Emerging short story author picked for writing residency

Writer in Residence Colleen Maria Lenihan.

AUTHOR and photographer Colleen Maria Lenihan has been selected as this year’s Dan Davin Literary Foundation Writer in Residence.

Dan Davin Foundation chairwoman Rebecca Amundsen said the Foundation chose a young, up-and-coming short story writer for the residency who they hoped would inspire and excite local writers.

Among her many awards, Lenihan had won the Michael King Writers’ Centre Residency for emerging Maori writers and Steve Braunias’ Newsroom/Surrey Hotel Writers’ Residency two years ago.

A contact tracer and photographer, she was living in Auckland.

After returning to Aotearoa in 2016 after 15 years in Tokyo, Japan, and a year in New York City, Lenihan began writing the collection of short stories for Girl, which was planned to be published by Huia Publishers this year.

She has had an article published in the NZ Herald, as well as the short story Love Hotellast year and Just Holden Together, a series of short stories published in 2019.

Held over almost a month, the residency will be from August 11 to September 5, supported by The Southern Institute of Technology through the use of its Yule House for Lenihan’s stay.

Amundsen said this would be Lenihan’s first trip to Southland, and she was pleased the residency included a trip to Stewart Island and Milford as part of the experience for her.

“As a photographer, as well as a writer, we know Southland will provide Colleen with a memorable experience and the inspiration for future written works.”

Amundsen said the residency had been made possible through a bequest the foundation received several years ago from Laurie King.

As part of the Dan Davin Award, Lenihan will deliver the annual Dan Davin Lecture on Wednesday, September 1, at the Kelvin Hotel which would be open to the public.

Those interested could RSVP to dandavin@xtra.co.nz.