Wheeler Centre Hot Desk Fellowships 2014: Introducing the Fellows

After much deliberation over the 147 brilliant applications received, the Wheeler Centre is delighted to announce the winners of this year’s Hot Desk Fellowships, supported by the Readings Foundation.

Image courtesy of Nicola Sapiens De Mitri.

Twenty lucky writers were chosen by a selection panel that included representatives from the Wheeler Centre and our resident organisations: Melbourne Writers Festival, Emerging Writers Festival, SPUNC, Australian Poetry, Express Media, Writers Victoria and Melbourne PEN. The winners will receive a desk of their own at the Wheeler Centre for two months, plus a $1000 stipend.

The writers who’ll be participating in this year’s fellowship are: André Dao, Aurelia Guo, Bernadette Hince, Chad Parkhill, Christa Jonathon, Claire Wilson, Dan Bledwich, Eli Glasman, Elin-Maria Evangelista, Emily Stewart, Ender Baskan, Jennifer Down, Kieran Stevenson, Laura Woollett, Louis Bravos, Meaghan Bell, Rajith Savanadasa, Rebecca Harkins-Cross, Sebastian Fowler, and Susie Anderson.

Congratulations to all our winners. Here’s a short introduction to the writers and projects for our first intake for the year, starting Monday 12 May.

Dan Bledwich, Untitled (Memoir)

Dan Bledwich was a timid, blue-eyed country kid who grew into a six-foot queer callboy. And nobody was more surprised by this than him. His memoir explores the hell-ride from sticks to big smoke, focusing on the primary theme of growing up in regional Australia in an environment of abuse and neglect, and intense schoolyard bullying. Make no mistake: this isn’t therapy, it’s revenge.

Jennifer Down, Convalescence (Short stories)

Convalescence is a collection of short stories that explores the silences between people. A middle-aged widower visits a cheap walk-in massage parlour because he misses being touched. Two ex-lovers pretend their relationship is still alive for the last week of his mother’s life. Convalescence is attuned to the intimate patterns and rituals of daily life. The stories pause for breath at the moment of disaster, or ecstasy, or doom, in the day-to-day.

Sebastian Fowler, Bat the Raven (Children’s fiction)

Bat the Raven is a children’s book about a young raven growing up in his community, schooled by the Raven Elders. Drawing on raven mythology and real facts about the crow/raven family intelligence and behaviours, this is a darkly comical, whimsical illustrated children’s book.

Aurelia Guo, The Weather Report, (Performance/poetry)

The Weather Report is a performance poetry series of found and self-authored fragments, taken from the internet, daily life and social interactions. The Weather Report has its origins in writing and ideas, particularly poetry and theory from the mid-twentieth century onward. It is also a form of text-based theatre, related to stand-up comedy and to absurdist drama.

Bernadette Hince, The Grand Polar Dictionary (Non-fiction)

Since the mid-twentieth century, the Arctic has shed more than just ice. The ways of life of northern peoples have altered radically in the last 60 or 70 years, and with the adoption and integration of Western cultural practices, older habits have rapidly disappeared. Many of the words to describe them have also gone, or are fading. The Grand Polar Dictionary will document language and culture both in present-day Arctic life and in practices which have largely vanished.

Rajith Savanadasa, Moonstone Revisited (Fiction)

A novel or collection of linked stories that re-interprets the semicircular stone slab known as a moonstone (or Sandakada Pahana) in Sri Lanka. Told through distinctly voiced individuals within a family unit, Moonstone Revisited examines issues of class, ethnicity, war, religion and connectedness in modern Sri Lanka. It is an attempt to introduce equality as a crucial component to the idea of nirvana, the lotus pattern at the centre of every moonstone.

Laura Woollett, The Love of a Bad Man (Short stories)

A schoolgirl catches the eye of the future leader of Nazi Germany. An aspiring playwright writes to a convicted serial killer, seeking inspiration. A pair of childhood sweethearts reunites to commit rape and murder. A devoted Mormon wife follows her husband into the wilderness, after he declares himself a prophet. The Love of a Bad Man is a proposed collection of short stories, spotlighting the women who have stood by some of history’s most sinister men. Whether mistresses, accomplices, or victims themselves, these women have something in common: they have all felt the allure of evil.