Todd New Writer's Bursary

The annual Todd New Writer's Bursary allows a promising published writer or presented playwright, at an early stage of their career, to work on an approved project.


Closing dates:

Closing time:

Find out who got funded recently


6 Sep 2019

12:00 pm

Artforms funded:

This content is tagged as Literature .
This content is tagged as Pacific arts .
This content is tagged as Theatre .

1. Check your eligibility

Who can apply

  • Individuals who are New Zealand (NZ) citizens or permanent residents.
  • NZ-based organisations
  • Arts organisations or NZ artists based overseas. But, the application must:
    • show direct benefit to NZ arts
    • be accompanied by a letter of endorsement from a well-established artist or arts organisation based in NZ.
  • To apply to Māori arts:
    • the applicant must be Māori or your proposed project must be managed or directed by Māori
    • organisations must be owned and managed by Māori. If an organisation is applying for funding on behalf of an individual, that person must also be Māori.

Bursary eligibility

To be eligible for a Todd New Writer's Bursary you must:

  • a published writer at an early stage of your career, OR
  • an emerging playwright who has had one professional presentation (whether commission or not), AND
  • meets our track record requirements below.

Project timing

Your project, or the stage of it for which you are seeking funding, must:

  • start after 15 November 2019
  • be completed by 15 November 2020.

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.

Your literature track record

For a writer of literature, success means having had published at least one work that received a degree of critical or sales success in the literature genre for which the writer is applying. This does not include work created as part of a course of study.

If you don't have the track record we're looking for, you may be able to get funding through the Creative Communities Scheme

How often you can apply

  • You can make up to two applications in a funding round.
  • Each application must be for a different project.
  • You can apply up to four times in total in a calendar year (1 January to 31 December) through Arts Grants (including Toi Ake, Toi Tipu Toi Rea and Tohunga Tukunga).

Reapplying for the same project

You can only reapply for the same project if you have written permission from the Manager, Funding Services. Contact Funding Services first to see if your application would be eligible for re-submission.

Other Creative New Zealand funding

Your project cannot have received funding from any other Creative New Zealand programme or initiative, including the Creative Communities Scheme, our international and capability building initiatives and investment programmes.

Organisations in the Toi Uru Kahikatea or Toi Tōtara Haemata investment programmes are not eligible.

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 bursary allows a promising writer to work on an approved project.

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.


We encourage applications to the Arts Grants round, including this special opportunity, to adopt a fair remuneration approach with application budgets.

  • At a minimum, we advise that applications include pay rates of at least $25 per hour for artists and arts practitioners.
  • 'Fair remuneration' means pay rates for more experienced artists and arts practitioners should:
    • be at a level above or well above the minimum
    • be inline with their relative skills and experience
    • recognise the duration of the project and other work-related factors (i.e. the ‘contract’ nature of the work).

Activities funded

Applicants can be funded 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 – e.g. film, radio and television scripts; and writing and research projects supported by the History Research Trust
  • is part of an education course – e.g. 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
  • is not what we consider to be literature. We don't consider the following to be literature:
    • instruction manuals
    • guide books
    • phrasebooks
    • 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.

Previous recipients

See all previous recipients of the bursary

3. Make an application


Register or Log in

How to apply

To be considered for the Todd New Writers Bursary, follow the Arts Grants $10,000 - $75,000 | 2019 Round 2 application process:

  1. Log in to the portal and select Arts Grants $10,000 - $75,000 | 2019 Round 2

  2. Important! To indicate you would like to be considered for this award include ‘Emerging writer’ in your project title or description.

  3. Read the Application guidelines and requirements for specific activities (pdf 176KB)

  4. Prepare a budget using the budget template in the online application portal or the Excel template supplied in the Budget Guidelines

  5. Gather artistic support material. Read the Support material guidelines

  6. Decide whether you want your application assessed as General arts, Māori arts or Pacific arts (see below for information to help you choose)

  7. Complete each question in the portal application form.

  8. Submit your application online by 5pm on the closing date.

Choose how you want your application to be assessed 

You can choose for your application to be assessed as either:

General Arts: if your project is one of the following artforms: craft/object, dance, interarts, literature, multidisciplinary, music, theatre, visual arts or community arts.

