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2020 RAK Mason Fellowship

RAK Mason 'Half-length portrait of R. A. K. Mason looking up, holding a cigarette, 1947' by Clifton Firth. Image sourced from the Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 34-M663-2.
3-week Fellowship for NZ-based fiction writers or poets - Application deadline 1 August 2020


RAK MASON FELLOWSHIP (since 2014) - Application deadline 1 August 2020

Open to fiction writers and poets in Aotearoa New Zealand 

Application deadline: 1 August 2020 

Residency period: 3 weeks (not between 15 Dec - 15 Jan)

The purpose of this RAK Mason Fellowship  is to support writers by giving them time and space to focus on their project, 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 currently based in New Zealand.  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.

Selection of the 2020 Fellow will be based on the nature and strength of an applicant’s proposed writing 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.’

With thanks to generous sponsors from the Wairarapa community,  the Fellow will live in a rural self-contained cottage hosted by people with an interest in supporting the arts.


The RAK Mason Fellowship provides:

-Time and space to devote to one's creative practice

-3 weeks accommodation (valued at $1260) in a rural self-contained cottage

-Project management support

-Transport within Wairarapa



Please e-mail the following in ONE DOCUMENT (eg Word or PDF) – please keep the file size under 2mb:

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 but not between 15 December and mid-January. 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 (full name, relationship to you, email address, telephone number) whom we will contact if you are shortlisted.


Key skills sought:

Commitment to a personal creative practice;

Evidence of ability to write fiction or poetry to a high standard;

Desire and ability to connect with a wider audience and community


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


Deadline 1 August, 2020


Recent RAK Mason Fellows with NZ Pacific Studio:

2019 - Jackie Davis, writer, from New Zealand, ihas authored two novels (Breathe and Swim, published by Penguin NZ), plays (Whether I Fall, a one-act play, and A Time Like This, a full-length play, both of which she also directed), and fiction and poetry. She has  published in New Zealand, Australia, Japan and  USA. She holds an MA in Creative Writing from Victoria University, received the NZSA Foxton Fellowship and the Lilian Ida Smith Award, and has undertaken writing residencies both in New Zealand and abroad. Her short fiction for both adults and children has been broadcast on RNZ. During her three-week RAK Mason Fellowship, she worked on a novel and presented with Sue Wootton at Masterton District Library.

2018 - Melanie Carter, poet and educator, Egypt/USA, teaches composition and creative writing at The American University in Cairo. In 2015-6, she traveled to New Zealand and considered the connections between creativity and the geological dynamism of Aotearoa's islands, spending several months at NZ Pacific Studio.  During her 2018 Fellowship, she transcribed the voices of Normandell and its garden, worked on a long poem she began in 2015, and co-facilitated a writing workshop at Masterton District Library.

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.

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 Rippon Hall in Wanaka for the Festival of Colour, and to BATS Theatre, Wellington.

2015 - Madeleine Slavick author and photographer, USA/Hong Kong/NZ. During her fellowship, Slavick prepared 'Town' a book manuscript of work set in rural Aotearoa, and exhibited 'Hong Kong Song' at Aratoi Museum, which later showed at Wallace Arts Centre as part of the Auckland Arts Festival.

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. Here is her blog entry about her Fellowship.


Photo of RAK Mason:

RAK Mason 'Half-length portrait of R. A. K. Mason looking up, holding a cigarette, 1947' by Clifton Firth.

Image sourced from the Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 34-M663-2.


Written by

New Zealand Pacific Studio

1 Jun 2020

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.