Apply for a residency in Dunedin UNESCO City of Literature
Edinburgh City of Literature Trust
7 March 2023
Spend six weeks of writing time in New Zealand
The Caselberg Trust and Dunedin UNESCO City of Literature are pleased to offer the Caselberg Trust Margaret Egan Cities of Literature Writers Residency. The aim of the Residency is to provide international and Aotearoa New Zealand writers an opportunity to work on a substantial piece of creative writing and to foster connections among creative writers in Aotearoa New Zealand and internationally. There are no limits in terms of genre, language, or length of writing, and completion of the project during the Residency is not a requirement. The Residency is offered annually for a period of six weeks to writers from other UNESCO Cities of Literature and to Aotearoa New Zealand writers in alternating years. In 2023 the Residency is offered to a writer from another UNESCO City of Literature.
The Caselberg Trust Margaret Egan Cities of Literature Writers Residency is run jointly and collaboratively by the Caselberg Trust and Dunedin UNESCO City of Literature. Funding from the Caselberg Trust is provided through a generous bequest by the late Margaret Egan.
The Residency is for a period of 6 weeks, from arrival: 3 October, to departure: 14 November 2023.
In 2023 the Residency is offered to a writer from another UNESCO City of Literature with at least one published work. The applicant must be normally resident in another UNESCO City of Literature on the closing date for applications. The aim of the Residency is to provide an opportunity to work on a substantial piece of creative writing and to foster connections among creative writers in Aotearoa New Zealand and internationally. There are no limits in terms of genre, language, or length of writing, and completion of the project during the Residency is not a requirement.
What is offered?
All residents receive a stipend of NZ$4,000.
NZ$3,500 of the stipend will be paid on arrival with the final payment of $500 held as a bond to be paid to the resident once all final financial transactions and reporting requirements relating to the Residency have been settled and a final inspection of the Caselberg House has been made.
In addition international residents will receive up to NZ$3,000 towards travel costs, whilst Aotearoa New Zealand residents are eligible for reasonable travel costs associated with travel to and from their normal place of residence within Aotearoa New Zealand. All residents are responsible for booking their own return travel, health insurance and visas.
Accommodation is provided rent-free at the Caselberg House for the six-week duration of the Residency. Power and heating costs are to be met by the resident. There is an internet broadband connection provided, at no cost to the resident. (There is no telephone landline at the house.)
The international Residency 2023 has been planned to coincide with the biennial Dunedin Writers and Readers Festival and the Festival Trust has generously made available to the resident a Festival Pass and green-room entry to all Festival events. There may also be some involvement in English in the Festival programme (at the discretion of the Festival Trust).
What is expected?
Residents will be expected to reside at the Caselberg House for the duration of the Residency. Residents are expected to treat the house with every care and consideration and maintain a high standard of cleanliness. The house cannot accommodate pets and there is no smoking in the house.
The resident is expected to work consistently on their identified project during the period of the Residency.
The resident may be expected to attend Residency-related events conducted in English during the Residency period e.g. welcoming evening, sponsor events, interviews, and community events related to Residency project/theme.
The resident will acknowledge the support of the Caselberg Trust and Dunedin UNESCO City of Literature on any publications, events, publicity, exhibitions, performances, etc. which contain or reference work created as part of their Residency project and will notify the Caselberg Trust and Dunedin UNESCO City of Literature.
At the conclusion of the Residency, the resident will be expected to write a brief report (in English) reflecting on their Residency period for the Caselberg Trust and Dunedin UNESCO City of Literature newsletters, websites, social media etc.
Two copies of a published work completed or substantially completed during the Residency are to be donated to the Caselberg Trust and one copy to Dunedin UNESCO City of Literature.
Applications will only be accepted on the Caselberg Trust Margaret Egan Cities of Literature Writers Residency Application Form, prior to the deadline for applications to be received.
Applications must be submitted in English by email only, and paper copies cannot be considered or returned to applicants.
