Currently the Katherine Mansfield Menton Fellowship, this award under numerous names has enabled one New Zealand writer each year to travel to and live in Menton, France and write in the Katherine Mansfield Memorial Room at the Villa Isola Bella since 1970. It is one of New Zealand's longest-standing and most prestigious literary opportunities.

The Fellowship (the prize)Edit

Established and mid-career New Zealand writers of any genre are invited to apply for the fellowship, which was the first to offer New Zealand writers the chance to travel outside of New Zealand.

It allows the recipient (Fellow) a residency of at least six months in Menton, France, with a minimum of $75,000 for expenses. The use of the Katherine Mansfield Memorial Room for working in is offered by the town of Menton.

The prize is intended to develop future work rather than to celebrate already-published works.


In the mid 1960s, Cecil and Celia Manson and Sheilah Winn wanted to give New Zealand writers the chance to experience Menton, the town Katherine Mansfield adored and in which she wrote some of her best work.[1] In 1970 they established the Winn-Mason-Menton Trust and the Winn-Mason-Menton Award. The first recipient was Owen Leeming in that year.

The fellowship has also been known as The New Zealand Post Katherine Mansfield Prize, The Meridian Energy Katherine Mansfield Memorial Fellowship and is currently the Katherine Mansfield Menton Fellowship. The fellowship is still offered by the Winn-Mason-Menton Trust which is now administered by Creative New Zealand.


The city of Menton owns the Katherine Mansfield Memorial Room and makes it available to fellows by agreement with the Winn-Mason-Menton Trust and Creative New Zealand.

Creative New Zealand gratefully acknowledges the financial support of the New Zealand/France Friendship Fund in funding the fellowship.

The Alliance Française, established by Mansfield's father Sir Harold Beauchamp and the French Embassy in Wellington, New Zealand, are also sentimentally bound to the Katherine Mansfield Fellowship. The embassy's Cultural Department grants recipients the opportunity to spend a week in Paris, meeting publishers and French writers.

In 2000, a Menton Writers' Day was held as part of the Festival Française with the support of the Fellowship, which at the time was the Meridian Energy Katherine Mansfield Memorial Trust, as well as that of The Frog Agency of Alain Wasmes, the Embassy of France, The Stout Research Centre and its director Vincent O'Sullivan.


1970 - Owen Leeming

1971 - Margaret Scott

1972 - C.K. Stead

1973 - James McNeish

1974 - Janet Frame

1975 - David Mitchell

1976 - Michael King

1977 - Barry Mitcalfe

1978 - Spiro Zavos

1979 - Philip Temple

1980 - Marilyn Duckworth

1981 - Lauris Edmond

1982 - Michael Jackson

1983 - Allen Curnow

1984 - Rowley Habib

1985 - Michael Gifkins

1986 - Michael Harlow

1987 - Russell Haley

1988 - Louis Johnson

1989 - Lloyd Jones

1990 - Lisa Greenwood

1991 - Nigel Cox

1992 - Maurice Gee

1993 - Witi Ihimaera

1994 - Vincent O'Sullivan

1995 - Fiona Farrell

1996 - Owen Marshall

1997 - Roger Hall (playwright)

1998 - Maurice Shadbolt

1999 - Elizabeth Knox

2000 - Stephanie Johnson

2001 - Catherine Chidgey

2002 - Jenny Bornholdt

2003 - Tessa Duder

2004 - Bill Manhire

2005 - Ian Wedde

2006 - Fiona Kidman

2007 - Stuart Hoar

2008 - Damien Wilkins

2009 - Jenny Pattrick

2010 - Ken Duncum

2011 - Chris Price

2012 - Justin Paton

Resulting LiteratureEdit

In 2000, Victoria University Press published As Fair as New Zealand to Me, a book of imaginary letters to the late Mansfield from 23 of the Fellows of the previous three decades. Witi Ihimaera wrote his 1994 novel Bulibasha in Menton.[2]


  1. As Fair as New Zealand to Me. Wellington: Victoria University Press (2000).
  2. accessed 6 October 2012