Our Fellows

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Host City - Adelaide

  • Aimee Said
    2012

    “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.”

    Aimee developed the plot, character and setting and drafted the initial chapters of her new novel for young adults, a Gothic-inspired book about family and school secrets set in a girls’ boarding school. During her Fellowship Aimee was in residence at Seymour College meeting 150 year 11 students.

    http://aimeesaid.blogspot.com

  • Amanda (AJ) Betts
    2011

    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

    AJ developed a work of fiction for young adults, tentatively titled Zac and Hannah, a story about two teenagers who meet and form a relationship on a cancer ward, but who find life outside the hospital much more complicated. The final publication (August 2013) is Zac and Mia which won the 2012 text Prize for Young Adult and Children’s Writing. AJ was also in residence at Seymour College, working with over 100 students on their own creative writing. Her time in Adelaide coincided with Book Week 2011. See More
  • Angela Sunde
    2013

    “Being able to reflect, rest and think in a quiet, uninterrupted and comfortable space certainly benefited my writing. I have had the most amazing kick-start to the year. I'm far ahead of where I expected to be and the momentum to keep going has been set firmly in place.”

    Angela worked on The Reversible Cape, reading through research notes, working through the manuscript, fixing and adjusting plot points, re-writing then writing a further 10,000 words. She also worked on The Blue Tutu, achieving a complete rewrite in rhyme and cutting and pasting the new text into a dummy book to see how it read through. Angela edited another picture book manuscript called Lots of Things, and wrote up notes for a new idea for a picture book story about her grandmother’s fig tree. Angela was in residence at Victor Harbor R – 7 School, SA. See More

    http://www.angelasunde.com

  • Anne Ryan
    2013

    ‘The Fellowship is a living treasure that supports Australian authors and illustrators to continue producing valuable and significant literary works. In these very difficult economic times when opportunities are being squeezed from many facets of the industry, it is even more valuable and significant that this time is supported and encouraged. Creative individuals will always continue to develop their own bodies of work, but the Fellowship reinforces that other parts of the community value and want to promote creative works undertaken for the benefit of the broader community. The Fellowship upholds longevity, vision and forward thinking for our culture and the Arts as a whole. It actively supports and nurtures the creative voices of our time in Australian children’s literature.’

    Anne completed nearly 14 pages of full colour finished artworks for her picture book “A Song for a Yellow Monday.” This work included many hours developing rough sketches, researching settings, lighting effects and character expressions and reworking sketches before creating the final artwork in acrylic paint. Anne says: It was rewarding to experience the continuity of imagery and the essence of the story, flow so easily with concentrated uninterrupted creative time. The end result was definitely a stronger and more convincing body of work.

    http://www.anneryan.com.au

  • Bernadette Kelly
    2010

    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.

    http://www.bernadettekelly.com.au/

  • Claire Saxby
    2010
    Claire Saxby worked on two projects during her time in Adelaide (2 – 30 August). She completed the second draft of The Traveller, an historical novel for upper primary aged readers set in Melbourne at the time of the gold rush. She also researched her new non-fiction book for the same age group. The book looks at some of the women who helped shape Australia, both directly and indirectly. In Adelaide, Claire explored the life of Gladys Sym Choon at the State Library, the Migration Museum, the Museum and with people who knew Gladys. She feels that much of this research would have been impossible at home in Melbourne. Claire also wrote several poems and revised a picture book manuscript, which was subsequently discussed face to face on two occasions with Jane Covernton at Working Title Press. Claire attended several professional functions and meetings, including two where she was guest speaker (CBCA and SCBWI events). She also attended Max Fatchen’s 90th birthday party. Claire ran workshops at Scotch College, Flinders University and the two City of Unley libraries. Through these she met nearly 700 children and 50 adults.
  • Dawn Meredith
    2011
    Dawn’s creative time was spent finishing the last 30% of her young adult novel Flight. Dawn maximised her networking and employment opportunities through a range of professional meetings (manuscript assistance etc) and public workshops at Glenelg Library as well as with May Gibbs Trust partner Victor Harbor R – 7 school. At Victor, Dawn met the entire school population of 600 students. The session at Glenelg involved 60 students. See More

    http://www.dawnmeredithauthor.blogspot.com/

  • Felicity Pulman
    2010

    Felicity’s journal entry describes how valuable the Fellowship was to her career trajectory as she had decided that she needed to reinvent herself. She says: Being here has given me courage and a belief in myself as a writer.

    Felicity Pulman (31 may – 30 June) researched and wrote some 40,000 words for Hearts in Chains (working title), a time-slip novel for young adults set on Norfolk Island, incorporating events from the second penal settlement established on the island. Felicity attended several functions organised by the SA Writers’ Centre, including a Young Writers Night and The SA English Teachers Association’s massive and collegiate Meet the Author event. She met up to 400 young people in years 7 and 8 and about 50 adults in workshops of her own at Seymour College, the SAWC and Flinders University.
  • Greg Bastian
    2013

    ‘Uninterrupted time at the studio was a welcome opportunity to complete a further draft of my new novel.’

