before the house had been refurbished, recalled what it was like for him to spend three months at the house on the hill. His time included having to paint his bedroom to make it habitable!
Victor Rodger the current resident talked about the studio being the perfect place to retreat to for writing...'the jewel in the crown at the centre'.

The Young Writers Programme
The 2018 Young Writers Programme, for keen writers in Years 11-13 and YWP alumni, kicked off this month with prose writing. We had a morning workshop in creative non-fiction led by Bianca Zander, and short story writing with Tracey Slaughter in the afternoon.  
And there’s more ahead. We have an exciting line-up of writers offering a variety of further sessions throughout the year. Jenny Bornholdt will work with students on poetry and Nicola Legat will share tips on publishing. Adam Dudding will lead a session on media writing and finding the story. A little later in the year, Nicky Hager will teach a master-class on investigative journalism, Fiona Samuel on writing for television and Ant Sang’s class will focus on story-boarding and the graphic novel.
We are off to a strong start; there is very keen interest in this year’s programme.

Ros Ali (YWP Co-ordinator & MKWC Trustee)

Alumni Catch-up  

Peter Wells’ - Our hearty congratulations to Peter on the launch of his latest book Dear Oliver. Peter worked on this family history, prompted by his discovery of a trove of family letters amongst his elderly mother’s effects, during his residency at MKWC in 2014.  
The launch was held on Wednesday 21 March at The Women's Bookshop, Auckland. Dear Oliver is published by Massey University Press.
Vincent O'Sullivan - warm congratulations also go to Vincent on the launch of his novel All This By Chance, earlier in March. Vincent’s work has been much awarded and he was made a Distinguished Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the 2000 Queen's birthday honours. In 2009 he was a Writer-In-Residence at MKWC and then New Zealand poet laureate 2013–2015. All This by Chance is published by Victoria University Press. Hear Vincent reading from this new work on Radio New Zealand's Standing Room Only
Thanks to Devonport Rotary
We are very grateful and much appreciative of a donation of over $2000 from Devonport Rotary. They hosted an evening with Tom Scott at the Esplanade in November as a fundraiser for MKWC and their youth programmes.

Change to access to Takarunga - Mt Victoria  

On the 7th of March the tihi (summit) of Takarunga was returned to being a vehicle-free space. The Tūpuna Maunga Authority installed a barrier arm that is activated by a code.
Now that access to the maunga is predominantly pedestrian, it has certainly made for a much quieter environment which is always a good thing for writers.

The Michael King Writers’ Centre sincerely thanks its funders and partners, including Creative New Zealand, the Devonport Takapuna Local Board, Auckland Council, Foundation North, the Joyce Fisher Charitable Trust and the Chisholm Whitney Family Charitable Trust.

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Michael King Writers' Centre · PO Box 32 629 · Devonport · Auckland, 0744 · New Zealand

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