How things are travelling at the halfway mark for Writing a Novel in 2022

We’ve checked in with the recipients of our 2022 Scholarships for Writing a Novel and they’ve shared their insights and surprises.

From Ash Watson – Writing a Novel, Sydney

This scholarship has overwhelmingly opened a door for me in terms of my self-confidence and skill level. I feel like my voice as a trans person has been celebrated and uplifted – an experience I don’t have very often. Thanks to this opportunity, I feel myself on solid ground with my current project. 

It has also been a pleasure to connect with like minded writers who are passionate, engaged and disciplined. I have enjoyed learning as much from my peers as my tutors. My experiences with the teaching staff has also been an absolute pleasure. 

Overall the course has been a brilliant intensive in the craft of writing, and I honestly feel it marks a turning point in my career as a writer. Sometimes you catch a break which gives you a freedom in writing you never thought you could have. This course feels exactly like that break. 

From Fatima Sehbai – Writing a Novel, Melbourne

Actually sitting down to face my novel was pretty scary, so what better way to face my fears head on than with Sophie and Emily! Here’s some highlights of my stage 1 journey:

The insightful course content and delivery showed us different ways to write and presented original ways to plot and arrange our stories.

The sessions were engaging and informative. I loved how approachable and helpful Sophie and Emily always were, enabling us to share our hopes and dreams. Visiting authors during some of these sessions also endorsed the currency and relevancy of the course. Author sessions were vibrant and very useful.

Writing exercises that are peppered throughout the course were my absolute favourite. These ten-minute miracles unlocked weird and wonderful things on paper. I intend to use most of these snippets in my writing.

Workshopping written work was also a fruitful aspect of the course. Our group and teachers were generous with their time and insight. It was an enriching experience to read each other’s pieces and soon we were all invested in many characters and plots. Writing can often be a solitary practice but workshopping gave it depth and collaboration; we were more like the village behind our manuscripts and ideas.

Writing to me has always been about connection and during these sessions I have found mateship and warmth which continues to nurture my writing confidence. Definitely a course worth tweeting !

Andrew Sutherland – Writing a Novel, Online

I have a less developed, or consistent, prose practice than I do for performance-making and poetry, so I feel that the Faber Writing Academy scholarship has been an invaluable opportunity to build toward a stronger and more sustained prose fiction practice.

Working toward writing a novel has for a long time been an intangible goal and the Faber Writing Academy has provided the structures around that goal to allow me to begin. I’m not sure I would have afforded myself the time otherwise. Additionally, as a freelance arts worker I don’t think I would have been able to afford or participate in the program without the luxury the scholarship has afforded me.

One of the main things I am learning and still trying to teach myself through the Faber Writing Academy is to slow down and untangle myself from the need for shorter-term or immediate rewards as a creative. I am trying to learn how to stay immersed in the project for a sustained period of time, to write with greater discipline, and to be more comfortable and forgiving with myself to work on a project that will, realistically, take a long time.

The program has been quite remarkable for the rigour and care with which Carrie treats the topics and the writers participating. There is a genuine excitement in her teaching style, and both the examples and the exercises provided have been intensely useful in opening up the scope of possibilities for our writing.

What I didn’t expect, as much, was the community-building that has formed with the other participants and how excited I have become about each of their projects, and how much I am learning from the opportunity to witness the growth of other novels in process.

Bronte Coates – Writing a Novel, Brisbane

Winning this scholarship allowed me the opportunity to take some time away from the neverending busyness of life, and gave me a space to just think about books and writing. This made it possible for me to consider my work-in-progress in fresh, new ways, and unravel some of the knots that have developed through the early draft.

Applications for the 2023 Faber Writing Scholarship are now open.

Writing a Novel course information here.