    Greg researched and completed an advanced draft of his next novel for younger readers. He was in residence at Seymour College and also met the Unley Young Writers, a group organised by the Unley libraries. See More

    http://www.gregbastian.com.au

  • Ian Trevaskis
    2014

    The granting of the MGCT Fellowship was a godsend because it offered me an escape clause; a means of avoiding the daily interruptions and distractions and allowing me the opportunity to focus on the story I so desperately wanted to tell.

    Ian arrived in Adelaide with about 20,000 words written of a first draft for a YA novel provisionally titled My Olympic Year. At the end of his stay he had completed a 70,000 word first draft and during the process was able to resolve a number of issues and concerns he had with voice, character and the overall structure of the novel. Ian also spent some time thinking about, developing ideas and characters, and writing notes for a planned series of books based on the adventures of a feral ten year old girl, her feisty grandmother and her cousin Mungo in a remote seaside town. The series is provisionally titled The Saga of Sally Sweetwater and Mungo. In the midst of all this he spent a week in residence at Victor Harbor R – 7 School, where he met over 500 students. He described the staff as “friendly and welcoming”, the students as “keen and interested” and the organisation of the whole week as “flawless.” See More

    http://www.iantrevaskis.com.au

  • Jacqueline Harvey
    2013

    ‘Having time away from home to write, while not thinking about the more mundane daily chores was great. Being in a new and previously unvisited location was inspiring and I really enjoyed walking everywhere and the café culture of Norwood. I loved the networking opportunities, making connections with many people I now consider friends.’

    Jacqueline worked on Alice-Miranda In Japan, which is the ninth title in the series. The book required considerable research, which she undertook in consultation with a Japanese-speaking friend. See More

    http://www.jacquelineharvey.com.au

  • James Foley
    2013

    James was in residence at Scotch College prompting the teacher librarian’s comment: ‘What an incredible talent. I would recommend James to any school.’

    James completed the final illustrations and cover for book 1 of Magpie Mischief, a new chapter book series by Ken Spillman and Jon Doust. He finished the cover designs and some roughs for books 2 and 3. As part of his Fellowship James completed the illustrations for two new titles in the Amity Kids Adventure series written by John Doust and Ken Spillman. These are now available as e books via James's web site' James also powered ahead with his own picture books completing the manuscript of The Night Care Centre, almost finishing the first draft of Brobot and outlining The Horrible Prince. See More

    http://www.jamesfoley.com.au/

  • James Roy
    2014

    Thank you for offering us such a fabulous opportunity. The students were enthralled by James’s storytelling and bewitched by his accounts of his literary (and other) adventures. I'm sure it's something that many students will remember all their lives. David Strempel, Teacher Librarian, Marryatville High School

    James developed a children’s novel, with the working title Red Kigali Sky, based around the 1994 Rwandan genocide. The title was already contracted to Omnibus Books, which gave him the terrific opportunity to spend face-to-face time with his publisher, Dyan Blacklock. During his Fellowship he arrived at a reasonably advanced draft of the book. James was also the 2014 City of Norwood, Payneham & St Peters Fellow, working as author in residence to Marryatville High School and Prince Alfred College. During his residency James ran 7 participatory writing workshops, meeting around 300 students. Marryatville High School chose to focus James’s sessions on Year 10 students. His workshops here involved an Extension English class, whose members had the chance to develop and complete a piece of writing. Prince Alfred College’s Year 12s took part in workshops exploring short story narratives and recount writing. Some of these students featured in an outside broadcast on 3D Radio’s Youth FM programme, with young broadcasters AJ Gillian and Sakura Lim. James also met 350 students at Marymount College, Glenelg, courtesy of the Holdfast Libraries. See More

    http://www.jamesroy.com.au

  • Jeni Mawter
    2012

    “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.”

    Jeni researched how to write for the interactive world of children’s apps, writing 3 (A Rainbow Surprise, Shape Explorers and A Race Against Time), which were accepted for publication in 2013 by Flying Books. She researched, developed the concept and wrote 1000 words for a young adult long form non-fiction work with the working title The Seduction of Narcissism in response to interest from Macmillan’s Momentum digital section. Jeni was in residence at Scotch College Junior School and ran a workshop called ‘How to Fix a Broken Story’ for the Unley Young Writers Group and members of the SA Writers Centre. See More

    http://www.jenimawter.com

  • Josie Montano
    2015

    The fellowship provides a bubble of space where life’s responsibilities and pressures don’t exist. What was important was the project at hand. The time actually breeds and manifests creativity to the fullest, indulgent time, full immersion into the project.

