Rural and Regional Only Connect Digital Writer in Residence Announced

By: 
Writers Victoria

A portrait of Bel Woods

Writers Victoria is so pleased to announce the recipient of our Only Connect Digital Writer Residency for Carers: Regional and Rural Writers for 2019.  Bel Woods is a Victorian writer, residing in Ballarat. She enjoys both contemporary and lyrical literary fiction, especially the exploration of female characters within these contexts. She is currently a WoMentoring Project mentee, under the guidance of Emma Viskic, and her writing achievements include publications in WesterlyVerity La, page seventeenVine Leaves, and The Victorian Writer, among others. A judge for the residency said of Bel’s work: ‘I was hooked on this excerpt the moment I read the first paragraph…Her voice is distinctive and her writing shows a tremendous amount of promise. I look forward to reading more of Bel’s work.” During her ‘Only Connect …’ residency, Bel is hoping to build on her first full-length, non-fiction work.

Earlier this year, Writers Victoria announced two Digital Writers in Residency places, for writers who are carers. The first resident was Melbourne-based writer Nancy Langham-Hooper, who completed her six-month residency in July. Carers, a role occupied primarily by women, continue to face many barriers to artistic and professional development, including caring responsibilities, the expense of child, respite, or external care, socio-economic status, location and distance to metropolitan areas. This residency aims to support creative practice and enhance professional development in a way that respects the writers’ life circumstances.

As the Digital Writer in Residence, Bel will be provided paid writing and subsidised professional development opportunities including, but not limited to:

  • A stipend to support her writing and funding for childcare/respite care
  • Three paid commissions of 800-1000 words to be published through Writers Victoria channels and/or partner outlets
  • Provision of a complimentary Writers Victoria membership
  • Complimentary access to online and/or in-person workshops
  • Profile-raising and facilitated networking opportunities
  • Paid opportunity to appear as part of the Digital Writers Festival, forthcoming in October 2019. 

The Only Connect Digital Writer Residency for Carers project is supported by the City of Melbourne Arts Grants Program.