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Carl Nixon Writing in Menton

Carl Nixon, Writing in Menton

Carl Nixon’s Biography

Last Updated:
7/05/2020, 7:01 pm
Katherine Mansfield Menton Fellowship 2017
"Brave, bold and unflinching, Carl Nixon's Settlers' Creek is one of the best novels to come out of New Zealand. It's not only a gripping, brutal thriller but also a dissection of a country and its culture. It's the kind of book that gets you run out of town." - Witi Ihimaera

Carl was born in 1967, lives in Christchurch and has a Masters in Religious Studies from the University of Canterbury. He is married with two teenage children.

His first book, Fish ‘n’ Chip Shop Song and other stories was published in 2006 by Random House New Zealand, and went to number one on the NZ best-selling fiction list. It was short listed for the Commonwealth Writers Prize, Best First Book, Southeast Asia and South Pacific Region, 2007. His stories have appeared in numerous anthologies.

He has published three novels: Rocking Horse Road (Random House NZ, 2008); Settlers’ Creek (Random House NZ, 2010); and The Virgin and the Whale (Random House, 2013). Settlers’ Creek was long listed for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Awards 2012. His novels have been published in translation in Germany, France, Taiwan and China.

Carl was very pleased to be one of the authors selected as part of the New Zealand contingent to attend the Frankfurt Book Fair in 2012 when New Zealand was Guest of Honour.

Carl’s plays, both comedy and drama, have been performed in every professional theatre in New Zealand. His latest is the comedy, Matthew, Mark, Luke and Joanne. Others include, The Raft, The Birthday Boy, Crumpy, Two Fish ‘n’ a Scoop, and The War Artist. His adaptation for the stage of J. M. Coetzee’s Booker Prize winning novel Disgrace was staged by the Auckland Theatre Company.

The radio adaptation of The Raft won, Best Radio Drama of the Year, 2009 NZ Radio Awards. Many of Carl’s stories have also been broadcast by Radio New Zealand.

The Virgin and the Whale was optioned by South Pacific Pictures in 2015. Carl has recently completed writing the screenplay for the feature film, which as they say, is in development.

In 2017, Carl received the Katherine Mansfield Menton Fellowship and in 2018 Carl will travel to Menton, France for the writing residency.

Carl is represented by Pontas Literary and Film Agency, based in Barcelona, Spain.

Carl Nixon on his time in Menton

"Menton primarily benefited my practice by giving me a fresh perspective. The exotic location, the warm days, the constant presence of the Mediterranean, the exuberant French, the sheer difference to Christchurch, were all extremely energising. My week-day routine was to walk the 40 minutes from the apartment to the Katherine Mansfield Memorial Room and arrive by 9 in the morning before putting in a day's work. The room was well appointed, freshly painted, and generally very pleasant to write in. It was an honour, a thrill and an inspiration to be working in the same room as so many legendary writers. Although my family travelled for several weeks to Italy and Paris I stayed in Menton and worked solidly. I was able to move on the draft novel I was developing, The Tally Stick from about 35,000 words to a completed first draft of 79,000 words. I then began refining the first 100 pages. While in Menton I got those early chapters to the point where I sent them for initial feedback to my agent, Pontas Literary Agency who are based in Barcelona. It was all very productive and satisfying."