    Josie worked on a new YA manuscript. Originally titled Isn’t She Lovely, Josie’s research, planning and brainstorming, plus a face book poll, morphed the title into The Reel Drama Queen. The concept is based on Australia’s very first Hollywood star, Louise Lovely, the height of whose fame was between 1915 and 1920. Josie’s research involved delving into Australian film, the silent film era, Australians in Hollywood, vaudeville and World War 1. Her plot eventually turned around a teen from the 70’s, who meets Louise in the present and the past. Josie shared her practice with the Unley Young Writers in a one-off workshop with this skilled and committed group based at the Unley Library, SA. Click on See More for a photo of the young writers with Josie. See More

    http://www.booksbyjosie.com.au/

  • Karen Tayleur
    2011

    ‘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.’

    Karen says: ‘I worked on two projects while staying at the Adelaide burrow. My residency serendipitously occurred during the Cornish festival on the Copper Coast. I was able to attend a few of the festivities, including a class in Cornish and a dressing of the graves, and had access to some self-published non-fiction about the early years of the Copper Coast which I may not have normally come across from my home in Melbourne. I have in mind a piece of historical fiction for upper primary children that would look at the early period of European settlement of this region. My other project, my main reason for applying, was to work on a ‘gothic romance’ for the Young Adult market titled Love Notes from Vinegar House. I am happy to say that this book is to be released in May 2012 by Walker Books under the black dog books imprint and the May Gibbs Trust has been duly acknowledged with my heartfelt thanks See More
  • Katy Watson-Kell
    2010
    Katy Watson-Kell enjoyed uninterrupted creative time working on a creative non-fiction picture book project called The Ghost of Seaforth McKenzie: King of Penguin Island during her Fellowship (1 – 23 October.) Highly detailed research was the cornerstone of Katy’s time: • She explored Seaforth McKenzie’s childhood years in Pictou, Nova Scotia and managed to source some highly specific material on Gaelic culture and the lifestyle of the Scottish Highlanders who settled in Canada during the late 18th and early 19th centuries • She researched the culture of the indigenous Mi’ kmaq people of the region. In this way, she developed a strong, creative concept for the Nova Scotian thread of the story an important and hitherto mysterious chapter in McKenzie’s life. Katy also worked on some early illustrations • She continued research into another thread of the story linked to McKenzie’s Aboriginal friend Joe, whom Nyoongar elders in WA believe is likely to have been a former prisoner of the Rottnest Island penal colony • She researched aspects of whaling and sealing at the SA Whale Centre at Victor Harbor for Capturing Chloe, a young adult novel • She looked at Adelaide buildings and landscapes for authentic setting development for this story, set in the 1940s.
  • Liz Anelli
    2015

    I met with dozens of people in the children’s book industry & creative arts in Adelaide. Having barely been out of Newcastle in my 3 years since relocating to Australia this was amazing for me. Best of all I had all that time to myself to quietly think and push ideas around without a deadline to pressure me. Sometimes time constraints are good in focusing the mind but on this occasion it was great just to drift and dream and then suddenly discover my head full of ideas.

    Liz used her fellowship time to do a huge amount of drawing in Adelaide and surrounding suburbs, courtesy of Katrina Germein’s wonderful yellow bicycle! This informed her new picture book ideas and developed into a series of prints about the city. She got really very interested in the vast number of mini roundabouts and went to her first ever footie game. She says that although she didn’t really understand how the points worked she loved drawing the crowds and the steep perspective of the highest stands. And it gave her ideas. Liz used the drawings and ideas gathered whilst out and about (especially in Port Adelaide) to write first drafts and rough storyboards for a possible A-Z of Lesser Known Cities. Liz also developed the roughs for One Photo, her current picture book with Penguin Books, written by Ross Watkins. She networked widely, was guest speaker at the Trust’s annual Spring Luncheon and took part in the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra’s Tigers & Teapots community engagement workshop at Saint Ignatius' College. She had created illustrations for the CD and teaching booklet for conductor and musician David Banney and was delighted that this ASO event coincided with her fellowship. Liz was also in residence at Victor Harbor R – 7 School, where she worked with 570 students on a massive collage/illustrated map about their local area. The idea was that these workshops would inform her own book, based on the narrative guided by a map or by looking down on the world… and so this in turn became a story about Martians trying to contact us Humans – with some unexpected consequences… See More

    http://www.lizanelli-illustration.com/

  • Lorraine Marwood
    2010

    She says: “The time aside to write was what was needed to push the book through…”

    Lorraine Marwood returned for her second May Gibbs Fellowship from 12 February – 14 March. She says: “I wrote new poems, found long buried gems, reworked a short manuscript for another publisher at least three times, wrote through a stalemate for a new story and realised that a fantasy I’ve been writing – well for years – can be slashed from 20,000 words to a paragraph!” and adds that her attendance at Writers Week supported this process, in particular an appearance by Marcus Zusak. She also had the chance to attend several other functions and meetings, including the launch of a book by Janeen Brian dedicated to Lorraine. Lorraine led workshops at Victor Harbour R – 7 School, gave a talk to local teachers and ran a poetry workshop at the SA Writers’ Centre (SAWC). Since her 2010 Fellowship Lorraine’s book Star Jumps has received an award in the children’s section of the inaugural Prime Minister’s Literary awards. Star Jumps was completed during her 2007 May Gibbs residency.
  • Nathan Luff
    2011

    ‘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.’

