Between her 2013 Man Booker Prize win and her recent New Zealand Post Best fiction and People’s Choice Awards, Eleanor Catton has earned close to £60,000 for her novel The Luminaries. Now, she’s paying it forward.
The Guardian reports that Catton announced intentions to grant scribes $3,000 “not to write, but to read”. She further explained:
“We’re very lucky in New Zealand to have a lot of public funding available for writers, but they generally require the writer to have a good idea about what they want to write, and how, before they apply. I think that this often doesn’t understand or serve the creative process, which is organic and dialectic; I also think it tends to reward people who are good at writing applications rather than, necessarily, people who are curious about and ambitious for the form in which they are writing. I’m also uncomfortable with the focus that it places on writing as production, with publication as the end goal, rather than on writing as enlightenment, with the reading as the first step.”