Writer in Residence

I”ve been neglecting this blog for the last few weeks, with much work on my desk, and a busy time pending, at the Peter Cowan Writers Centre, in Perth, where I will be writer in residence for a month, from 24th September to 21st October.  I will be mentoring writers and facilitating workshops in creative writing, including a workshop for the City of Joondalup Libraries, and facilitating a writer’s retreat weekend, hosted by Peter Cowan Writers Centre Inc. Community activities for the residency are proudly supported by the City of Joondalup as part of the Community Cultural and Arts Development Fund. For the research component of my residency, funded by the Peter Cowan Writers Centre Inc, I am continuing with the biography I am writing on Fairbridge single parents and their children.  This research was initially funded by a DCA (WA) grant in 2010. My residency at Peter Cowan Writers Centre Inc enables me to do follow-up research and complete the writing.

If you’d like to know more about the program, or register for any of the events if you happen to be resident or visiting in Perth at that time, have a look at the program by clicking on the link for Peter Cowan Writers Centre,  and then on the sub-links for writer in residence.

Hopefully, the research and writing time I will be able to do in the next few weeks in Perth will enable me to bring the Fairbridge biography (which was short-listed for the inaugural Haze Rowley literary fellowship, 2012) to near-completion, and then — da-dum! Publication!! (Publishers, please queue up). Ha ha. Anyone who’s tried writing for publication knows what a hard road it is, a pilgrim’s progress, with many cul de sacs and false turns, and hard hills to climb. But, as the great English poet and thinker, John Milton said, in his pamphlet defending the right to freedom of speech and expression, Areopagitica,  “I cannot praise a fugitive and cloistered virtue, unexercised and unbreathed, that never sallies out and sees her adversary but slinks out of the race, where that immortal garland is to be run for, not without dust and heat.”

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12 Comments

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12 responses to “Writer in Residence

  1. I hope the workshops go well and that you get time to finish the biography, Christina. Let’s hope it gets a chance to “sally out” and earn a garland or two.

  2. Peter Berg

    Congratulations Christina… well done. Nel and I will be in Lismore Mid Dec for 2 weeks Housesitting..Hope to see you again soon..

    On Fri, Sep 14, 2012 at 3:03 PM, Writing Lives

  3. Hello Peter, glad you and Neil are still on planet Earth. Look forward to seeing you in December!

  4. I love the perspective of that quote. Best wishes.

  5. Yes, it is profound. A fugitive and cloistered virtue was mine for many years, until I returned to study and writing. Now I know you just have to keep putting yourself out there, and be a gracious ‘also ran’ but still keep trying to win that immortal garland, or as Gerard Manly Hopkins put it, immortal diamond.

  6. Nice to hear from you Christina … and I love that quote though feel a little chastened by it. Is it too late to change my retiring stripes?

    • I don’t think of you in terms of retiring stripes! Far from it. Never too late; I returned to study and writing at the age of 59, and that was more than a generation ago! Perhaps you changed your stripes without noticing.

  7. Conviction is a hard one. Most artists are never convinced their work has lasting significance or appeal, and some never put pen or brush to paper for other’s eyes. Many writers, including Thoreau, Dickinson, Hopkins, and I’m sure lots more, have been almost unread and unrecognised in their lifetime. But in this age, everyone’s doing it, and there’s an awful lot of ordinary writing out there, and who knows what of it will last or be admired in future generations. But there are lots of diamonds in there too.

    It’s always painful to ‘sally out’.

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