    Nathan’s Fellowship saw him take Bad Grammar, his new middle years novel, from its first draft to publication readiness. Walker Books published the novel in January 2013. Bad Grammar stars a computer game enthusiast (read nerd), who is mistakenly sent to a reform school in the Outback of Australia, where the enemies are very much real… Nathan was also in residence at Scotch College Junior School, where he met over 300 students.
  • Oliver Phommavanh
    2012

    “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!”

    Oliver’s Fellowship projects were Nothing’s Prefect, the story of a boy who is thrown into being a prefect in a rundown high school where weirdness happens and Bookish, which he describes as a lifelong love letter to librarians. Oliver wowed audiences young and not so young in a number of schools and public libraries as well as in a bookshop and a Thai restaurant as part of a new partnership between the Trust and the City of Norwood, Payneham & St Peters. See More

    http://www.oliverwriter.com

  • Samantha Wheeler
    2015

    “The Fellowship experience boosted my confidence as a writer. It’s tough starting out as an author, as it often seems like a select few, more experienced writers are always in the limelight, making you feel a little invisible. But while in Adelaide, as a Creative Time Fellow, this certainly wasn’t the case. I felt supported, encouraged and validated, which was a huge benefit to me.”

    Samantha enjoyed an extremely productive Fellowship, completing a structural edit of Mister Cassowary, her next children’s adventure story to be released by UQP in September 2015. She also doubled the word count on a longer, semi biographical YA story with the working title Grace, about a girl who can’t talk. Samantha completed a preliminary edit of her next adventure story, working title Snow Trap, about pygmy possums in the Snowy Mountains and researched a new story about wombats and burrow destruction. Samantha says that this is a big problem in SA, and not something she could have researched back in Brisbane. Samantha spent time in residence at St Marys R – 5 School, Glenelg. This was her first full residency as an author. She worked with 115 children in years 3 – 5 to create their own stories. See More

    http://www.samanthawheeler.com

  • Sheryl Gwyther
    2015

    “The MGCLT Fellowship Residency was a marvellous privilege! Most authors have moments of self-doubt, but the Fellowship confirms and celebrates one’s ability, skill and professionalism as an author.”

    During her residency Sheryl worked exclusively on the first draft of Vivaldi’s Angel, her junior fiction novel. She had started with a rough outline and had hoped to finish the first draft. In the end, she made it half-way through the story - thirteen chapters and about 16,000 words. She was also in residence at Scotch College. Sheryl says that her main character, Caterina, grew so much stronger over that 4 weeks, both in her personality and her voice; she leads the story, an ideal place for the writer. She relished the freedom to write unfettered by time, phones, emails and day-to-day interruptions – to lose myself within 18th Century Venice; to fall in love with my main characters; to race with Caterina across the Bridge of Sighs as the glorious strains of Vivaldi’s concertos follow us on silver wings

    http://www.sherylgwyther.net/

  • Steph Bowe
    2016

    “I cannot speak highly enough of the value of my Creative Time Residential Fellowship; having the dedicated time and space to work intensively on a new manuscript allowed me to achieve far more than I would at home in the same amount of time, and made it far easier to be truly absorbed in the work.”

    Steph used her fellowship to research her contemporary YA crime manuscript, working title Teenage Wasteland, writing approximately 10,000 words of the first draft. She wrote a further 10,000 words of a second YA novel-in-progress, working title Sunny at the End of the World. She also developed the concept of a third new YA novel, Funny You Should Say That, including research, note-taking and writing of early scenes.   Steph was the 2016 Von Compton author in residence at Seymour College, where she presented writing workshops to Year 8 and 9 students. Steph says she found this immensely rewarding. See More

    http://stephbowe.com

  • Stephen Axelsen
    2012
    Stephen spent 110 hours and 55 minutes (he says: “this is accurate. I keep a log”) on the rough drawing, layout and text of The Nelly Gang, his graphic novel for children published in 2013. He also researched and started to write the second volume of the series, Nelly and the Dark Circus. Stephen’s public talk at the Burnside Library gave everyone present a fascinating insight into the rigorous process of creating a graphic novel, with a live demonstration of his skill and patience with the technology he uses to bring his dynamic and compelling characters to life. Stephen spent a week at Victor Harbor R – 7 School, where he took the opportunity to road test some of the graphic novel ideas Stephen's new title, The Nelly Gang, was launched at the StoryArts Festival in Ipswich in September 2013.

    http://www.stephenaxelsen.net

  • Sue Lawson
    2014

    “I was able to create and set in place better habits that I've maintained at home - less internet time, blocks of writing time, streamlining approaches etc. I have to admit, I wrote a list of goals before I left home, and achieved every one. I returned to 'normal' life creatively, physically and emotionally renewed.“ Visit http://www.readplus.com.au/blog_detail.php?id=5190 to read Fran Knight's interview with Sue for the Read Plus Review Blog

