The University of Otago is the only tertiary institute in New Zealand which offers a residency for a children's writer. Begun by the Dunedin College of Education in 1992, it allows writers to work full time in a compatible environment among colleagues who are concerned with the teaching of reading and literature to children. Remuneration of $28,000 is jointly funded by the University and Creative New Zealand.
The residency is open to established children's writers who are normally resident in New Zealand. The annual residency is for a six month period between February and August and includes an office within the College.
The residency is offered in association with the Robert Lord Trust which provides rent-free accommodation to writers in the historic Titan Street cottage bequeathed by the late playwright Robert Lord.
See the list of all previous University of Otago College of Education/Creative New Zealand Children's Writers in Residence
University of Otago College of Education/Creative New Zealand Children's Writer in Residence Fellow 2023: Ruth Paul
Ruth Paul is a published and award-winning children’s picture book author and illustrator of 30 titles.
The Wellington-based writer is “both thrilled and nervous” about the opportunity to come to Dunedin.
"For many years I’ve worked to deadline so I’m a bit wary of the creative ‘space’ the Fellowship will provide. I’m hoping I’ll love it – that perhaps my brain will be turned upside-down and something fresh will fall out. Fingers crossed," she says.
Her ambitious plan for the residency includes working on three picture book stories – The Farmer’s Pyjamas; You Can’t Pat a Fish; and Candy Rapper and the Flash Trash Crew – and developing a partially illustrated novel, informed by conservation areas in the Deep South.