Meet the 2019 Faber Writing Academy Scholarship Winners

Chandu Bickford - Winner of the 2019 True Stories Scholarship

Chandu Bickford was a quiet, curious child. From her Blue Mountains home, she journeyed wide, deep and wild through India and Tibet, before settling into a ten year, live-in love affair with Africa. Fascinated by diversity, culture and courage, Chandu’s life and work focuses now on communication, inspiration, storytelling and simple living. Patti Miller thought Chandu Bickford’s project stood out for the complexity and likely reader interest in her story in which she hopes to explore her personal experience of the silencing of women. Patti could see from her application that she has a thoughtful, lyrical style, which combined with powerful cross-cultural material, will make a great ‘True Story’.

More about True Stories

Erin Middleton - Winner of the 2019 Writing a Novel Stage 1 (Sydney)Scholarship

Erin Middleton is an emerging writer and actress from South West Sydney whose love of storytelling started at the age of four, when she plucked the bed-time book from her Mum's hands and read it back to her. Erin has written and performed in plays for Short + Sweet Sydney and Sydney Theatre School. Kathryn Heyman said Erin's work stood out for its immediately compelling voice and the elegance of her prose. She's created an engaging and intriguing world and characters whose problems seem real, whose fears seem believable, whose voices seem true.

More about Writing a Novel Stage 1

Kirstie Bedford - Winner of the 2019 Writing a Novel Stage 1 (Melbourne) Scholarship

Kirstie Bedford is a Melbourne-based magazine editor and travel writer. Starting her career in news journalism more than 20 years ago, she's worked across multiple mediums of journalism and held senior communication management positions. She's writing a contemporary fiction which looks at the impact tragedy has on our view of the world. Paddy O'Reilly said that Kirstie's sample and novel outline show exceptional promise of becoming a moving and gripping novel about family, history and loyalty.

More about Writing a Novel Stage 1

Detailed Scholarships Information for 2019

The Academy is pleased to once again offer three scholarships in 2019, two for our Writing a Novel - Stage 1 (one for our Sydney course and one for our Melbourne course ) and one for our True Stories Sydney course. Our scholarships enables the winning student to enrol in these courses for free. Entrants may only apply for one of these scholarships in any given year.

The deadline for all scholarship applications is midnight on Friday 14 December 2018. The three scholarship winners will be announced on Tuesday 15 January 2019.

Writing a Novel: Stage 1 (starts 5 March 2018)in Melboure and Sydney).
Writing a Novel: Stage 1 is a comprehensive, three-month course for aspiring novelists that provides the structure and support you need to head towards the first draft of your novel. The course directors are award-winning authors with guests including other top authors, editors, agents and industry professionals. In 2018, the course directors are Kathryn Heyman or James Bradley in Sydney, and Paddy O’Reilly and Toni Jordan in Melbourne. Benefit from the structure of regular workshops as well as one-on-one mentoring sessions.

I have done writing courses before but this far outstrips any of them: the fundamentals of voice, plot, turning points, technical structures, have been invaluable. Engaging, encouraging and incredibly knowledgeable. - Lindsay, Writing a Novel: Stage 1, 2016

Click on the course below for a detailed description, session times and application form:
Writing a Novel: Stage 1 – Sydney full course description
Writing a Novel: Stage 1 – Melbourne full course description

See below for how to enter the scholarship competition.

True Stories: Writing Memoir and Narrative Non-Fiction (starts 1 February 2019 in Sydney)
This four-month intensive course taught by Patti Miller is for writers, or intending writers, who want to concentrate on memoir or narrative non-fiction. A practical course, based on readings, discussion and exercises, it offers the opportunity to develop several chapters under expert guidance. It will develop skills and explore the richness of the genre along with the joys, challenges and possibilities for the writer of 'true stories'.

Patti is the writing whisperer! She taught me how to start daydreaming and to get writing. I couldn't have written my memoir without her. – Jessica Rowe, True Stories, 2013
Click on the course below for a detailed description, session times and application form:

True Stories full course description

See below for how to enter the competition.


1. Please register your interest for the course via the website.
2. Along with the regular requirements for doing the course, you will be asked to email an additional one-page scholarship statement outlining why you should be considered for the scholarship. This might include information on your literary talent or merit (prizes and shortlistings) and financial circumstances.

Please ensure you read our terms and conditions below.

Entrants’ checklist: Writing a Novel Scholarship
1. Register for the course online, indicating if you intend to apply for the scholarship.
2. Email a cover letter briefly stating any writing experience and an overview of the idea for the novel identifying its current stage of development.
3. Email a 1,500-word sample of prose.
4. Email a one-page scholarship statement.

Entrants’ checklist: True Stories Scholarship
1. Register for the course online, indicating if you intend to apply for the scholarship.
2. Email a one-page project outline and a paragraph outlining your writing experience.
3. Email a one-page scholarship statement.

• The decision by the Faber Writing Academy committee as to who should receive the scholarships is final and will be determined in good faith based on the statements submitted by the applicants. Faber Writing Academy takes no responsibility for any falsities or embellishments that may be contained within those statements.
• The scholarships must be undertaken in 2019 and cannot be transferred to another year or a different Faber Writing Academy at Allen & Unwin course.
• The successful applicants will need to sign an agreement before the commencement of the course, which outlines the conditions of acceptance of the scholarship.
• The winners agree to commit to the entire duration of the course and will endeavour to attend each of the course sessions.
• At the completion of the course, the winner agrees to write a piece about their experience of doing the course which can be used by Faber Writing Academy for promotional purposes.
• Faber Writing Academy at Allen & Unwin reserves the right to withdraw or not award a scholarship at any time.
• In the rare event that the course is cancelled, Faber Writing Academy cannot offer compensation or a transfer of the scholarship to any other Faber Writing Academy courses.

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