SURREY HOTEL LAUNCHES WRITER’S RESIDENCY

A hotel in the Auckland suburb of Grey Lynn is launching a residency for New Zealand writers.

The Surrey, a mock-Tudor hotel, is offering three prizes for writers looking to focus on a project in relative isolation. The first prize offers seven nights free accommodation at the hotel, with breakfast, Wi-Fil, and a Sunday roast included.

The second prize is for four nights, and the third is three.

In 2014, author Steve Braunias spent three nights at the hotel working on his book The Scene of the Crime. "I needed somewhere I could just sit and write, day and night, no one around, no interruptions, in an intense regime of writing and thinking and dreaming," he wrote for Newsroom. "I stayed three nights and wrote close to 30,000 words."

The book went on to become a best-seller, which Braunias attributes in part to the long section he wrote at the Surrey.

After his success, the hotel launched a writer's residency which ran from 2016 to 2018. A residency was not planned for 2019 until recently when the Surrey's general manager Denise King approached Braunias to revive the award.

Winners in the past include Wellington writer Ashleigh Young, Nelson-based Naomi Arnold, and Stuff journalist-come-novelist Kelly Dennett.