In the Writers’ Colony

The headline’s a little premature, because it’s not yet possible to be in the writers’ colony, at least not in Wellington – but it will be if Doug Wilkins has his way. Doug contacted me a few months back and explained that he was planning to set up a writers’ colony in Wellington, modelled on the very successful Sanchez Grotto Annex that he founded in San Francisco four years ago. I took a bit of convincing, but I’ve come round to the view that this is an excellent idea for those writers who need some dedicated writing space and would appreciate the combination of private working space, and social contact with other writers, that a writers’ colony provides. Plus, Doug is a likeable chap who knows what he’s doing and has the track record to show it.

Here’s what Doug has in mind. If you’re a Wellington writer and it sounds like this would suit you, I recommend getting in touch with him.

Doug Wilkins, a writer who recently moved to Wellington from San Francisco, is planning to start a writing community, The Pohutukawa Garret, which would offer over a dozen offices for rent, Internet access, cleaning services, sufficient heat, and a sense of belonging. His current intent is to locate this writers’ community along Cuba Street somewhere. The only thing holding him back, momentarily, is having a quorum of writers; he reckons that it will take six dedicated writers expressing more than passing interest in joining the Garret to convince him to purchase a flat and start building offices.

Rent, since you ask, would be $95 a week, and no lease required. Doug would just as soon that anyone who isn’t delighted with the arrangement should be free to leave after only a month.

Doug can be contacted at or 021-138-5050.

2 thoughts on “In the Writers’ Colony

  1. Were I a writer this would be interesting – though it is and I am not. Ha. You see why I am not a writer. In any case, a chap called Pete McVicar is doing something similar for I.T. software bunnies. Good ideas, I think.

  2. There is a real synergy to these kinds of writer\’s colonies. Measuring how helpful they are isn\’t easy, but recognising their value to the lonely, long-toiling writer IS.The writers at the Sanchez Grotto Annex, please note, are 100% published. I like to think that the Sanchez Grotto had something to do with this.Let me know if you want to see the proposed space here on Cuba Street in Wellington, ask logistical questions, converse with me or my colleagues back in San Francisco.Keep on word-processing…

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