Appearances and residencies

I’m proud to appear in the Word is Out program this year, part of Melbourne’s Midsumma festival.

I’ll be reading a snippet from Tragédie in Works in progress: other times on 19 January. Makes me a tad nervous – nobody but my uni colleagues have heard or read it before.

Then on 22 January I’m part of a panel (in excellent company) called Truth, dare and promises: issues in youth literature. Here’s the blurb:

Could Young Adult fiction be better described as ‘trauma’ fiction? Has it become too dark, or has it always been that way? If pressure on some writers, by agents and publishers, to ‘de-gay’ their characters is just about increasing sales potential, is this homophobic? Have supernatural themes gone too far? What ‘facts of life’ should young people be exposed to?

Sounds pretty good, eh? Wish I could just go along and listen but instead I’ll be trying to either get a word in edgeways or sound like I know what I’m talking about.

Right now I’m blogging as the author in residence on inside a dog, the teen reading website of the State Library of Victoria. (That’s where I work part-time, too – but the residency is part of my author life, not my day job. I know. It’s complicated.

So over there you can find me rambling on about writing and reading and other stuff for the rest of January. Go take a look. Even if you’re not a teen reader. You know you want to.

Now some residency announcements.

I feel both honoured and very lucky to have been awarded residency fellowships for 2012 by Varuna Writers’ House and the May Gibbs Children’s Literature Trust.

Both are precious and named in honour of some of the country’s best loved writers. Varuna is Australia’s national residential writers’ house in the former home of writers Dr Eric Dark and Eleanor Dark, author of The Timeless Land. Varuna is in the Blue Mountains, and I’ll be there in April working on Tragédie

The May Gibbs Children’s Literature Trust supports writers and illustrators of books for children and young people by providing residencies in apartments in Adelaide, Brisbane and Canberra. Its purpose is:

… to ensure that the high quality of work attained by May Gibbs in her time is achieved by contemporary Austrailan children’s authors and illustrators; that they are able to retain the Australian voice and to develop the literary heritage of the future.

What better?

Thanks to the Trust, I’ll be spending a month in Brisbane working furiously on The Sultan’s Eyes over April/May.

So it’s a big year. And we’re only three weeks into it.

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