Author(s): Elizabeth Caffin
The New Zealand Literary Fund was a small amount of public money skilfully dispensed over forty years to hundreds of writers and publishers. Unobtrusively but persistently, the fund and the dedicated men and women who allotted its largesse laid the foundations of the literary culture we enjoy today. From a small gesture of government patronage in the postwar world, it slowly grew, expanding its reach, enlarging its ambitions and acquiring partners. This is its story.
Elizabeth Caffin, who has written frequently on fiction, poetry and the history of New Zealand publishing, is former director of Auckland University Press. She served two terms on the Literary Fund Advisory Committee. She has been a member of the New Zealand Press Council, a Guardian of the Alexander Turnbull Library and president of the Book Publishers Association. Andrew Mason (1950-2009) was a much-admired editor and writer who worked with many of New Zealand's most significant authors, including Michael King, Shonagh Koea and Bub Bridger. He was literary editor of the New Zealand Listener from 1981 to 1991, and was several times a New Zealand Book Awards judge, as well as a member of Queen Elizabeth II Arts Council of New Zealand as chairperson of its Literature Committee.