Meet KSP's Ambassadors
Tracy Farr's debut novel, The Life and Loves of Lena Gaunt, was published January 2016 in the UK by a new independent publisher, Aardvark Bureau. The novel will also be released by the same publisher in the US in May 2016. Tracy, who is from Perth but has lived in New Zealand for the past twenty years, worked on the very early stages of the novel while an Emerging Writer in Residence at the KSP Writers’ Centre in 2008. It was first published by Fremantle Press in 2013, and in 2014 was longlisted for the Miles Franklin Literary Award, and shortlisted for the WA Premier’s Book Award and the Barbara Jefferis Award.
Tracy’s second novel, The Hope Fault, will be published by Fremantle Press in 2017, and she kicked off 2016 by starting work on her third novel. She was a guest at the Perth Writers Festival 2016, where she taught two writing workshops, took part in a panel with Debra Adelaide and Peter Rose talking about their reading lives, and a reading at the launch of Purple Prose, a collection from Fremantle Press of new writing by Australian women writers.
"In New Zealand, where I live, there is a whakatauki (proverb):
He aha te mea nui o te ao?
He tangata, he tangata, he tangata!
What is the most important thing in the world?
It is people, people, people!
So it is at Katharine’s Place. He tangata, he tangata, he tangata – enormous thanks to all at (and involved with) the KSP Writers’ Centre for their assistance, good humour, good will and good wishes during my stay as a Writer-in-Residence. My residency at KSP was hugely important to me, and critical in the process of writing my first novel. There is a huge pool of enthusiasm, talent and commitment among the members of the groups at Katharine’s Place. The Centre is a unique resource for writers."
Eliza Henry-Jones is an author based in the Dandenong Ranges of Victoria. She is besotted with her horses and keeps collecting chickens.
Her debut novel, In the Quiet is out now through the Fourth Estate imprint of HarperCollins Australia. It has been shortlisted for the 2015 Readings Prize for New Australian Fiction and longlisted for the 2016 Indie Book Awards Debut Fiction category.
Eliza has been published widely, with work appearing in literary journals and anthologies across Australia, including Southerly, Island and Award Winning Australian Writing.
In 2012 Eliza was a young Writer-in-Residence at the Katharine Susannah Prichard Writers' Centre in Western Australia and in 2015 undertook a residential fellowship at Varuna in New South Wales. She is represented by Sally Bird at Calidris Literary Agency.
"I was thrilled to be a young Writer-in-Residence at the KSP Writers’ Centre in 2012. As with any artistic endeavour, networking is an incredibly important part being a writer. It was a privilege to be able to make connections with so many renowned and emerging writers and to be a part of the KSP writing community, which was incredibly vibrant, passionate and welcoming."
Poet and teacher Ron Pretty was the 2015 Established Writer-in-Residence at the Katharine Susannah Prichard Writers’ Centre. He graduated from the University of Sydney with an Honours degree in History in 1967, then taught mentally disabled students at Strathfield before teaching English and History at Casino High School. Pretty had his first taste of teaching creative writing while editing the school magazine. In 1969-1970 he taught at the Strategakis School of English at Serrai in Northern Greece. On returning to Australia Pretty completed a Master of Arts in Australian Literature at the University of Sydney and was appointed a lecturer at Wollongong Teachers' College and started teaching writing in WEA adult education courses. He has taught writing in schools, universities and writing groups in Australia, America, England and Austria.
In 1987 Pretty joined seven other lecturers, postgraduates and local writers in Wollongong in forming a publishing cooperative to promote book publication by its members. This was the origin of Five Island Press of which Pretty became Director. Between 1983 and 1998 he was Head of Writing in the Faculty of Creative Arts at the University of Wollongong. Pretty was the editor of Scarp, a literary/arts magazine, from 1984 until its demise in 1999 and has been a founding member and Director of the Poetry Australia Foundation. He has also been Managing Editor of Blue Dog: Australian Poetry.
"One of the pleasures of being at the KSP Writers’ Centre is the sense of being in an active writing community. It is such a hive of activities, with workshops, readings, special events every day of the week, that it can’t help but be inspiring, especially since so many of the members are so committed. As a Writer-in-Residence, I had the sense of being a worker in a very lively colony. I am pleased and honoured to now be an Ambassador for KSP."