The selection process is similar for both the international and Aotearoa New Zealand residencies, with a selection panel for the international residents being convened and administered by Dunedin UNESCO City of Literature and a selection panel for the Aotearoa New Zealand residents by the Caselberg Trust.
Selection of the chosen resident is at the discretion of the selection panel and will include consideration of:
- A letter in English stating the applicant’s postal address and outlining why the applicant wishes to apply for the Residency.
- A CV or summary in English of the applicant’s creative achievement in writing.
- The merits of the proposed work (in English).
- A testimonial (in English) signed by an organisation from your City of Literature.
- Two referees.
Every effort will be made to contact all applicants by email regarding the outcome of their application. The decision of the panel will be final, and no correspondence or discussion will be entered into with regard to the decision.
The resident will be expected to sign a contract in English with the Caselberg Trust, and this will be sent out to the resident at the time they are notified that their application is successful.
Applications, and any questions you have about the residency or application process, can be directed to Nicky Page, Director of Dunedin UNESCO City of Literature.
Applications close at 11.59pm (NZST) on 14 April 2023.
History of the Caselberg Trust
The Caselberg Trust is a Charitable Trust formed in 2006 with the purpose of purchasing the home of the late Anna and John Caselberg, to use it to host creative residencies of national and international standing, and to support and facilitate creative projects within the Otago and Southland region. John Caselberg was Burns Fellow at the University of Otago in 1961 and his writing included poetry, criticism, play writing, short stories, and essays. He is best known as a long-time friend of and collaborator with prominent Aotearoa New Zealand artist, Colin McCahon. Anna Caselberg was a significant Aotearoa New Zealand painter, and daughter of Sir Tosswill Woollaston.
The Trust raises funds from a variety of sponsors and fundraising events to maintain the house and to fund the Residency programme it offers.
Margaret Egan (1949-2020)
Margaret Egan was born and grew up in Sheffield in the UK and while in her working life of 35 years as an educator and linguist she lived in Neuss, Germany, she eventually returned to retire in Sheffield in 2014.
Margaret was passionate about all things creative. In her home and garden, she surrounded herself with numerous objects of beauty, ceramic pots, small sculptures, some quirky, some serious. Her walls were cloaked in wonderful artworks. She was an avid reader of literature, poetry and politics, The Guardian newspaper always spread on the kitchen table for most of the morning, with bits seeming to transport themselves into the living room for more reading during the afternoon or evening.
She was a photographer who travelled extensively, soaking up whatever was on offer – whether in the various art museums, on the streets, or in the back-blocks. Her images from around the world spoke of her close relationship with the natural world. They reflected nuances of landscape, patterns in hillsides, the play of light on autumn leaves, the fragile whisper of winter trees against a blank morning sky.
Margaret was a good friend to the Caselberg Trust having been introduced to the Trust by two very close friends who were founding Trustees. On her numerous trips to Aotearoa New Zealand she naturally became involved in the various events happening with the Trust, events that just happened to coincide with her visit, whether it was a working bee, a welcome event for one of the visiting residents, a poetry reading, or an art exhibition. Margaret loved the involvement. She loved the Trust and she really believed in what the Trust was doing.
Margaret invested herself in life.
However, sadly, in 2020, after a long illness, Margaret died.
Then, just over a year later, and most unexpectedly, the Trust received notification from a UK solicitor that Margaret had left a bequest to the Caselberg Trust and after much consideration it was decided to establish, in collaboration with Dunedin UNESCO City of Literature, a Residency in her name to honour her life and the creative things she believed in and loved.
It is the Caselberg Trust Margaret Egan Cities of Literature Writers Residency.
The Caselberg House and Charles Brasch Studio
The Caselberg House is situated in a quiet corner of Whakaohorahi Broad Bay on the Otago Peninsula, 15 km from the city of Dunedin and on a city bus route. The house is a small one-bedroom house and overlooks Kamau Taurua Quarantine Island in the Otago Harbour. The house is big enough to accommodate a single person or couple.
In April 2017 the Trust built the well-appointed Charles Brasch Studio on the section. The artist’s studio is well insulated, light, and is the size of an average sized garage. It has power and water.