Kaiwaka local Kelly Ana Morey has won a major national literary award – the Grimshaw Sargeson Fellowship.
New Zealand writer Kelly Ana Morey is making her Kaiwaka hometown proud as she is one of two authors to be awarded the prestigious 2023 Grimshaw Sargeson Fellowship.
The fellowship, now in its 36th year, is a national literary award offering published New Zealand writers the opportunity to focus on their craft full-time. It provides an annual stipend of $20,000 and an eight-month tenure at the Sargeson Centre in Auckland.
Morey follows in the footsteps of celebrated Kiwi author Janet Frame, who was the first person to be awarded the Grimshaw Sargeson Fellowship back in 1987.
Morey (Ngāti Kuri, Te Aupōuri, Te Rarawa) has published several novels and social histories that have seen her collect several accolades. Her novel, Bloom, won her the Best First Book Prize at the 2004 Montana New Zealand Book Awards and the 2005 Janet Frame Award for Fiction.
She planned to use her residency to work on her sixth novel, Soft Bones, which looks at the everyday lives of five generations of Māori women.
“I’m incredibly proud to win this fellowship,” Morey said.
“It is a validation from the literary community that I’m producing good work, which is especially humbling considering I haven’t written a book since 2016. The Fellowship will provide me with the incredible, uninterrupted needed time to finalise Soft Bones.”
Wellington-born Evana Belich was the second fellowship recipient. The mediator and employment relations adviser’s short stories have won numerous awards and her first collection, How to get fired, is due out next February.
Frank Sargeson Trust chairwoman Elizabeth Aitken-Rose was impressed with the calibre of this year’s fellows. She was looking forward to reading their work.
“Kelly and Evana were chosen from an incredibly strong and passionate field of applications. With the opportunity to focus on their craft full-time, we’re confident they will produce fantastic work that adds value to the New Zealand literary scene,” Aitken-Rose said.
Grimshaw & Co Partner Paul Grimshaw said they were proud to support the writers via the fellowship.
“They will join a large group of distinguished fellows, many of whom are regarded as New Zealand’s most eminent writers.”