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McDaid receives Todd New Writer’s Bursary for ‘dark, funny novel’

In Aoteoroa New Zealand, Amy McDaid is the recipient of the Todd New Writer’s Bursary, this year worth NZ$23,870 (A$22,730).

McDaid will use the bursary to complete a first draft of a dark comedy novel Black Kite, set in Brisbane.

‘“Black Kite” is a dark, funny novel told from the point of view of a nurse called Cerys, who goes to live with her sister in Brisbane after she’s caught having an affair with an elderly patient,’ McDaid told Creative New Zealand. ‘The sister’s party lifestyle is disrupted by an unusual, disturbing incident.’

McDaid said she is aiming for ‘sexy and absurd with a touch of suspense’, drawing inspiration from Brisbane’s wildlife—‘beautiful yet always holding the sense of a hidden threat’.

McDaid, who worked as a newborn intensive care nurse for 13 years, undertook a Masters of Creative Writing at the University of Auckland and won the Wallace Foundation Prize before her novel Fake Baby was published in 2020 by Penguin Random House New Zealand.

‘Writing went from something I did on the side, to a central part of my life,’ said McDaid of the novel’s publication.

Creative New Zealand’s Malcolm Burgess said, ‘We’re really happy to be able to offer this year’s bursary to an emerging writer of Amy’s potential, and who is working in an unusual genre. This is a prestigious prize that can make a significant difference to writers, especially those at a crucial stage of their careers, such as writing their second novel.’

‘Finding time to write as a single mum and balancing everything is incredibly hard,’ said McDaid. ‘For five precious months, I can step away from other employment and immerse myself in the world of my novel. I feel incredibly fortunate.’

The annual Todd New Writer’s Bursary enables a writer or playwright at an early stage of their career to write a new work. The Todd Corporation Ltd contributes $10,000 towards this bursary with the balance provided by Creative New Zealand. For more information see the website here.


Category: Awards Local news