During my CTR Fellowship in 2013 I will be a resident of Adelaide for one month in a self-contained 'writer's retreat' appartment owned by the May Gibbs Children's Literature Trust. Whilst there I will be able to concentrate fully and without distraction on my children's novel and my illustrated picture book in progress. I'll also have the opportunity to work as an author-in-residence at one of the local schools, giving workshops and talks on the craft of writing and illustrating for children.
The timing couldn't be better; next year my youngest will begin university. With the shadow of my son’s final year at school slipping away into the dawn of adulthood, I am now free to pursue my own dreams.
I chose Adelaide as my first choice for a CTR Fellowship as I would like to broaden my network of friends in the wonderful children’s writing and illustrating community. One of the highlights of my stay will also be the Writers' Week, Adelaide Festival. I just can't wait, and I relish the thought of sitting in a cafe in Adelaide's leafy suburbs observing, sketching and writing.
A Creative Time Residential Fellowship in 2013 is the next step in my career planning. After a very difficult year of family illness and grief, the award of the CTR Fellowship has lifted my heart and my spirit. I see it as an acknowledgment of my ability to produce beautiful art and an opportunity to bring the two projects I have been resolutely chipping away at closer to completion.
Front cover from Gum-nut Babies, 1916, May Gibbs.
From the State Library of NSW's collection
I'd like to sincerely thank the May Gibbs Children's Literature Trust for the wonderful work they do in support of Australian children's authors and illustrators. By providing the opportunity, the gift of time and a quiet space to create, inspire and strive, the trust continues to honour the legacy of literary heritage our own May Gibbs (MBE) left us. In the words of the trust:
"The members of MGCLT are passionate about Australia's cultural heritage and appreciate the contribution May Gibbs made to our cultural environment. Their purpose is to ensure that the high quality of work attained by May Gibbs in her time is achieved by contemporary Australian children's authors and illustrators; that they are able to retain the Australian voice and to develop the literary heritage of the future."
I am truly honoured, humbled and grateful to have been awarded this fellowship.
To view more of May Gibbs' original artwork and learn about her legacy of children's literature, check out the State Library of NSW's May Gibbs collection online here. It is absolutely inspiring and a fabulous online exhibition. You can zoom in to view the artworks so close each brush mark is clearly visible.