Judy Johnson is from NSW and has been writing poetry for twenty years. She has won a number of Australia’s most significant poetry prizes and published three full length collections with another forthcoming in early 2013. In addition she has authored a novel and a verse novel, ‘Jack’ which won the 2007 Victorian Premier’s Award for poetry. In 2011 she was awarded a month long residency at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Ireland as part of the Alumni exchange program through Varuna Writer’s Centre. Judy was the 2013 Established Writer-in-Residence at the KSP Writers’ Centre for a book project sponsored by an Australia Council Literature Board New Work Grant.
"I felt as though I was pampered, challenged and stimulated in equal measure during my time as Established Writer in Residence at the KSP Writers’ Centre. The first time I stepped through the door of Aldridge cottage, with a view of the Perth skyline from my writing desk, foregrounded by those beautiful gum trees, I knew that this would definitely be a place for rich and rewarding work. I am honoured to be one of the Ambassadors for the KSP Writers’ Centre, such a worthwhile and enthusiastic organisation."
Dr David Reiter
David Reiter is an award-winning text and digital artist, and Publisher / CEO at IP (Brisbane). His film Nullarbor Song Cycle, was short-listed for the 2012 WA Premier’s Award. Hemingway in Spain and Selected Poems was short-listed for the 1998 SA Festival Awards and is now a film. The Cave After Saltwater Tide (Penguin) won the 1994 Queensland Premier’s Poetry Award and his short story collection, Triangles, was short-listed for the 2000 Steele Rudd Award. Recent works include the hybrid digital narrative TimeLord Dreaming (2015), Your eBook Survival Kit, 3rd edition (2015), and the picture book Bringing Down the Wall (2013), which was Best Book for Teens & Kids (Canadian Children’s Book Centre). David was artist-in-residence in 2012 at the Banff Centre for the Arts (Canada) where he completed the digital narrative My Planets Reunion Memoir Project with the support of the Australia Council and the Cultural Fund of the Copyright Agency. It won the 2012 Western Australian Premier’s Award. The fourth book in the junior novel Project Earth-mend Series, Tiger Takes the Big Apple, was released in January, 2014.
"The KSP Writers’ Centre is unique from my experience of writers’ centres – and I know a lot of them! I think the culture of KSP stems largely from its context, being set in the home and on the grounds of an actual author, whose spirit is embodied in the Centre and lingers on to affect the people who come there to create new work or to refine work in progress. I felt a community spirit alive and well at the Centre. For my part, I will always speak highly of KSP as a destination for anyone seeking a place to work on an extended project."
Amanda Curtin is the author of two novels, Elemental (2013, shortlisted for the 2014 WA Premier’s Book Awards; to be published in the UK in February 2016) and The Sinkings (2008), and a collection of short fiction, Inherited (2011). Amanda’s short fiction has been published in Griffith Review, Southerly, Island, Indigo, Westerly and Review of Australian Fiction.
Amanda has been awarded residencies at OMI’s Ledig House (US), the Tyrone Guthrie Centre (Ireland), Hawthornden (Scotland) and the Tasmanian Writers Centre (Australia).
Aside from writing, Amanda is an Adjunct Lecturer with Edith Cowan University (Perth, Western Australia) and has been a freelance book editor for more than 25 years. She has a PhD in Writing and is an Accredited Editor (AE) with the Institute of Professional Editors. Amanda is also the current fiction editor for the literary journal Westerly.
"The first time I read my work in public was at the KSP Writers’ Centre, and my first validation as a writer came through winning the KSP Short Fiction Award. During the period when I was developing both skills and confidence in my writing, I attended workshops and readings at the centre and had the opportunity to talk with, and learn from, established writers I looked up to (a workshop with Brenda Walker from fifteen years ago remains strong in my memory even now).KSP’s overall program goes from strength to strength each year. The Writers in Residence three-tiered program, a flagship activity, has gained the respect and interest of writers in WA and across Australia and become much sought after as a creative development opportunity."
Anna Jacobs has had over 75 novels published. Most of these are historical or modern stories, featuring family and relationships. She has been short-listed for several awards, both as Anna Jacobs and as Shannah Jay (her pen name for fantasy novels), and in 2006 her novel Pride of Lancashire won the award for Best Australian Romantic Book of the Year.
Anna writes historical novels for one publisher and modern novels for another. She produces three novels a year - and freely confesses to being addicted to story-telling.
Anna grew up in Lancashire and emigrated to Australia in 1973, but loves to return to England regularly to visit her family and soak up the history. She has two grown-up daughters and now lives with her husband in a spacious waterfront home. Often as she writes, dolphins frolic outside the window of her study. Inside, the house is crammed with thousands of books.