Novelist and AUT creative writing lecturer Bianca Zander says she is “absolutely thrilled” to be awarded the 2014 Grimshaw Sargeson Fellowship, a prestigious New Zealand literary honour.
The second recipient of the 2014 fellowship is novelist Alice Miller.
Zander’s first novel The Girl Below was published in 2012 to critical acclaim and will soon be followed by The Predictions, due to be published in 2015.
The Grimshaw Sargeson Fellowship entitles her to take up residence in the Frank Sargeson Centre in Albert Park, Auckland for four months in 2014, where she will put the finishing touches on The Predictions as well as continuing to lecture at AUT.
“The fellowship is prestigious; it’s a real honour to join a roster of amazing writers who have held the residency, going right back to Janet Frame.
“As a writer you spend a lot of time in isolation and the rewards often aren't tangible. So this sort of recognition is a terrific boost to morale and will give me the momentum I need to complete my second novel,” says Zander.
At AUT, Zander teaches and mentors students on the Master of Creative Writing and Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing programmes in the School of Language and Culture.
Having worked as a journalist, screenwriter, radio producer and documentary maker, she enjoys sharing her skills with emerging writers at AUT, and finds that her own writing benefits along the way.
“You learn from the students - it’s energising. It’s good to have contact with other writers who are working in a wide range of genres. I also find it really satisfying to be part of their development and to nurture their creative practice.”
The Sargeson Fellowship was established 28 years ago to commemorate Frank Sargeson and provide assistance to New Zealand writers. It offers outstanding writers the opportunity to write full-time, free from financial pressure using the Sargeson Centre. The fellows are also supported by an annual stipend. Any published New Zealand writer can apply for the Fellowship.