Writer in Residence Reflections: Police Point Shire Park

This month I had the privilege of spending two immersive weeks as Writer in Residence at Police Point Shire Park in Portsea, Victoria. The opportunity formed part of my prize for winning the 2021 Mornington Peninsula Shire Mayor’s Writing Awards for my short story Due South.

The Mornington Peninsula Shire’s Artist in Residence program has hosted over 100 Australian and international artists since its conception, providing a location rich in history, cultural heritage, and stunning natural assets

Cottage #4 was my home and workspace for the duration of my residency—a delightfully maintained residence with a history dating back to the 1850’s. You can read more information about the history of Police Point here.

And what a gift this little cottage was, not only for the time and space it provided to focus on my latest work in progress, but also for its peaceful stillness in a location that is and of itself a work of art.

I felt inspired and encouraged by all the creatives who came before me, and all those who will follow. I enjoyed sitting with my work and chatting with my characters, trusting them (and myself) to know what they’re doing, and allowing myself the freedom to move forward with a productive first draft of my contemporary Australian middle grade novel Tiger Girl.

I also clocked up the bushwalking miles as well as the writing miles. I made friends with multiple echidnas while sunset strolling. I’ve said g’day to magpies and blue tongues. I took joy in observing the newly-hatched plover chicks under the fierce protection of their proud parents, and I watched the sun rise over London Bridge, feeling like the only person Earth. The solitude and the setting of this Residency has been the greatest blessing.

My greatest thanks and gratitude to Mornington Peninsula Shire for this invaluable creative opportunity.

* The Mornington Peninsula Shire Mayor’s Writing Award is a collaborative initiative with Peninsula Writers’ Club. My thanks to both for such a notable inclusion to our literary landscape. My story Dishlickers received an Honourable Mention in the 2022 awards, which you can read it here.

‘Honourably Mentioned’ in the 2022 MP Shire Mayor’s Writing Awards.

What a wonderfully welcome way to wrap the week! As I started thinking about packing for my forthcoming two week writing retreat as Artist in Residence at Police Point Cottages, which formed part of my prize for winning the 2021 Mornington Peninsula Shire Mayor’s Writing Award, I learned some exciting related news. My story ‘Dishlickers’ received an Honourable Mention in this year’s Mayor’s Writing Awards!

Congratulations to the winners and entrants across all categories. Big thanks to judges Mornington Peninsula Shire Mayor Cr Anthony Marsh, and award-winning author Garry Disher. My gratitude to Peninsula Writers’ Club and Mornington Peninsula Arts and Culture for making this competition a notable inclusion to our literary landscape, and of course to our amazing local bookstores for their generous sponsorship, Farrells Bookshop, Antipodes Bookshop and Gallery, Petersen’s Bookstore and Rosebud Book Barn.

If you would like to read my entry, along with the other amazing stories, you’ll find them all here: https://shape.mornpen.vic.gov.au/…/2022-mayors-short…

StoryCraft Creative Writing Workshops Turns 5!

This month StoryCraft celebrates its Fifth birthday! It’s hard to believe that five years have passed since I first launched my creative writing workshops…and what a ride it’s been! I’ve had the great privilege and pleasure of helping children and adults explore their creativity, hone their craft, explore different narrative techniques and literary devices, achieve publishing success, finish first drafts, dare to dream, write fearlessly and from the heart, and – most importantly – develop the confidence to give themselves permission to write.

I’ve lost count of the aspiring authors and budding writers I’ve workshopped with along the way, but each and every workshop has been a pleasure to present, each, with its own unique energy – and that’s down to you. Thank you to every participant (new and return) who has entrusted me to nurture their creative souls.

I’ve presented at festivals, mainstream schools, libraries, writing groups, community centres, home schools, book stores, one-on-one mentoring, online and outdoor spaces. I’ve been fortunate to have many supporters and collaborators along the way, and my special thanks go to Mornington Peninsula Libraries, Mornington Peninsula Arts and Culture, GATEWays, Mount Martha House Community Centre, Peninsula Writers’ Club, Little Stories Big Ideas, Andrea Rowe, Peninsula Cultural Collective, Antipodes Bookshop & Gallery, and so many more!

So, what’s next for StoryCraft? Well, like many businesses, StoryCraft took a bit of a Covid hit. While I presented some workshops online, many – from home schoolers to work-from-homers – had screen fatigue. Additionally, with physical workshops continually having to be cancelled or rescheduled as lockdowns rolled on, it was quite a challenge to keep continuity tracking the way it had been in pre-covid times. Now, while normalcy – or this new edition of it – resumes, it’s pleasing to see confidence in physical meetups is growing, although many people are still cautious. Add to this an increase in work and writing commitments, and StoryCraft is looking at moving forward in a positive, though altered way.

From the new financial year, I will be available to present workshops and author talks on a pre-contracted basis only. If you are a school, library, festival, community group, writing group, book store, youth group, educational organisation, NDIS service, I welcome your enquiry. You can reach me through the contact form on my website or email rebeccafraserwrites(at)gmail.com

I hope you’ll all join me in blowing out the virtual birthday candles! I look forward to seeing old faces and meeting new ones at an upcoming workshop in the future. Thanks for your continued support of StoryCraft Creative Writing Workshops – it means the world to me,
Rebecca <3