    Sue’s initial focus was on a complete and intensive edit of her newest YA novel, Freedom Ride (working title). She met with her editor prior to leaving for her Adelaide-based Fellowship, and says she had “the luxury of uninterrupted time to read aloud, edit, ponder and polish the manuscript.” She also researched and wrote a non-fiction project which will be part of the Walker/Black Dog Books 'Our Stories' series. At present the project has the working title Protests, but will have what Sue describes as a “spiffier” title soon! Sue met every student in years 1 – 6 at Scotch College Junior School, as well as 12 members of the Unley Young Writers, a skilled and wonderful group convened by the Unley Libraries. See More

    http://www.suelawson.com.au

  • Terry Whitebeach
    2014

    “The vision and dedication of the founders and current directors and committee has given me what every writer craves – time and space to attend to the work. It is the greatest gift we can receive.”

    During her Fellowship Terry worked on a novel for younger readers, Paper Chain, a book about 6 young sisters. She arrived in Adelaide with an outline, two or three pages of manuscript and the strong desire for a quiet space in which to "eavesdrop" on the sisters and explore the situation they were in and to write as much of the first draft of the novel as she could. She completed 18 chapters (approx. 10,000 words) and feels that she got the novel to that important point where it "had legs” and was a living, breathing viable entity. Terry also edited, and redrafted some sections of her YA novel Obulejo - Trouble Tomorrow, the story of a teenager's experience during the Sudanese Civil War. See More
  • Tony Davis
    2015

    “I would recommend time at The Burrow to any writer who needs space to develop or finish a project, or just needs thinking time to shape their future work.”

    Tony enjoyed uninterrupted creative time, working on a new tween/YA novel called Stand Up Thom. He turned three pages of point-form notes into a complete 45,000 word first draft. In this way Tony was able to take a complete break from his normal hectic world. He says: “I reflected often how hard it is in my current circumstances to spend even one whole day (let alone day after day) doing nothing but writing fiction. At The Burrow, it was different; I was able to become completely lost in my story and characters. The momentum I could build up under these circumstances was enormous. The alternative is the usual necessity of writing in small blocks and spending quite a bit of each “block” getting back into the mood and flow of the story.” See More

    http://www.thebigdry.com.au

Host City - Brisbane

  • Alan Tucker
    2014

    “There are many benefits to working as a May Gibbs Fellow in Brisbane. The most memorable is being provided with the opportunity to work in an interrupted mode for three weeks in a well-appointed and located apartment. The workshops I conducted in the fourth week were highly beneficial. The State Library arranged and managed them professionally and the teachers and schools that opted to involve their students did so because they wanted them to have a positive learning experience. The teachers had primed their classes with my books and historic fiction genre in mind, which allowed students to engage thoughtfully and positively. Discussions about a possible historic fiction set at the time of the 2010 – 2011 Brisbane floods, also provided me with insights into what 10-14 year old students saw as family and personal priorities during an emergency evacuation.”

    Alan added another 8,000 words to Australia’s Great War: 1916 (Book 3 of 5 book series, Scholastic Australia) and edited what he had already written. Most of the new words consisted of dialogue, which was needed to differentiate between the four main characters. He did some additional research and checking of facts, and made some structural changes. The book is due for publication in February 2016, the 100th anniversary of the battles, which form the background to Alan’s historic fiction. Alan spent a week in residence through the State Library of Queensland, visiting 6 schools and working with over 200 students from years 6 to 9. He spoke about his journey to becoming a writer and offered tips on writing historical fiction. Alan says that a particular highlight from the week was his session at the Brisbane School of Distance Education where he streamed live to 10 very keen students from all over the state (including 1 in Western Australia). See More

    http://www.alantucker.com.au

  • Briony Stewart
    2010
    Briony Stewart’s Fellowship (1 – 27 August) coincided with Book Week. She visited her publishers, UQP, and attended the Children’s Book Council Awards. The traditional May Gibbs High Tea was organised by the Trust’s Queensland Support Group, helmed by Judith Russell. Briony ran extremely successful workshops at the State Library of Queensland (August 16 – 20) meeting up to 150 children in five three-hour sessions. Briony states that she gained a great deal of confidence as a result of the success of her workshops at the SLQ. During her time she also launched her new book, Kumiko and the Dragon’s Secret in an event at the Mount Gravatt High School library, organised by Judith and the support group.
  • Corinne Fenton
    2011

    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.”

    Corinne wrote a polished draft for an environmental story, researched and re-wrote an old picture book text for a different format, tidied up and completed the first draft of a verse novel, wrote some poetry (“miscellaneous poetry” as she describes it!) and began the re-write of a short novel. The Trust’s Brisbane-based support group hosted a high tea for Corinne at the new Norman Park State School Library, where she gave an insightful presentation on how she began her writing career and the meticulous research that goes into each title. Corinne worked at the State Library of Queensland, meeting 40 children and 37 adults.
  • Dee White
    2010

    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.

