Excellent news from the Michael King Writers’ Centre, which has announced its fellows for 2014 – Anne Kennedy, Alice Miller, Peter Wells and Kelly Ana Morey. Full details here, but this is what they say about Kelly:
Kelly Ana Morey, who will take up the Maori Writer's Residency, has written four novels, three social histories, a memoir, poems and short stories. She won the First Book Prize at the NZ Book Awards in 2004, received the Todd Writer's Bursary in 2003, the Janet Frame Literary Award for Imaginative Fiction in 2005, and was highly commended in the BNZ Short Story Awards in 2012.She also won the Copyright Licensing NZ Research Grant last year to research her novel about Phar Lap and she plans to complete the project while she holds the residency in 2014. She believes the book, called Daylight Second, is the first New Zealand literary novel about a racehorse. As a horse-lover all her life, she says the subject matter is in her DNA and Phar Lap is a great story. The book will also examine “why this horse meant so much to people, why they made him a Depression-era hero and a national icon for both New Zealand and Australia, and the passion and compulsion that drives people within the industry”.
I really like Kelly but she is the worst student I ever had. She attended an editing course I ran some years ago for the Auckland Writers Festival, and sat at the back of the room and talked non-stop throughout. Grrr. She must have been hell for her fourth-form teacher.
But she can really write. I read her first three novels in manuscript for Penguin and they all jumped off the page. The published versions are even better. It was high time she won a fellowship; and it is high time we had a new novel from her.