Pasifika artist, writer and publisher Faith Wilson has been selected as the inaugural recipient of the Pacific Arts Legacy Internship.
The internship is a new opportunity created by Creative New Zealand in partnership with Penguin Random House New Zealand.
Faith is a Samoan and Pākehā artist, writer and poet, as well as a staff writer and former editor at The Pantograph Punch. She completed her Master of Arts in Creative Writing at the International Institute of Modern Letters in 2014, and has been involved in many creative ventures since then. Her mission is to establish Saufo`i Press and publish Moana Pacific poetry, and build a platform for Pasifika authors.
She will spend the next six months working in-house at Penguin Random House New Zealand, gaining experience in all aspects of the commissioning, editing, production, sales, marketing and distribution of books.
As well as working on some dedicated Pacific publications, Faith will contribute to books by the likes of Nigel Borrell, Mohamed Hussan, Witi Ihimaera, Coco Solid, Dave Letele, Scotty and Stacey Morrison, Gavin Bishop, Hinemoa Elder and many more.
Faith says, “I've been part of the Aotearoa literary scene for many years and this is my way of giving back to my community, of creating opportunities for future generations.
“I’m beyond excited to work at Penguin Random House and to learn from the pros, as well as alongside the inimitable Lana Lopesi. There’s such a generous spirit amongst the publishing team already and I just feel blessed to have this privilege and opportunity.”
The internship is part of the larger Creative New Zealand funded Pacific Arts Legacy Project, under the funding agency’s Pacific Arts Strategy initiative. Creative New Zealand Senior Manager, Pacific Arts Makerita Urale says, “We need more Pasifika stories, told by Pasifika writers, everywhere.
“This internship also opens up new skills and career options to develop Pacific arts. This will help to develop Faith’s fantastic dream for her own publishing company where she will be the boss, as a writer and editor, and help to grow the Pacific creative economy.”
Penguin Random House New Zealand Head of Publishing Claire Murdoch says,
“We are honoured and excited to welcome Faith to Penguin Random House under this genuinely transformative initiative. My deepest thanks to the energetic and visionary team at Creative New Zealand who have made it possible.
“We look forward to learning as much from Faith, who is such a bright star in the field of Moana Pacific writing and books, as we hope she will learn here about every aspect of publishing. Welcome, Faith.”
“As Aotearoa’s leading local publishing house, we have published the voices of many talented Pasifika and Māori writers and artists, for many years. But it’s time for people from these same backgrounds to take up their place on the other side of our business – as publishing professionals. We hope this internship will help create a legacy of people, books, spaces and ways of working that are genuinely inclusive and reflective of New Zealand’s Pacific communities.”
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