Four Christchurch writers whose lives and work have been disrupted by the recent earthquakes are being invited to take a break at the Michael King Writers’ Centre in Devonport.
The centre has decided to offer a week’s free accommodation to four Christchurch writers over the next few months. The idea is to give the writers who are happy to come to Auckland the chance to have a break away in a place where hopefully there are no earthquakes or natural disasters.
Centre manager Karren Beanland says that many Christchurch residents have been through a great deal of trauma and are still experiencing strain and disruption.
“One Christchurch writer I met recently said it was impossible to write in such an unsettled environment. The trust which runs the centre decided that this is a small gesture we can make to help.”
The centre is based in the historic Signalman’s House, a wooden heritage villa on Mt Victoria in Devonport. It has panoramic views over the Waitemata Harbour. It has accommodation for its writer-in-residence, as well as for a visiting writer who usually pays for the accommodation. The visiting writer has a bedroom with a desk, broadband internet and its own bathroom. Linen is supplied and there is a fully-equipped kitchen, so all the writers would need to bring is their own laptop or writing material.
The current writer-in-residence at the centre is playwright Michelanne Forster. Lyttelton poet Ben Brown has just finished a two-month residency.
The centre hopes that the opportunity will help writers whose lives and work have been disrupted by the earthquakes. Unfortunately, it is not able to assist with travel costs. Writers who would like to apply for the opportunity should email the centre before August 5 with details of their circumstances, their project, a brief CV or outline of their writing career and an indication of the dates they could come. Preference will be given to authors who are recognised in the literary community or who have a publishing deadline. The four writers will be selected by mid-August. Information about the centre and its accommodation is available on its web site www.writerscentre.org.nz