Lynley Bilby

Lynley Bilby is a reporter for the Herald on Sunday.

Catton a prize draw

Eleanor Catton has helped bring creative writing at Manukau Institute of Technology to world attention. Photo / Sarah Ivey
Eleanor Catton has helped bring creative writing at Manukau Institute of Technology to world attention. Photo / Sarah Ivey

Man Booker prizewinning author Eleanor Catton has catapulted a little-known South Auckland tertiary writing course to international attention.

Manukau Institute of Technology's School of Creative Writing head Robert Sullivan said aspiring writers were keen for a place on the restricted entry course where the acclaimed author of The Luminaries lectures.

For the first time, foreign students are among those vying for the 20 places.

"There's definitely more interest and an increase in enrolments since Eleanor's Booker Prize win," said Sullivan. "We're beginning to see interest from overseas for the first time."

The course had also caught the eye of New Zealand university graduates who could see the value in an education "from a wonderful lecturer like Eleanor".

Sullivan said Catton, due back at the Manukau Institute in March, is a vital part of the creative writing programme. She lectures mainly in fiction.

This year she will juggle classes with guest appearances at literary events, including the Auckland and Wellington writers' festivals.

- Herald on Sunday

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