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2018 RAK Mason Writing Fellowship

The writing desk in the Mason Room

Job details

New Zealand Pacific Studio Artists' Residency Centre
4 Mar 2018
Work type
Casual employment
Work classification
Literature & Publishing


With thanks to a generous sponsor from the Wairarapa community, New Zealand Pacific Studio (NZPS) invites applications for a three week residency at its multi-cultural artists’ residency centre in Mount Bruce, northern Wairarapa.

The purpose of this RAK Mason Fellowship is to encourage creativity, to explore the different literary forms or genres and their potential, and to honour one of New Zealand’s foremost writers, RAK Mason (1905-1971), with his intense energy, commitment to literature, and his interest in the ways different literary forms inform each other.

NZPS welcomes applications from writers of all cultures. Applicants can be working in any way and do not have to relate to RAK Mason in terms of style or content. As part of the supported residency, the Fellow is encouraged to offer an activity for the community, such as a reading or workshop.

The 2018 Fellow would work in the garden-facing Mason Room of New Zealand Pacific Studio. (See photograph of the view from the writing desk in the Mason Room.)

Selection will be based on the nature and strength of an applicant’s proposed project and the degree to which both the Fellow and the local community will benefit from it, although the focus remains on supporting the writer by providing the necessary time and space for sustained work. Applicants can be at any stage in their creative ‘careers.’

Previous RAK Mason Fellows:

2014 - Tracy Farr, fiction writer, Wellington. Farr worked on her second novel (The Hope Vault) at NZPS and led a workshop on writing the novel. She also began the short story 'Once Had Me' which went on to win the 2014 Sunday Star Times Short Story Award.

2015 -Madeleine Slavick, author and photographer, Wairarapa. During her fellowship, Slavick prepared a book manuscript and exhibited her photography of Hong Kong at Aratoi Museum, later travelling the show to Wallace Arts Centre, Auckland.

2016 - Annabel Wilson, writer, Wanaka/Wellington. Wilson developed the screenplay for 'No Science to Goodbye', narrating its first performance (excerpts) at Mount Bruce Community Hall, later travelling it to Wanaka. The director of the play, Anna Shaw, worked together with Wilson at NZPS for some of the fellowship period.

2017 - Sian ni Mhuiri, playwright/dramatist, Ireland. Her Fellowship project was developing a play about her NZ and Irish grandmothers, in English, Gaelic and Te Reo. She collaborated with Auckland poet Makyla Curtis - for more: Radio New Zealand Interview and Wairarapa News article

The 2018 RAK Mason Fellow will be in residence for three weeks at the historic Normandell House in the Wairarapa. Accommodation is free during this time (it is normally charged at a weekly rate of $350 per week plus $25 for local transportation). The successful Fellow would need to cover their travel costs to and from the Wairarapa and buy their own food while in residence. In addition, they should bring necessary equipment and supplies with them, or liaise with NZPS about purchasing them once in residence. An applicant is welcome to propose a project of more than three weeks in duration, but accommodation and transportation costs beyond the sponsored period would have to be met by the applicant. 

The Fellowship is available to an individual. If the project is a collaborative project, other members would need to cover their accommodation costs.

NZPS may host an Open Studio Day during the residency period, at which the fellows – and all artists in residence – are asked to give a short presentation/performance to visitors.

Fellows may choose to donate a book/chapbook to NZPS or to the sponsor.

NZPS is a registered charity and offers fellowships whenever possible -- please visit our website that discusses other fellowships.

How to apply

Please e-mail NZPS with the following in ONE DOCUMENT (eg Word or PDF) – please keep the file size under 1mb:

1. Your biography.

2. A description of your proposed project, its objectives and inspirations, why it is important to you, and any specific requirements you may have.

3. When you would like to be in residence (up to 31 December 2018). Dates of residency are open to negotiation. If your project requires you to be in residence at a specific time, please make this clear in your application.

4. A statement of how the RAK Mason Fellowship would benefit you and extend your practice at this time.

5. A sample of your work (no more than 1,000 words).

6. The contact details of two Referees whom we will contact if you are shortlisted.


Key skills sought: 

Commitment to a personal creative practice;

desire and ability to connect with a wider audience and community;

open-mindedness to be able to live and work with others at the multi-cultural residency centre. 


Apply by e-mail to the Secretary, NZ Pacific Studio, 


Deadline 4 March 2018 - midnight NZ time.


Written by

New Zealand Pacific Studio

4 Feb 2018

NZ Pacific Studio is a programme that provides creative practitioners with space to work intensively on a project of their design.    We have hosted nearly 500 residents since 2001.  The focus is on creative production and in enabling connections with the community.