Berlin Writer's Residency

The prestigious Berlin Writer's Residency is offered biennially for an established New Zealand writer to work on an approved project in Berlin, Germany for up to eleven months.


Closing dates:

Closing time:

Find out who got funded recently


10 Mar 2017

1:00 pm

Artforms funded:

This content is tagged as Literature .

1. Check your eligibility

Benefits and track record

To be eligible for Creative New Zealand funding:

  • Your project or activities must directly benefit New Zealand arts, artists or practitioners.
  • You must have a track record of experience and success — this means you must have:
    • recognition from peers or experts
    • achieved a degree of critical or sales success
    • specialised training or practical experience.

Eligibility for the residency

You must:

  • be an established New Zealand writer
  • have been resident in New Zealand for at least three years prior to making the application
  • be able to undertake the residency in Berlin between 1 November 2017 and 30 September 2018
  • expect to complete, or substantially complete, a body of writing during the residency
  • demonstrate a willingness to engage with overseas contacts and the media (previous involvement in literary festivals, tours, seminars or panels is an advantage).


The residency is open to writers working in any literature genre other than those Creative New Zealand does not consider to be literature.

Some examples of genres we don't consider to be literature:

  • 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
  • publisher catalogues.

Creative New Zealand sees literature as a broad concept that includes high-quality writing in fiction and non-fiction. For more information please see our glossary

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.

2. See what's funded


The residency is for a writer to work on an approved project in a new environment, and to complete, or substantially complete, a body of writing.

Other expected benefits include:

  • developing the potential of the writer through exposure to new cultures and new ideas
  • an increased awareness in Berlin of New Zealand literature.

Period covered

The current residency is offered for 11 months from November 2017 to September 2018. The apartment provided must be vacated by 30 September 2018.

Costs covered

The residency provides:

  • a stipend of $40,000 to cover travel to Berlin, insurance and living costs
  • a one-bedroom 60sqm apartment in Berlin (suitable for the writer and partner but not additional family members).

The writer must have health insurance. The cost of this and any other expenses must be met by the writer. 

Activities we don't support

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.

Previous recipients

Previous recipients are listed on the bursaries, fellowships, scholarships and residencies awarded web page.

3. Make an application


Register or Log in

How to apply

1.    Start your application online (you may need to register first).
2.    Gather support material.
3.    Submit your application online by 5pm on the closing date.

Login or register to apply online 

4. Assessing applications

Assessment process

Your application is assessed by Creative New Zealand staff and a panel of external assessors.

Assessment criteria

We assess

  • how closely your proposal matches our long-term goal (outcome) that high quality New Zealand art is developed.
  • the extent of your potential development as a writer through exposure to new cultures and ideas in Berlin
  • how your proposed project would benefit from you being resident in Berlin
  • your willingness to engage with overseas contacts and the media (previous involvement in literary festivals, tours, seminars or panels is an advantage)
  • your record of achievement as a writer. 

5. Notification of results

Nine weeks after the closing date, we notify all applicants of the results by email.

We also list successful applicants on the who got funded web page.

If you are successful, we will contact you about your funding agreement including payment schedule and reporting requirements.

6. On completion


Within two months of completion of the residency, you must provide a detailed report that gives an account of the project and the professional activities you engaged in while in Berlin. This will help us understand what is being achieved over time. 

The acquittal report asks you to comment on:

  • the extent to which your project expectations, as described in your original application, were met
  • the most positive aspects of the residency
  • your most useful contacts
  • any language or any other difficulties you experienced
  • any related activities in which you engaged while in Berlin
  • any suggestions that might improve the experience for other writers
  • any other general comments you wish to make.

7. Who to contact

Senior Arts Adviser — Literature
Malcolm Burgess
Phone: (04) 498 0707