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Early last week I officially announced that I had been selected as one of three young writers for a residency at the Katharine Susannah Prichard centre in the Perth Hills.
While it's not for a couple of months, this residency means a great deal to me because it is giving me a clear goal to work towards with my novel, currently titled Between the Sleepers. The overall idea of the Young Writers Residency is to work towards having something ready for publication, and I hope that after a good ten days in the historical home of Katharine Susannah Prichard, my novel will be well on the way of being finished. Who knows, 2015 could just be The Year of Sending It Out.
Katharine's Place is the home of the Katharine Susannah Prichard Foundation, an organisation which helps to advance the profile of Writers in Western Australia through running workshops, writing groups, competitions, and of course, it's residency. Each year, the Centre hosts an Established Writer In Residence and three Emerging Writers in Residence, as well as three Young Writers In Residence who stay at the centre all at once. In 2014, Paddy O'Reilly was the Established Writer In Residence, and through her involvement with the Centre, I gained much more of an appreciation for her work. Writers in Residence participate in workshops and writing groups, as well as attending Literary Dinners with the general public, at which they read their work. I am quite looking forward to this, although I may be wrong when I picture a Zelda and Scott Fitzgerald type affair at which I am required to wear a sequined ballgown... (But who was it that said one can never be OVER dressed for a social occasion?)
The foundation was set up in 1985- which means that it's been going for nearly thirty years. My first association with the centre was in January 2008, when I enrolled in the School Holiday Write-a-rama program, after deciding once and for all that writing was the only job for me. I was the oldest attendee, barring the visiting writers, the co-ordinator, and the University student who was helping her out. But I still had enormous fun, and the biggest thing to come out of that was the creation of this blog, after local writer Lee Battersby talked to us about the value of a blogging platform. Katharine's Place was originally built in 1910 as a holiday home for the Headmaster of Guildford Grammar, but it became the home of Hugo Throssell and Katharine Susannah Prichard in 1919, just after their marriage. It is a beautiful, historical building with wooden floors and sweeping views of the Australian bush as you look out across the backyard. No doubt I will find this environment very inspiring, very hot (as it will be December), and somewhat scary at night...
Katharine herself was a prolific writer, and I plan on taking her novel Haxby's Circus with me when I go.
I want to take this opportunity to thank the KSP board for choosing me, as I am very much looking forward to my stay.
***Information in this post came from www.kspf.iinet.net.au***