Residency Round-Up: Week One

This month I have the incredible privilege of being writer-in-residence at Katherine Susannah Prichard Writers Centre in Greenmount, Western Australia where I am staying in the sweetest little cabin, including what I think may be the most comfortable reading chair I’ve ever sat in.

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I kicked-off my residency by launching the anthology Paper Tiger, created by the Writefree Women Writers group, who have been meeting here at KSP for eighteen years! They were such a lovely bunch of ladies, and a truly supportive community which is such an important thing for a writer to have, at any career stage.

On Monday afternoon I visited the poet’s workshop. I wrote my first poem in about twenty years! It was great fun. The rest of my time was spent at my huge desk in front of  a lovely wide window overlooking an overgrown garden, with a view of the city framed by two big old gum trees.


My project for my residency is a brand new novel, tentatively titled Self/Help. It is the story of a mother who attempts to overcome her post-natal depression by embarking on a rather dubious self-help program which leads to somewhat mixed outcomes. It is exciting and also rather scary to begin a new project – I know I have many challenges ahead of me, especially in terms of tone, as I attempt to balance the gravity of the issue of depression with the levity of family life. I am feeling my way slowly as I get to know my characters and try to find a voice for this piece. I got off to a flying start with 8000 words in my first week: so far, so good. I hope very much I can keep up that pace as the residency continues.

12 thoughts on “Residency Round-Up: Week One”

  1. I hope you’re having lots and lots of fun, and taking many notes so that you can give me some fun tips for when I am there next month, hehe!! What’s cooking dinner there like, for example? You’ve had pretty lovely weather for an idyllic setting like KSP! Please post more updates of your stay, I’m very curious 😛

    Also your new book sounds very interesting.


    1. Thanks Emily. My fun tips so far are that the shop up the road sells Connoisseur icecreams AND English sweets. Dangerous! I haven’t cooked dinner in the main house – I’ve been eating salads or microwavable food in my cabin – I’m a little bit scared to go in the house on my own at night! More updates to follow…

    1. Yes, I like to keep trying new things Louise. i sort of wish I’d signed up for NaNo this year – but doing my own private Nano. I don’t think I’ll write 50K but I’m hoping for at least 30. Are you doing NaNo?

  2. I am looking forward to meeting you again at your KSP Literary Dinner tonight. It is wonderful that you speak so fondly of the KSP Writers Centre. You words will go a ing way to inspire other authors, aspiring, emerging or established to come and stay with us.
    I look forward to hearing all about the progress of your new work.
    Tabetha – Member of the KSP Board of Management.

  3. This post alone is enough to inspire me to achieve my dreams and be a real writer! So glad your new book is going well!

    1. I’m doing two weeks, then a week’s break, and then another two weeks. I found on my last residency that i couldn’t sustain the kind of output I was hoping for, for an entire month. I got burnt out, so hopefully the break this week will let my brain regenerate a little.

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