Background to the Fellowship

The fellowship was originally conceived in the late sixties by Celia Manson and Sheilah Winn who set up the original trust.  This trust, called the Winn-Manson Menton Trust, has enabled a writer to go to Menton every year since 1970.  Creative New Zealand administers the fellowship pursuant to an agreement with the Trustees.  Enquiries about applications are handled by Creative New Zealand staff. Selection of each prize winner is carried out by an independent panel chaired by one of the Trustees.  Personal interviews are not normally a feature of the selection process.

In the latter part of her life, Katherine Mansfield was based in England, where she became a member of the famous Bloomsbury group.  She contracted tuberculosis and spent many periods in France where the climate was thought to be beneficial to her health.  In 1919 and 1920 she spent long periods in Menton at the Villa Isola Bella where she wrote some of her best work.  The villa now comprises a number of privately-owned apartments, but a room in the basement is made available for the writer’s use by the City of Menton.  It is furnished as a study and has its own separate entrance and facilities.

The successful candidate is required to pay for travel insurance and rental accommodation out of the prize money awarded. A rental apartment has been arranged, about half an hour’s walking distance from the writing room. Details of this arrangement will be made available to the successful candidate. The writing room can also be reached from the apartment by public transport.

Villa Isola Bella

Photo of Menton, France, showing
Villa Isola Bella in foreground.