Wheeler Centre Hot Desk Fellowships 2016: Introducing the Fellows

The Wheeler Centre is delighted to announce the winners of this year’s Hot Desk Fellowships, supported by the Readings Foundation and private donorsTwenty one lucky writers – and two lucky illustrators – were chosen by a selection panel that included representatives from the Wheeler Centre and our resident organisations: Melbourne Writers Festival, Emerging Writers' Festival, Small Press Network, 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. Find out who's been selected, and take a peek at the projects the first intake will be working on.

The writers and illustrators who’ll be participating in this year’s fellowship are: Didem Caia, Bec Fary, Kerrin O'Sullivan, Melody Paloma, Angelina Mirabito, Chris Somerville, Christine Sun, Paul Dalla Rosa, Jessica Knight, Miki Perkins, Nadia Niaz, Laura Stortenbeker, Stephanie Van Schilt, Inga Hanover (Illustration Hot Desk), Hiroki Kobayashi, Yvette Walker (2015 intake), Vidya Rajan, Lou Smith, Fiona Spitzkowsky, Veronica Sullivan, Fury, Lilit Thwaites, Eloise Grills (Illustration Hot Desk).

Here’s a short introduction to the writers and projects for our first intake for the year. These writers will be undertaking their projects at the Wheeler Centre from Monday 2 May to Friday 8 July.

Didem Caia, My Name is War (play)

A stage play set in Turkey and Australia, My Name is War explores the stories of three women, divided by space and time, who share their stories through a journey of poetry, music and storytelling. All three women are imprisoned in one way or another, and the depth to which they long to break free is explored through their individual and collective consciousness.

Bec Fary, SleepTalker (podcast)

SleepTalker is an independent podcast about sleep, dreams, nightmares and what happens in your head after dark. Exploring stories of the night and the people whose minds are shaped by bedtime, a series of new works of fiction will draw on interviews, personal experience, anecdotes and ongoing research to produce sound-rich monologues – exploring the universalities of sleep and the way sleeping patterns can influence intimate relationships.

Kerrin O'Sullivan, Arrivals and Departures (short fiction)  

Arrivals and Departures is a collection of travel-themed short stories exploring longing, the meaning of home, dislocation and alienation, cultural displacement and identity. The new work to be created during the fellowship is a novella focussing on a disparate group of travellers backpacking overland in 1979, who travel into Iran in the early days of the Iranian Islamic revolution.

Melody Paloma, Sinkhole poems (poetry)            

Sinkhole poems is a collection of poems exploring a relationship to place and space in Australia. This project is inherently playful in its nature through form, voice and register. These poems are increasingly aware of how their speaker comes to occupy place and space, and how as poems they actively create new space. These poems move away from mimetic representation and embrace an unstable position as a technology. They are subject to change, response, shifts and multiple levels of understanding.

Angelina Mirabito, Hope (fiction)

Hope Waters is a mature-age psychology student with chronic bulimia. To help her stop and reclaim her life she starts a blog that candidly shares her struggle to recover as well as what her partner teaches about eating disorders at university. The food Hope would otherwise buy to purge now goes with her to the food vans on Flinders Street to feed the homeless. The blog connects Hope with fellow recoverees and feeding the homeless exposes her to the unfortunate predicaments of so many which has her dedicated to recovery.

Chris Somerville, Lake Misery (fiction)

Lake Misery follows the story of a young man called Evan Prentegast who works at a national park located on a mountain, in the wake of the suspicious death of his brother. With Lake Misery, I want to investigate the intersection of responsibility and inaction. While I’m aware of the difficulty of having someone who chooses inaction to drive a story, I’m interested in portraying the awkwardness that arises when people decide not to act.

Christine Sun, Chance Encounter (fiction)

Chance Encounter is a 'choose your own adventure' novel for extremists. The book has seven chapters, each containing 600 words. At the end of each chapter, readers are faced with two options regarding how the story should evolve. In other words, at the end of Chapter One there will be two choices, so that there will be 2 Chapter Twos, 4 Chapter Threes, 8 Chapter Fours, 16 Chapter Fives, 32 Chapter Sixs, and 64 Chapter Sevens. As a result, the book will have a total of 127 chapters as micro stories, each serving as one-seventh of a story line but with its own twists and turns and a climax that prompts careful choosing by readers. One book, 64 fascinating tales. Your choice.

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