How to be a jolly good fellow

Heritage wooden desks and chairs in the La Trobe Reading Room
Inside the La Trobe Reading Room beneath the SLV Dome

I'm sitting at my 'Hot Desk' at the Wheeler Centre and feeling a little bit guilty for writing a blog post as the reason I applied for this fellowship was so I could exclusively focus on my new YA novel - 'The Year it All Ended'.

I've been coming into the city four days a week to work on the novel which is a huge and convoluted epic set in 1919. It tells the story of four teenage sisters and what happened to them in the wake of WWI. The book is starting to come together, at last, though yesterday I slashed 5,000 words from it and wound up slumping home feeling stuck in the two-steps forward, one step back stage. But despite the odd setback, the Wheeler Centre fellowship has helped me focus my energy on this beast of a book and get it in harness. There are four other 'fellows' working on the 4th floor and when everyone is at their desks you get a powerful sense of the energy involved in creating new work.

The Wheeler Centre Fellowship has also given me the chance to spend a lot more time next door in the State Library of Victoria. There are so many fabulous treasures in the SLV, I never get tired of exploring the collection.

In 2006, I received a Creative Fellowship from the State Library of Victoria. It made it possible for me to write my novel 'India Dark' and deepened my love of the SLV. For me, the SLV is the heart of Melbourne.  Creative Fellows of the SLV receive funding to support a research project plus a dedicated space inside the library where they can work.

This year, I've been invited to be a member of the committee that will select the 2013 SLV Creative Fellowships. Yesterday, I met with other members of the committee in a meeting room overlooking La Trobe Street. It's exciting to be continuing my relationship with the SLV in a new way and I'm looking forward to reading the applications from prospective Creative Fellows. There are eight fellowships on offer plus, this year only, four special 'Dome Centenary Fellowships' to mark the 100th anniversary of the beautiful dome of the library.

Creative fellowships are open to Australian residents in any discipline or form of expression. New and digital media artists, visual artists, musicians and composers, writers in all disciplines and subjects, independent scholars and creators working either in collaboration or independently can apply to be jolly SLV fellows. It's a fantastic opportunity to enrich a creative project by accessing the resources of the State Library of Victoria.

Dome centenary fellowships are open to individuals and community groups.

Applications need to be submitted by 22 March, 2013.  


















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