Wheeler Centre Hot Desk Fellowships 2019: Introducing the Fellows (round one)

Our Hot Desk Fellowships are back, supported by the Readings Foundation – with an additional Playwright Hot Desk Fellowship offered to an emerging female playwright, supported by the Just Pretending theatre group, and three fellowships for regional or interstate writers. These three writers, who could not ordinarily participate in the professional development initiative because of their location, will be provided with a five-week residency at the Norma Redpath Studio in Carlton thanks to a partnership between the University of Melbourne’s Victorian College of the Arts, Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund and the Wheeler Centre.

These 24 fellowships, all of which include a stipend and workspace, have been created simply to give emerging writers the space to write and create. Find out who's been selected, and read what the first intake of fellows have to say about the projects they'll be working on.

The writers who will be participating in this year’s fellowships are: Nic AleaMillie BaylisChristine DaveyVanessa Giron, Bella GreenJosefina HuqNimity JamesHayley Lawson-Smith (playwright fellow), Shannan LimGareth MorganGabriella MunozWhitney MunroeAdalya Nash HusseinJennifer NguyenKaitlyn Plyley, Oliver ReesonSumudu SamarawickramaJasmine ShirrefsCher TanThabani Tshuma and Yen-Rong Wong. The three Hot Desk Fellows undertaking Norma Redpath Studio residencies are fiction writer Geetha Balakrishnan from New South Wales, creative non-fiction writer Rebecca Giggs from Western Australia and poet Yvette Holt from the Northern Territory.

Here’s a short introduction to the writers and projects for our first intake for the year. These writers will be undertaking their projects from Monday 29 April to Friday 5 July.


Photograph of Vanessa Giron

Vanessa Giron
Felt A Sound (fiction)

Felt A Sound is a novel which follows 27-year-old Sofia, who is summoned home from Berlin after receiving the news of her father's suicide. Now back in Footscray again with her family, she must confront the past she ran away from all those years ago, and decide how the loss of her father will affect her future. 

Felt A Sound interrogates culture and tradition inside and outside the home, how these inform our ideas of love and death, and explores the things in relationships that can't be taken back – as well as things left unsaid.


Photograph of Yvette Holt

Yvette Holt
3068 (prose and poetry collection)

I will be completing a collection of poetry and prose titled 3068, the suburban postcode for Fitzroy North. I will be unstitching with grand assertion and rethreading with creative aplomb vaulted constellations including childhood desirability, working class beginnings, Catholic fetishism, the guessing and renaming of body parts, intellectual disengagement, cultural identity, mother|s father|s and daughters, adulthood sexuality, same-sex cougarism versus universal gerascophobia to name a few passing emotional comets.

Self-imposed self-imagery will inform the lacerations of memory recalled through interactive sessions under the influence of psychoanalysis. Bold, uncaged, confrontational, and jet-fuelled with blackfella and Jewish humour, 3068 will go where no other topical collection of First Nations’ Australian poetry or indeed psychoanalytical prose has ever gone before.


Photograph of Josefina Huq

Josefina Huq
The Psychology of Home (short story collection)

I will be working on a suite of short stories inspired by the phenomena of ‘home’. I will be using creative memory activities and prompts in order to write about the homes I have experienced and currently experience.

With this writing I will illustrate the psychological importance of home and demonstrate the benefits of crafting stories through this phenomena. I am hoping to produce publishable pieces which will also work in conjunction with my current PhD thesis topic.


Photograph of Nimity James

Nimity James
Fox dialogues: reports from the natural world (poetry)

I plan to continue working on, and completing, a collection of poems using the everyday language of found poetry. I am exploring the relationship between humans and the natural world and investigating ideas around nature as a transformative power, as consolation and how it can help us find meaning in the world.


Photograph of Adalya Nash Hussein

Adalya Nash Hussein
Private Grief, Public Space (essays)

Private Grief, Public Space is a cultural exploration of how people are biographied in social and news media following high-profile deaths.

The work incorporates psychogeography, cultural criticism, and personal response to my friend's murder and the subsequent media attention her death received.


Photograph of Kaitlyn Plyley

Kaitlyn Plyley
Suddenly 80 (essays)

I'm working to finish my first no-nfiction book manuscript, Suddenly 80 – a collection of essays on being young and disabled in Australia. I draw on my own experiences, having acquired disability in my mid-twenties as a result of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis.

The book is research-based memoir, exploring the history of medicine and disability through my own medical history and disability identity.


Photograph of Cher Tan

Cher Tan
Peripathetic (memoir/criticism/fiction)

Peripathetic is an experimental work that revolves around a place of unbelonging. Straddling genres such as criticism, lyric prose, memoir and autofiction, it's an attempt at collapsing form to underscore its themes (late-stage capitalism, globalisation, the gig economy, identity politics, liminality, et al).

It speaks to my lived experiences as a queer, working-class, non-tertiary educated autodidact and settler-migrant, whose cultural roots stem from sub-cultural settings in both Asia and so-called Australia from the 2000s till now. When even 'in-betweenness' contains multitudes, what does it mean to inhabit amorphous spaces in societies that are always striving to put us into boxes?


Photograph of Thabani Tshuma

Thabani Tshuma
Cultural Nomad (poetry)

This project will use poetry as a medium to explore contemporary culture addressing intersectionality, addiction, spirituality, generational trauma and relationships.

The varying dynamics will be framed through four primary cultural identity apertures: Ethnic, Social, Corporeal and Spiritual. The project will be rooted in my personal experience as a 'cultural nomad.' 

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