Blog,  Writing

I won the inaugural KSP – Varuna Foundation Fellowship

What is a writing foundation fellowship?

In A Room of One’s Own Virginia Woolf argues and advocates for women to have a room of their own to write in where they are free from all the other duties and responsibilities one has to undertake in the business of living or running a house or working and so on. Male writers in the past have often benefitted from having a spouse who could keep everything going while they had the free time and space to write. Writing fellowships vary in what is involved or offered but this idea of having time to write free from other concerns underpins the KSP-Varuna Foundation Fellowship in particular.

This is an important point – that the creation of art requires carving out some space and time in a person’s busy life to work at it. Sometimes this is a nigh impossibility, sometimes it is possible to outsource work or errands or chores to someone else or to somehow sacrifice something else like sleep in order to get some creative work done.

The Foundation Fellowship

So the Katherine Susannah Pritchard Writers’ Centre and Varuna House partnered up this year to offer an inaugural Foundation Fellowship. Both writing centres regularly offer residencies and fellowships but this was the first time someone could win a fellowship that took place at both centres.

The fellowship is offered at a subsidised cost, meaning the writer in question still pays a little bit towards the cost of staying at the centre.

This year, I applied, at the behest of someone else and right at the eleventh hour. And I won the Foundation Fellowship much to my shock and surprise. It is still sinking in that I have won a national fellowship.

Part of staying at both these writers’s centres is the ability to chat to other writers who will be there at the same time, to have some peace and quiet to do some writing in and the excuse to disengage from everything else I would otherwise have to do in order to just write.

So I will spend one week at the KSP Writers’ Centre in WA from 28 May 2018 to 3 June 2018. Later on in the year, I will be spending another week at Varuna House in the Blue Mountains in NSW. When I know the exact dates I will let you know.

My thanks to KSP and Varuna for putting together this fellowship in the first place. I plan to make the most of it.


The Plan

So if Sedition is at the most awesome editor in the world Zoya Patel‘s current abode, then what will I be working on?

Gin and Tonic.

I am hoping for it to become a crime fiction novel based in Sri Lanka. I say hoping because I have a vague germ of an idea and I will need to see if it can come together and work.

  1. My final goal for the book’s complete first draft is about 50,000 to 70,000 words.
  2. I want to complete as much of the draft as I can by the end of 2018.
  3. I want to be writing during the first week of the Fellowship – by the end of May I need to have already started writing or be ready to start as soon as the Fellowship week starts. I cannot be researching or editing during that week.
  4. I want a somewhat regular writing practice. My life goes up and down and sideways all the time but my saving grace was #thesisfridays where I worked on Sedition and my two friends worked on their PhD theses. So I need to find something similar.
  5. To help with getting into gear and working on this bloody book (if I am swearing about it, I am already deep in the process), I want to document my progress each week with working out plot ideas, research and characters and any writing I have done. So I will be posting on this blog every Friday with a Fellowship update. Hopefully that will also be helpful in promoting the Fellowship and the writing centres and letting writers know what a Fellowship is actually like and what it entails.If you are keen to follow along, subscribe to the blog or the mailing list.


  1. Tell me how you organise your writing groups if you are in any. And tell me what you are working on book wise.
  2. Check back next week for the first update.
  3. Tell me in the comments what sort of things you want to know about with each progress update.



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