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Shu-Ling’s last morning in Ōtepoti: Anne Shelah (City of Literature Project Coordinator), Lesley Hirst (Caselberg Trustee), Shu-Ling Chua, Mark Sanders (Caselberg Trustee), Claire Beynon (writer and artist) and Janet Downs (Chair, Caselberg Trust)

Goodbye for now to the inaugural Caselberg Trust Margaret Egan Cities of Literature Writers Resident

Dunedin UNESCO City of Literature —

The City of Literature team recently farewelled the first-ever Caselberg Trust Margaret Egan Cities of Literature Writers Resident, Shu-Ling Chua 蔡淑羚 from Melbourne City of Literature.

Shu-Ling made the most of every minute of her six-week stay at the beautiful Caselberg House in Broad Bay during October and November. She immersed herself in her essay collection and was warmly welcomed by members of the Caselberg Trust, our DCC colleagues and the Ōtepoti writing community throughout her stay. Shu-Ling was extremely grateful for the manaakitanga extended to her and quickly felt at home in the House – even surprising herself by learning to chop wood and make a fire each day!

Shu-Ling attended the pōwhiri at Ōtākou Marae that opened the Dunedin Writers & Readers Festival, as well as a number of Festival events, and was joined by writers Lynley Edmeades, Susan Wardell and Michaela Keeble on the ‘Strong Words’ panel, where they discussed the art of writing essays as a way to explore truth. You can read more of Shu-Ling’s very positive festival reflections here.

Just prior to arriving in Ōtepoti, Shu-Ling spoke with Jeff Harford on OAR FM’s Write Spot sharing one of her essays ‘like an egg on a spoon’ (listen here). They spoke again in early November (listen here), with Shu-Ling reflecting on her time in Ōtepoti before she headed off to Wellington to join other incredible young voices at Verb Wellington. Shu-Ling was impressed by our libraries, galleries, museums and wildlife and made many friendships and connections in Ōtepoti during her residency. We are thrilled that Shu-Ling enjoyed her residency so much and really grateful to all those who made Shu-Ling feel so welcome - already she is planning future collaborations and personal visits!

We are also very grateful for our collaboration with the Caselberg Trust and their great mahi that made the first international residency such a success. The residency will be offered every second year to writers from the other 52 UNESCO Cities of Literature, and solely to applicants from across the motu every other year. Keep an eye out on our City of Literature website for the Caselberg Trust’s call for applications for 2024!

You can read more of Shu-Ling’s wonderful work on her website and her report reflecting on the residency here.