    Dee White enjoyed a prolific residency (13 March – 10 April). She developed the plot outline for The Chat Room series: Book One – Secrets, Book Two – Lies and Book Three – Truth, undertook extensive internet research on personality disorders and chat room procedures, developed character profiles for four main characters and four subsidiary characters, wrote the first draft of Secrets, arrived at ideas for Hit Me with your Donut and Sophie’s Secret Garden and blogged daily about her May Gibbs experience at http://deescribewriting.wordpress.com Dee attended her traditional May Gibbs High Tea, the Queensland Writers Centre AGM, appearances by Patrick Ness at QUT and Michael Bauer at the George Street library and met Queensland-based children’s and young adult authors. In addition, Dee ran 13 workshops for schools groups in years 5 – 10, based in outer metropolitan areas as well as a school holiday workshop. The schools groups explored Heroes and Villains, while the holiday program travelled From Portrait to Prose. In total Dee met 280 children and young people. See More

    http://members.optuszoo.com.au/deescriber/

  • Judith Rossell
    2013
    Judith used her Fellowship to concentrate on the illustrations and final revision of The Three Orphans, her Victorian fantasy adventure set in England in 1880. Her creative focus was on the integration of text and illustrations.

    http://www.judithrossell.com

  • Judy Horacek
    2012
    Judy enjoyed the first half of her Fellowship in 2012, reading and researching. She will return to Brisbane in 2013 to complete her projects. She says that: for the moment it's fun thinking widely - from aliens to trolls (including troll aliens of course) to school kids. She presented at West End bookshop, Avid Reader and spoke at the legendary May Gibbs Trust afternoon tea.

    http://www.judyhoracek.com.au

  • Kelly Gardiner
    2012
    Kelly completed a strong draft of her young adult novel, The Sultan's Eyes, an historical novel set in Europe in the 1640s. This is the sequel to Act of Faith (a 2012 CBCA Notable Book) and continues Isabella Hawkins' thrilling adventures. Kelly gave guests at the legendary Queensland Support Group High Tea a sneak preview of The Sultan’s Eyes. She also spent a week in residence at the State Library of Queensland. See More

    http://www.kellygardiner.com/

  • Krista Bell
    2011

    ‘Without (the) May Gibbs (Trust) I would never have 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.’

    Krista developed Troubles in Tuscany, a junior novel for 8-12 year old readers. She developed the entire storyline and the characterisations in Brisbane because – as she says – “only then did have the opportunity to pause and piece together all my inspirational Italian experiences of the past two years and weave them into a story.” As part of this Fellowship the Trust’s Brisbane support group organised the launch of Krista’s paperback Lofty’s Mission, which she wrote in Canberra on a May Gibbs Trust residency back in 2004. See More
  • Lorraine Marwood
    2016

    "Without this important time I just wouldn't have completed the verse novel, which is now in the hands of publishers. Thank you to all involved in making these fellowships possible - the life blood of Australian children's authors, poets and illustrators."

    Lorraine preceded her official fellowship working in residence as part of the Ipswich Poetry Feast. During this time she led a full week of schools-based poetry workshops. She then enjoyed a prolific fellowship, completing Leave Taking, a verse novel of 5500 words. Lorraine also wrote two "seasons" of her seasonal colour poetry picture book, 7000 words of her fantasy novel (working title Marmi), re-wrote and completed two picture book texts Saturday and Joe's Old Ute, looked at a picture book text Clifftops, that needed a better ending, wrote seven new poems, 1500 words of a small fantasy story about a fairy called Fuschia (a small chapter book for a younger audience), looked at a verse novel she'd already completed, rewriting it in two voices, and restored her big family novel with a 1500 word rewrite. Lorraine was able to meet her Queensland schools' booking agent face to face and take part in the centenary celebration in honour of The School Magazine, NSW, organised by SCBWI at the Brisbane City Library. Lorraine says that she was delighted to be able to attend this event, renewing friendships, meeting new authors and celebrating a magazine that has, over the years, fostered her children's poetry.

    http://www.lorrainemarwood.com

  • Marianne Musgrave
    2016

    “Without the fellowship, I would not have been able to write this book. I was able to hold the story together in my head without any of the distractions of home.”

    The majority of Marianne’s time was devoted to researching her children’s book, Blackbird (working title) about the labour trade between the South Sea Islands and Australia in the 1860’s and ’70’s. Marianne’s story centres around a boy from the New Hebrides, who is kidnapped and transported to the sugarcane fields of Mackay to work as an indentured labourer.   She spent much of her time in the State Library in the microfilm section and in the special collections area researching relevant legislation, historic farming practices, diaries from the time period, hand written speech notes written by prominent anti-slave labour advocates, newspaper articles of the day and transcripts from Royal Commissions into the labour trade which included verbatim reports by South Sea Islander people.    With each new piece of research, the story and characters developed. Following a discussion with a librarian at John Oxley Library whose family were sugarcane farmers, Marianne retitled her book, Black Snow. This is the term the locals used to describe the black ash that drifted across the landscape when they set the cane fields alight.   Marianne used her 2016 Max Fatchen Fellowship (awarded biennially to a children’s writer in the SA Premier’s Awards for Literature) to travel to Vanuatu to continue her research. See More

