New digital writers-in-residence program for carers in 2019

Tuesday, September 4, 2018
By: 
Angela Savage

Writers Victoria will launch a new digital writers-in-residence program for carers in 2019, thanks to an arts grant from the City of Melbourne.

‘Only Connect: Digital Residencies for Writers Who Are Carers’ will provide six-month, digital writer-in-residence and professional development programs for two Victorian writers who face significant barriers to participation in the writing community due to their primary role as carers.

‘The ‘Only Connect’ project represents a unique and timely opportunity to recognise and support the writers who spend their time supporting others,’ says Writers Victoria Director Angela Savage. ‘While Writers Victoria has a long track record of supporting writers who face barriers, our research revealed that primary carers are often left out.’

The two writers will receive mentoring and editing support, together with opportunities for networking, publication and fully subsidised participation in professional development workshops and seminars.

‘Writing by its nature is isolating, but carers of all kinds have an extra measure of isolation,’ Savage says. ‘The project will connect otherwise isolated writers with the writing community and with audiences for their work.’

The two residents will be selected through an open application process. To accommodate participants’ caring duties, the residencies are digital (online), but they will also include opportunities and support for the writers to build their publishing portfolio across several platforms, work with an editor and make connections that will further their careers. Through a partnership with the Emerging Writers’ Festival, participants will also have the opportunity to raise their profile by being programmed in a festival. Funding for child care or respite care will be provided.

One of the residencies is specifically for a primary carer who is from a remote or regional community and faces the added barrier of distance from the Melbourne writing community.

‘Only Connect’ is one of 59 arts grants awarded by the City of Melbourne for 2019, six of which were allocated to writing and literature. See here for the full list of City of Melbourne arts grants recipients.

Media comment: Angela Savage, director@writersvictoria.org.au