A great opportunity for Māori writers

By Regan Paranihi

The Māori Literature Trust and Huia Publishers are giving Māori writers an opportunity to fine-tune their writing skills through the Te Papa Tupu programme.

The selected few will spend six months working with a mentor to develop manuscripts as well as improving their writing skills, in the hope of producing a publishable piece.

Recipients will receive financial support, access to a range of workshops, an opportunity to attend the national writer’s festival and become part of a writing community.

Robyn Bargh, chairperson of the Māori Literature Trust says, “This is a great opportunity for budding Māori writers. The programme gives them the chance to focus on their writing, work with their mentors and discuss their work with the other writers.”

Te Papa Tupu was established in 2010 and has produced an abundance of successful Māori writers.

Lauren Keenan, who completed Te Papa Tupu in 2016, turned six short stories into a complete novel. She says, “The process has given me more confidence as a writer. Since Te Papa Tupu, I’ve had a handful of articles published in an online magazine, and am approaching my next project, a novel, with much more confidence. I now openly talk about my writing and being a writer."

Steph Matuku is set to publish her debut novel with Huia Publishers this year. She says, “I’ve learned so much about the technical side of writing – all invaluable stuff because I’ve never done any of those flash Varsity writing courses or anything. I don’t know the little tricks that turn alright writing into awesome writing.”

Who can apply?    
Māori writers who live in Aotearoa and have a completed manuscript.
Writers of novels, short stories, children’s books, young adult books and non-fiction written in English or te reo Māori.

Applications are open now and close 30 April 2018.