    http://mariannemusgrove.com.au

  • Mark Carthew
    2013

    ‘The 2013 May Gibbs Children’s Literature Trust Creative Time Fellowship has been much more than a residency. While the main aim of providing focused creative time to achieve a writing objective was important and also successful (as I completed a picture book manuscript); it also signalled a fresh and vibrant reflection my life as a professional writer. The award was affirmation by my peers and I was being entrusted with some funded time to produce something special. As my first residency this was part of a long creative journey and I have felt remarkably privileged to have had the time to not only to develop new ideas and projects, but also to reflect on the roads less travelled and future options associated with my creative life. In many ways I have felt like an ambassador and I have proudly worn the badge of MGLCT Fellow throughout the year. The fellowship has also encouraged interest in and respect for my work and provided further opportunities for events, festivals and school visits – both nationally and internationally. It has also provided terrific personal motivation to live up to the creative output expectations of awardees and I have greatly enjoyed the way it has provided further opportunity to develop relationships and networks within the children’s literature community'.

    Mark worked on a manuscript with the working title: Where’s Moose, Bruce?, a sequel to his title The Moose is Loose. He also engaged in some research at the Brisbane Central State Library Branch looking at story structure in his genre, as well as some conceptual thinking about value products associated with this specific project― including an accompanying song with the same title (Carthew / Fairbairn), which he fine tuned whilst in residence, teacher notes, merchandise and website material. Mark met well over 200 children whilst in residence at the State Library of Queensland.

    http://www.markcarthew.com.au

  • Sherryl Clark
    2014

    “My Fellowship ... has shown me what I can achieve with support and the “mechanics” that allow total involvement in creative work.”

    Sherryl took several projects to work on during her Fellowship. Most of her work was spent on a verse novel that was in bits and pieces. She says that being able to spread out (and clip outlines to the venetian blinds above the table) was very beneficial. In the context of her PhD Sherryl had the specific aim of visiting GOMA to view the installation, “Falling Back to Earth”. She wrote a fairy tale after this and feels that the combination of the installation and the writing peace and quiet engendered by being in the apartment was the impetus. As part of Brisbane Writers Week, Sherryl attended a poetry workshop with Simon Armitage, which fed directly into her work. She also undertook a huge revision of a science fiction novel and completed about 14,000 words of a brand new work. Sherryl also met students from schools far and wide in workshops organised by the State Library of Queensland. See More

    http://www.sherrylclark.com

Host City - Canberra

  • Bruce Mutard
    2013

    ‘Just wanted to say thanks again for the wonderful opportunity you’ve given me this past month. Although half my time here was diverted into other activities than my novel, I did do some serious work on it. I also especially enjoyed meeting so many new and lovely people here, many of whom I think will be friends for life.’

    Bruce divided his time between working on his new graphic novel, The Fight, the second volume of the Robert Wells Trilogy and making a range of appearances around Canberra, including Impact Comics, the You Are Here zine fair and the ACT Writers Centre.

    http://www.brucemutard.com.au/

  • Dawn Hort
    2010
    Dawn Hort worked from 1 – 30 May on the second draft of 007 Robot Thief, the first in a series for Scholastic. Her Fellowship time allowed her to double the word length. She also began a new story, The Stone Birds, and drafted a range of ideas for subsequent books in the series. While in Canberra, Dawn visited the National Museum of Australia with the particular goal of seeing its largest working exhibit, the Paddle Steamer ‘Enterprise’, which provided background to her forthcoming steam punk novel series The Time Seekers. Dawn met over 100 children through her sessions at Yass Public School and Erindale Library. She also met a small group of writers with a mental illness. Her networking opportunities arose through meetings with the Speculative Fiction Guild, the Lu Rees Archives, the Tuggeranong Library, the Dickson Library and the University of Canberra.
  • Deb Abela
    2014

    “The main benefit has to be the concentrated time spent writing. I wrote every day and had uninterrupted swathes of time to think and create. This was perfect! The chance to meet local authors, illustrators and teacher librarians was also brilliant!”

    Deb completed a third draft of New City, the sequel to her novel, Grimsdon. (Deb worked on Grimsdon, published in 2010 by Random House, during her 2008 Fellowship in Adelaide.) New City is for readers aged 8-12 and is published by Random House. Deb also researched and worked on the first draft of an historical fiction called A New World For Theresa. This title will be for the same age group and published by Scholastic. Deb led the very first Canberra Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) meeting. She described it as a great chance to meet local writers. She led a writing workshop at the ACT Writers Centre, presented at the ACT Children’s Book Council AGM and met 120 students at Canberra Girls Grammar. See More

    http://deborahabela.com

  • Greg Holfield
    2012
    Greg made use of the Australian War Memorial to research his graphic novel, “An Anzac Tale.” His research also included a meeting with historian Peter Stanley. During his two-part Fellowship Greg drafted then completed the finished pencil illustrations. His public appearances included an ABC Radio Canberra interview with Louise Maher discussing children's graphic novels and a book signing at Impact Comics.

    http://www.panicproductions.com.au

  • Malcolm Walker
    2011

    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.

