Creative writing online student Carolyn Gillum has won a Winston Churchill McNeish Writer's fellowship to travel to Norway next year, where she’ll research and write her novel, a crime story set in Scandinavia.
‘I’ll be investigating the Alta Dam conflict, which forms the background to the novel's plot,’ she says. ‘This conflict, which reached a climax in 1980, played out between the Norwegian state and the indigenous Sami people. Plans to dam the Alta River in order to build a hydro power plant were fiercely resisted by the Sami, whose villages and reindeer herding lands were to be flooded.
‘The opportunity to research and write while immersed in the cultural, social and natural world of Norway is fantastic. Hearing first hand about people’s experiences will help me depict the characters and events in my novel with conviction and authenticity.’
Carolyn, who lives on Waiheke Island, was selected from over 60 applicants. This is only the second Winston Churchill McNeish Writer’s Fellowship to be awarded, with a total of 17 Churchill Fellowships awarded this year.