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Louis Johnson New Writer's Bursary

The annual Louis Johnson New Writer's Bursary provides a stipend that enables a published writer at an early stage of their career to create a new work.


Closing dates:

Find out who got funded recently


10 Mar 2017

Artforms funded:

This content is tagged as Literature .

1. Check your eligibility

Who can apply

To apply for Creative New Zealand funding, you:

  • must be a New Zealand citizen, permanent resident or organisation (overseas arts organisations or overseas-based New Zealand artists may be funded only if the project directly benefits New Zealand arts)
  • cannot be a Creative New Zealand staff member or a member of the Arts Council.

Late reports and breaches of agreements

We cannot fund you if you, your organisation, or key members of your team:

  • are more than 16 weeks overdue with a report for a previous grant or investment
  • are in breach of the conditions of a current funding agreement
  • were in 'default' of a funding agreement and sent in a late report in the six months prior to the closing date for a new application.

Bursary eligibility

To be eligible for a Louis Johnson New Writer's Bursary, you must:

  • be a writer at an early stage of your career
  • have had at least one work published which has had critical or sales success.

2. See what's funded


The bursary provides a stipend to enable an emerging writer to create a new work. 

Our priorities

We are particularly interested in:

  • the creation of a diverse range of high quality new work
  • increasing and diversifying readership and sales for New Zealand literature.

We are also interested in projects or programmes of activity that:

  • are by, with or for young people up to the age of 18
  • involve the innovative and cost-effective use of digital technologies to create high-quality New Zealand work and/or to engage and interact with audiences.

Activities funded

To be considered for the Louis Johnson New Writer’s Bursary applicants should apply for an Arts Grant to write a work of any genre other than those listed below under Activities not funded.

Activities not funded

Creative New Zealand literature funding is not available for research or writing that:

  • is funded by other government agencies, eg film, radio and television scripts; and writing and research projects supported by the History Research Trust
  • is part of an education course, eg textbooks and other works created for primary, secondary or tertiary educational purposes; academic theses or coursework undertaken as part of any tertiary education programme, including coursework in creative writing
  • we don’t consider to be literature, eg instruction manuals, guide books, phrase books, do-it-yourself and how-to books (including travel guides, gardening books, and recipe books); bibliographies, dictionaries, encyclopedias and professional reference works; newsletters, hymn books and publisher catalogues.

Amount Funded

The dollar amount varies depending on the project request. Recent awards have been between $10,000 and $25,000.

Previous recipients

Previous recipients are listed on the who got funded web page.

3. Make an application

Downloads (application forms and criteria)

Register or Log in

How to apply

  1. Start your application online. Apply through the 'Arts Grant' opportunity (you may need to register first).
  2. Gather artistic support material.
  3. Prepare a budget using our budget template.
  4. Submit your application online by 5pm on the closing date.

Login or register to apply online

4. Assessing applications


Who assesses your application

Applications are assessed by Creative New Zealand staff and external peer assessors. 

Assessment criteria

Match with our goals

We assess how closely the results of your proposed project match the long-term goal (outcome) of 'high-quality New Zealand art is developed'.

Project Proposal: Your proposal will also be assessed on:

  • how strong and how well-developed your idea is (what)
  • the soundness of your processes for making the project happen and evaluating the results (how)
  • the ability and experience of the people involved in the project (who)
  • the credibility, accuracy and completeness of your budget (how much).

Mātauranga Māori or Kaupapa Pasifika: If you choose, you can be assessed on how well your project fulfils the concepts of Mātauranga Māori or Kaupapa Pasifika.  For more information go to 4. Make an application.

Funding priorities 

The following priorities are not part of our assessment but may be taken into account when applications receive a similar assessment score. 

We may consider whether your application fulfils:

  • a funding priority for your artform 
  • a funding priority for Creative New Zealand.

For more information select your artform and go to 2. See what’s funded.

We may also consider the following if you select these as potential outcomes. 

  1. Cultural diversity is a significant feature of the project and/or the results.
  2. Innovation is a significant feature in the practice or results of the project.
  3. Community participation is a significant feature of the project.

Diagram of assessment and decision-making process for Arts Grants (pdf 45KB)



5. Notification of results

Ten weeks after the closing date, we will email the result of your application.

At the same time we also list succcessful applicants the who got funded

If you are successful, we will contact you about:

  • your funding agreement
  • payment schedule
  • reporting requirements.

6. On completion

A project completion report is required within 12 weeks of the project end date using the report template. To be considered for further funding, your report needs to be submitted on time.

Project Completion Report template (doc 840KB)

7. Who to contact

Senior Arts Adviser — Literature
Malcolm Burgess
Phone: (04) 498 0707
Email: malcolm.burgess@creativenz.govt.nz