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.