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Buddle Findlay awards writers

New Zealand fiction authors Hamish Clayton and Tanya Moir will get to spend some "guilt-free" time working on their new books as recipients of this year's Buddle Findlay Sargeson Fellowship.

They will each get $20,000 and will spend five months in fellowship at the Sargeson Centre in central Auckland.

Mr Clayton, who is working on a PhD in English literature at Victoria University, will work on his second novel when he moves into the centre next month.

"It's a story with a contemporary setting. It's concerned with the gaps between art and reality, and between memory and history.

"With the time and space the fellowship allows, I'm looking forward to settling in and finishing it, and hopefully doing it the justice I think it deserves," Mr Clayton says.

He started the book soon after finishing his first, Wulf, in 2011, which won the 2012 NZSA Hubert Church Best First Book Award for Fiction.

Ms Moir, who lives at Muriwai in west Auckland, had her first novel, La Rochelle's Road, published in 2011 and her second is due to be released in March.

She says she will use her fellowship to work on her next book, "a contemporary western about an 'outlaw' and would-be cowboy who has gone to ground in the hills of Central Otago".

"I'm hugely excited to be given the chance to sit down to five months of uninterrupted, guilt-free work on my new project," Ms Moir says.

The Sargeson Fellowship was established by the Frank Sargeson Trust in 1987. Law firm Buddle Findlay has sponsored it since 1997.