Congratulations to this year’s fellows – Christina Booth (Tas), Georgina Chadderton (SA), Ursula Dubosarsky (NSW), Samantha Ellen-Bound (Vic), Sally Heinrich (SA), Elizabeth Kasmer (Qld), Allison Marlow Paterson (Qld), Neridah McMullin (Vic) and Matt Shanks (Vic).
Between them, this wonderful line up of creators will be drawing on true events from both history and personal experience pushing the boundaries of the graphic novel and unpacking serious themes from incarceration to conservation.
The Adelaide-based fellows are Christina Booth, Georgina Chadderton, Elizabeth Kasmer, Neridah McMullin and Matt Shanks.
Enjoying her second Adelaide-based fellowship, Christina will re-write and extend her previously published story, Potato Music, into a script for a young adult graphic novel. Christina’s original writing of Potato Music distilled a much larger story into a universal and timeless story, realised in a picture book. Christina is now ready to re-visit the untold parts of this story. In its current picture book form it tells of hope, love and survival in war. Telling the longer version will add a focus on immigration, after the war, to Australia.
Georgina is the inaugural Ian Wilson Memorial Fellow. This new fellowship was created by the Trust to honour our founding Chair, the late Honourable Ian Wilson AM, and to give one emerging author or illustrator creative time away from home in our Adelaide studio. Georgina is a graphic novelist, who happens to be from Adelaide! The focused time and space provided by the fellowship will support Georgina to step away from her day to day commitments to complete the second third of her debut graphic novel and memoir, Oh Brother, about growing up with a brother with autism. Through her work on Oh Brother, Georgina’s goal is to transition from writing short comics to creating a full-length graphic novel, with the aim of being published. With this in mind, the Ian Wilson Memorial Fellowship includes professional development for Georgina, with the full support of three practitioners and stalwarts of the Trust – Nan Halliday, Elizabeth Hutchins and Julie Wells.
Elizabeth Kasmer will spend her creative time working on two children’s novels, the first set in Bundaberg in 1942 in the lead up to the great 1942 flood of the Burnett River and the second set in the Tasmanian township of Stanley. Stanley was where the Van Diemen’s Land Company set up and invested huge amounts of money in livestock, crops and pasture seeds only to have the project fail dismally. The company was run from Highfield House. This historic house is now reportedly haunted, perhaps by the mishmash of strange and unusual characters who had landed there as convicts or free settlers, and who will be the compelling characters of Elizabeth’s novel. Elizabeth will also be in residence at Seymour College.
Neridah is from a country Victoria horse racing family and as a child would be woken up in the middle of the night to go and watch the miracle of a mare giving birth to a foal. She remembers it vividly - the stamping of hooves, the deep rumbling neighs, the tension, the worry and afterwards – the absolute joy of a foal; all of which will feed into her fellowship projects, junior fiction novels This Magic Night, Gracie and the Horses of Clover Farm and Gracie’s Foals and picture books – fiction work, The Stockman and a non-fiction picture book called, ‘Drover.’
Matt wants to show Australia and the world that contemporary Australian picture books can tell an important story. With this in mind, he’ll use his time in the Adelaide studio to create four 32-page contemporary Australian picture book storyboards – Have you seen my boomerang?, Diving for Gold, The Southerly and The Rise of Fred Kelly. Matt says that he hopes that the stories explored in his fellowship will inspire young Australians to recognise and celebrate our uniqueness.
Ursula Dubosarsky and Allison Marlow Paterson will be travelling to Canberra.
Ursula is working on an allegorical novel for upper primary school aged children. The Beautiful Island is the story of the friendship that develops between a child, who lives on a remote and privileged island, and a prisoner, whose place of incarceration is opposite the island.
Making the most of access to the resources of the Australian War Memorial, Allison will bring to life the Australian experience of World War I in her deeply personal novel for young adults. Based on true events and told in alternating points of view, which shift from rural Australia, to Egypt, Britain and to the Western Front, this is a tale of family, mateship, young love, sacrifice and resilience.
Enjoying creative time in Brisbane will be Sally Heinrich and Samantha Ellen-Bound.
Sally will be using her creative time to develop a wordless picture book, The Rainbow Thief, in whicha young girl must overcome her own fears to complete an epic journey and the tasks it demands of her. Through her actions, the world is transformed, or could it be that it is her view of the world that has changed? Maybe both?
Sam's fellowship will be hands-on and practical, researching and developing her latest children's series Shades of Blue. Shades of Blue mixes fantasy, adventure and marine conservation themes, through stories that span the world's seas, the colourful creatures that inhabit them, and the threats and issues that face both. There are mermaids, there are monsters, and there is plenty of magic. Sam's creative time will focus on applying her research to create two fabulous, entertaining and educational manuscripts in the series.
2017 Fellows (L to R):