    Malcolm opted for the focus, solitude and discipline of uninterrupted creative time, working on the first book in the trilogy City of Thieves. The trilogy aims to blend fantasy and social realism, while mirroring contemporary teenage issues. He finished a complete working draft almost ready for submission to his agent, as well as achieving a considerable amount of research and some chapters of the second and third books in the trilogy. He also took the chance to edit and re-draft some of his existing work. See More
  • Pam Harvey
    2015

    ‘There is no feeling like waking up in the morning knowing that the job for the day is to get writing. I have never had that much time specifically for writing before and it was a great gift. Since returning to ‘normal’ life, with its full time day job and other dramas, it seems like a dream! But it has also made me plan for more dedicated time chunks for my writing as it certainly moves a project along when you have dedicated time to plan, think and write.’

    Pam worked on four main pieces of work: A revision of a YA novel called ‘Earth and Stars’ so that it was ready for a manuscript development assessment paid for by a VicArts Grant received for 2014 A short story called ‘Tristram and Belle’ which will be published in an online anthology through Printz Charming Bools The first draft of a chapter book for younger readers called ‘Art and Arthur’ and A second draft of a new YA novel called ‘Roar’. The latter benefitted from time spent researching elements of the war in Afghanistan at The Australian War Memorial Pam was also invited to speak at the CBCA ACT branch ‘Creators’ night’ where she met many other local writers.

    http://pamharvey.com.au

  • Pam Rushby
    2012

    “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.”

    Pam undertook research at the Australian War Memorial for two historical novels, one for children and one for young adults. She developed full outlines for both novels and wrote a good half of the first draft of one novel. Pam gave an interview on ABC radio with Genevieve Jacobs and a talk about her most recent novel at the time of her Fellowship - The Horses Didn't Come Home, (HarperCollins 2012) - at the Paperchain Bookstore, Manuka. See More

    http://www.pamelarushby.com/

  • Prue Mason
    2013

    What a gift – a whole month of time to live inside the heads of my flying heroes – it was a blast and it’s all thanks the May Gibbs Children’s Literature Trust.

    Prue developed a children’s non-fiction book on Australian aviation history from the point of view of the pilots who made the history. This was perfect terrain for Prue who is a private pilot and owns a vintage aircraft. See More

    http://www.pruemason.com

  • Richard Yaxley
    2015

    To be given the time and space to create is nothing less than wonderful… I loved being able to clear my head of the clutter than defines everyday living and think of little else but my novel. Being in Canberra during the stillness and peace of autumn really aided this process. More than anything, though, the Fellowship reminded me that I am a capable writer; my work does have value, both intrinsic and extrinsic – and I can negotiate this often difficult and lonely path. The Fellowship went a long way towards reinstalling my sense of self-worth as a creator. For that I am particularly grateful.

    Although part of Richard’s time was taken up with reorganising the micro-structures of the larger (as yet untitled) work he was able to complete, to draft level, one full section and most of another, approximately thirty thousand words. He also took advantage of Canberra’s resources, specifically the National Museum, National Library and Australian War Memorial, to further his research and ‘cement’ a number of concepts that he already had in place. As part of his research, Richard met with Judy Hickson and Jono Lineen, both curators at the National Museum. He also enjoyed speaking to the ACT Branch of the CBA and ran a short story writing workshop with a small group of children at the Tuggeranong Library

    http://richardyaxley.com

  • Ursula Dubosarsky
    2014

    “Being away from the routine of home and being alone meant that I could slip into and prolong that zone of creativity much more effectively than I have been able to for many years. It was an amazing feeling to wake up in the morning and … think, well I’ve got nothing to do but write! And so I did. It was a real privilege.”

    Ursula’s creative time focused mainly on The Blue Cat, a novel for older readers. She says she managed to unravel some of the most knotted up bits, recast them and knit them up in a new pattern. She also worked on the final pages of The Cryptic Casebook of Coco Carlomagno: The Dismal Daffodil published by Allen and Unwin.

    http://ursuladubosarsky.com

Host City - Melbourne

  • Brenton Mckenna
    2010
    Brenton McKenna’s creative time (22 May – 5 June) allowed him to complete the inking stage of his illustrations. He also engaged strongly with his target audience, meeting a little over 60 young people through workshops at Eltham Secondary School and the WOW Group, as well as a function for Urban Youth. He also conducted a week of workshops with Signal Art Studio, which gave him the opportunity to network with other professional artists.
  • Clare McFadden
    2011
    Clare completed the research period and concept development for her second (working) title Book of Hours. This included taking extensive reference photos for illustrations and completing a first draft of the words. Clare was also in residence at the children’s cultural venue, Artplay, and at The Book Factory, a Melbourne Writers Festival event organised by Kids Own Publishing. In the course of this work she met and worked with over 215 children.