“I leave with most of a plot and 10,000 words of a brand new novel, plus a mind overflowing with possible twists and turns for this book. This has been a precious month of writing and thinking.”
From Ruth Massie at Seymour College: ‘This year the Year 11 Seymour students had the pleasure of having Western Australian author Amanda Betts as our Writer in Residence... Click See More to read all
I found that my interaction with people from the Canberra CBC... provided me with valuable networking opportunities and an opportunity to expand my professional contact base.
“Words can’t express my appreciation to all at the May Gibbs Trust for giving me this opportunity of a lifetime. From the time of my initial application until now, I feel I have made giant strides.”
‘It was a very interesting experience to take myself out of my normal life and live for a month in a place where there were no excuses not to write. I was frustrated with pinning down my ‘voice’ for the book during this period, but I did have time to explore the genre I was writing in, taking leisurely afternoons of sitting near the window in the sun and reading, while feeling only slightly guilty. This is what I enjoyed the most. Instead of having to squash my reading/research time into stolen moments, I brazenly sat with a pot of tea and explored to my heart’s content.’
‘As an emerging author, trying to balance full time work, writing and an addiction to HBO television, I am used to stealing time from my day, and working with distractions everywhere. … I was a fulltime writer with my only distraction being the occasional boil of the kettle – the opportunity to engross myself in my work so fully was not only a heap of fun, it meant I completed a manuscript (through 4 drafts) in 8 months as opposed to the usual 1-2 year slog.’
“It felt so free to be fully immersed in my work. I found that random thoughts and funny lines came more freely than before… I found myself having a productive evening too. BONUS writing time. So it felt like 2 days for 1!”
Corinne made the most of her attendances at networking opportunities organised through the Trust’s support group. She acknowledged the support of this group, describing it as “perfect sprinklings of support and freedom.”
‘Without (the) May Gibbs (Trust) I would never had had the creative space and time to develop this book, but rather I would have still have tantalising, but unrelated experiences swirling around in my imagination waiting to be developed into a story.’
Malcolm felt strongly that the rare chance for thinking and writing time – the essence of the May Gibbs Children’s Literature Trust’s existence! – provided him with excellent professional development.
“The research time at the Australian War Memorial was invaluable. I would not have been able to attempt the two historical novels I am working on without it. The time, and the quiet, and the lack of the usual responsibilities has enabled me to progress far further than I had expected with both novels.”
I thought that if I could get the main part of the research done during my residency and the plot outline for the books, I'd be well ahead. If things were going really well I thought I might get the first 30 or so pages written. I never dreamed that I'd achieve so much more. Not only did I complete the 56,000 word first draft of book one, but I also had so much time to read, meet with other authors and just enjoy being a writer.