Friday, February 4, 2011

Sargeson fellows for 2011

The Sargeson Trust has awarded this year’s Buddle Findlay Sargeson fellowship to Sue Orr and Mark Broatch. Bloody good result, if you ask me. (Disclosure: I wasn’t in the room when the decision was made but I am one of the country members whose opinions are canvassed.) 

It’s a 50/50 split: each writer gets five months in the flat in Albert Park, over the road from Auckland University, plus a stipend of $20,000 each thanks to our generous sponsor Buddle Findlay. There are also, from memory, borrowing rights at the university library. 

Sue Orr has been a full-time fiction writer since 2006 when she completed Victoria University’s MA in Creative Writing, aka the Manhire. Her first book, Etiquette for a Dinner Party, made the long-list of the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award (if you haven’t read Frank O’Connor, I can’t recommend him strongly enough) and was listed in the Listener’s Top 100 Books of 2008. Her second collection, From Under the Overcoat (Gogol alert!), is due from Random House this month. And what’s a really nice touch is that one of her stories is titled “The Stories of Frank Sargeson”. 

Mark Broatch was a regular contributor to Quote Unquote the magazine and has had several short stories published. He is currently assistant editor and books editor at the Sunday Star-Times: his most recent book is In a Word.  He will use the space and time to finish the first draft of a novel about “contemporary New Zealand society, blokes, journalism and  food”. 

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