Timaru writer Owen Marshall says he feels privileged to be awarded the inaugural $100,000 Creative New Zealand Writers’ Fellowship, the largest available to New Zealand writers.
He has written and edited 18 books. His latest story collection, When Gravity Snaps, was a runner-up for the 2003 Montana New Zealand Book Awards Deutz Medal for Fiction, and his second novel, Harlequin Rex, won the medal in 2000.
He said the fellowship would buy him time to focus on a collection of seven or eight longer contemporary stories. “Some of New Zealand’s most significant literature has taken the form of longer short fiction, and this fellowship means I can concentrate on writing stories without the distraction of other projects undertaken primarily to earn a living.”
He said pleasure was increased by knowing it was an annual fellowship, and that he would be the first of many writers to benefit from it.