Creative Time Residential Fellowship Adventures! Part 2 by Deb Fitzpatrick


My journey with the May Gibbs Children’s Literature Trust Creative Time Residency began back in 2019, when I learned I’d been successful in my application for a four-week Canberra residency in March 2020. I had a week of absolute joy in Canberra, writing 8000 words—without question more than I’d written in a week anywhere, ever—visiting galleries, walking the city, visiting the Arboretum and the National War Memorial—and then COVID 19 struck.


The May Gibbs Board and Libby were wonderful and said, Don't worry, Deb, you can finish off the residency once this has all died down. Come to Adelaide next time. Another adventure, I thought! Brilliant. I put the manuscript aside, got on with life and counted down till Adelaide 2021. May. It was all arranged. Flights booked, suitcase dusted off, meals cooked and frozen for the family. And then Perth had a sudden lockdown due to a case of COVID, not three days before my departure. South Australia closed its border.



Again, Libby and the Board to the rescue. Don't worry, Deb, how about you finish off the residency in WA’s south-west? How does Margaret River sound?


 Well, it sounds like this: 5000 words of new work (one week in); a bush walk every day, reconnecting with a landscape whose beauty I’d somehow forgotten; and all the time in the world to think about what my characters might do in the next day’s writing. In summary? Momentum and joy.



Thank you so much, May Gibbs Children’s Literature Trust. I will be nearly halfway into my new book when I leave here, and it’s all thanks to the time you have given me, and your dedication in making sure I got it.


 Deb Fitzpatrick

You can follow Deb and her work on Instagram here.


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