Meet the Hot Desk Fellows: third round for 2015

Over the next two months, our incoming third round of 2015 Hot Desk fellows will be calling the Wheeler Centre home as they tackle some wildly ambitious projects. 

From lyric essays to Lysistrata revamps, stories about adult dancing and apparitions, and contemplations of disability and death, the work these writers will produce promises to challenge, entertain, confront and inspire – and the Wheeler Centre is proud to offer these writers the space to produce it.

As always, the five writers in this round will receive a desk of their own at the Wheeler Centre for two months, plus a $1000 stipend, thanks to the Readings Foundation.

Li-Kim Chuah, Messy Moves (television script)

Has your mother ever tried to resell a used vibrator? Has she smuggled gas cylinders back from Bali - post bombings? Has she taken bread from the homeless?  I can answer YES to all these questions – and as a cheaper alternative to therapy, I’ve decided to give my mother her own TV show, Messy Moves. A six part, half hour comedy series; Messy Moves centres on the chalk and cheese, mother daughter duo, Bessy and Mia, as they throw themselves into the world of Melbourne’s adult dance craze.

Clem Bastow, STRIKE (screenplay)

STRIKE is a comedy screenplay inspired by Aristophanes' Lysistrata. The script will plough the Greek comedy's sexual politics into a post-'Sony hack' entertainment industry landscape, and set 'fourth wave' feminism in its cross hairs. Upon discovering her less-experienced male peers are being paid much more than her, Laura, the award-winning host of Treasure Hunt (an Antiques Roadshow-esque series), launches a sex strike in order to gain more editorial control and equal pay. Laura and her female co-hosts convince the male hosts’ and crew's wives and girlfriends to join in, but as the show dissolves into chaos as blue-balled male hosts start dropping priceless vases, Laura begins to wonder if there might be more to life than corporate equality.

Astrid Edwards, We Don’t Talk About (non-fiction blogging project)

Astrid Edwards' Wheeler Centre Hot Desk project is We Don’t Talk About. The purpose of the project is to start conversations and to talk about the hard things; the hard things associated with chronic and invisible diseases. It is a forum to share the darker thoughts that don't often make it to the dinner table conversation, about illness and disease, relationships and family, finances, sex, assisted suicide and dying. Because these are thoughts deserve to be shared. The goal of We Don’t Talk About is not to be bleak; it is to be honest. Chronic and invisible diseases can be hard to live with. Astrid’s experience after her diagnosis with Multiple Sclerosis in 2013 led to this project. In the depths of her despair, she was able to find practical and medical information easily, but stories from real people about the dark thoughts that a life changing diagnosis prompts were harder to come by. It is her hope that those with chronic disease find what they may be looking for at We Don't Talk About.

Georgia Symons, You Can Tell Everybody But Me (stage play)

Fresh out of uni, Max has just died in a car crash. To celebrate, his good friend Jem invites him over for pasta, music, and a chance to chat about the good old days before the accident. As the stories flow, we travel with Jem and Max into their shared past – high school embarrassments and struggles, teenage nights that seemed to never end, and their first tentative steps into an adulthood that only one of them would reach. But beneath all of their in-jokes and anecdotes, there's one story – one night – they never got a chance to talk about. Now, Max's death has forced Jem to tell the story neither of them could find words for. You Can Tell Everybody But Me is playful on its surface, but mines the territory of painful secrets between friends, and how to find closure on something you need to believe didn't happen.

Sam van Zweden, Eating with my Mouth Open (essay collection)

Eating with my Mouth Open is a collection of lyric essays and vignettes which explores the intersections between memory and food. Our relationships with food seem to rest heavily on emotional associations, and so food becomes far more than simply fuel for the body. Food becomes important for the stories it is used to tell, for its possibilities as a source of human connection. Part memoir, part investigative journey, Eating with my Mouth Open aims to reproduce the texture of both memory and food in its writing.

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