Ngā Toi Māori: if your project is by Māori and Mātauranga Māori is evident in the practice and outcomes of your proposed activities. By Māori means:

  • you must be Māori or your proposed project must be managed or directed by Māori
  • organisations must be owned and managed by Māori. If an organisation is applying for funding on behalf of an individual, that person must also be Māori.

Pacific Arts: if Kaupapa Pasifika will be evident in the practice and outcomes of your proposed activities.

See 4. Assessing applications for more information about the assessment process and criteria.

4. Assessing applications

What we assess your application on


Is it a strong idea? We look for the following indicators:

  • The artistic aims are clearly expressed.
  • The idea is compelling.
  • The artistic outcome and/or participant experience is likely to be high quality.


Can it be achieved? We look for the following indicators:

  • The process to achieve the idea is realistic and well planned.
  • The budget is thorough and accurate and considers fair remuneration for practitioners.
  • The people involved have sufficient experience to deliver this project.

Strategic fit

Does it deliver to Creative New Zealand outcomes? We look for the following indicators:

  • The project delivers to the selected Creative New Zealand strategic outcome.
  • The project delivers to the selected Arts Grants Programme Purpose.

You must choose one of these Creative New Zealand strategic outcomes to be assessed on:

  • New Zealanders participate in the arts.
  • High-quality New Zealand art is developed.
  • New Zealanders experience high-quality arts.
  • New Zealand arts gain international success.
  • New Zealand’s arts sector is resilient.

You must also choose one of these Arts Grants Programme Purposes to be assessed on:

  • More sustainable careers for individual artists.
  • The development of arts practice.
  • Innovation in New Zealand arts.
  • Access and participation of diverse communities in high-quality arts experiences.

More about the purposes under See what's funded

Māori and Pacific arts assessment

In addition to the above you can have your project assessed as Ngā Toi Māori or Pacific arts.  

Mātauranga Māori will also be assessed on:

  • Mātauranga Māori being evident in the practice of the project
  • Mātauranga Māori being evident in the proposed outcomes of the project.

Kaupapa Pasifika will also be assessed on:

  • Kaupapa Pasifika is evident in the practice of the project
  • Kaupapa Pasifika is evident in the proposed outcomes of the project.

Scoring your application

This assessment scale is used to score Idea and Viability:

7 – Excellent – Exceeds all indicators
6 – Very Good – Satisfies all indicators and exceeds in two
5 – Good – Satisfies all indicators and exceeds in one
4 – Acceptable – Satisfies all indicators
3 – Minor reservations – Satisfies two indicators only
2 – Major reservations – Satisfies one indicator only
1 – Unacceptable – Does not meet the indicators

The following assessment scale is used to score Strategic Fit, Mātauranga Māori and Kaupapa Pasifika. (Note: double weight will be applied to Strategic Fit).

5 – Excellent - Exceeds both indicators
4 – Very good - Exceeds one indicator
3 – Acceptable - Satisfies both indicators
2 – Weak - Satisfies one indicator
1 – Unacceptable - Does not meet either indicator

Who assesses your application

An external peer assessor will assess your application. Pasifika or Māori artists and practitioners are involved in assessing applications to the Pacific or Māori arts funds. Recommendations are made to Creative New Zealand’s Senior Manager for Arts Development Services for a decision.

Nominate peer assessors for our funding programmes

External peer assessors are asked to evaluate a range of applications made to Creative New Zealand’s funding programmes and initiatives against specific criteria.

Peer Assessor nomination form (doc 167KB)

Peer Assessor terms and conditions (pdf 259KB)

5. Notification of results

We will email all applicants their result ten weeks after the application closing date. We will notify on 15 November 2019.

We also list successful applicants on Who got funded

If you are successful, we will email 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.

Login to report online

7. Who to contact

For more information or advice: