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Judy Harris Writer in Residence Fellowship at the Charles Perkins Centre

Utilising a literary perspective on health and chronic disease
The program invites Australian creative writers to apply for a generous University of Sydney fellowship, including a $100,000 grant, to begin a project exploring issues around health.

Applications for 2021 have now closed.


The Charles Perkins Centre is pleased to announce that Tracy Sorensen has been named its 2019/2020 Writer in Residence. As part of the fellowship, she will receive a $100,000 grant and the unique opportunity to work on a project related to the issues that the Centre is dedicated to addressing, including health, wellbeing, food, ageing, social disadvantage and cultural identity.

The writer in residence will also receive working space at the Charles Perkins Centre Research and Education Hub on the University’s Camperdown campus, full access to the University’s library and the opportunity to work with the Centre’s researchers, educators and clinicians.

Participants of this residency are directed towards Australian writers in a creative genre – from fiction, poetry or performance, to creative non-fiction, digital media or screen. 

The Charles Perkins Centre Writer in Residence Fellowship was made possible through the generous support of University of Sydney alumna and patron Judy Harris. “Thanks to the generosity of our donor and Patron Judy Harris, we are delighted to be able to offer a fellowship to another writer in 2018,” said Professor Stephen Simpson, Academic Director of the Charles Perkins Centre. 

“We welcome interest from Australia’s best writers to apply for this rare opportunity – and to help us bring awareness to issues around health in a creative way.”

“The Charles Perkins Centre requires a collaborative and multidisciplinary approach, and it has been fascinating to see how our innovative research can intersect with the arts – with powerful and often emotional effect.
Professor Stephen Simpson, Academic Director of the Charles Perkins Centre

Our past and current Writers in Residence

Inaugural fellow Charlotte Wood, the highly acclaimed Stella Prize-winning author of The Natural Way of Things, undertook her residency in 2016. She said her time in conversation with scientists and researchers – in formal meetings, interviews and serendipitous lunch-room chats – led to some crucial breakthroughs in her novel examining women and ageing. 

In 2017, novelist Mireille Juchau and playwright Alana Valentine were both appointed writers in residence of the Centre.

Ms Juchau, author of the award-winning The World Without Us, said the residency has already propelled her work – which explores connections between maternity, biology, history and identity – in new directions.

“For a writer whose work is fed by ideas, the generous spirit of collaboration promoted by the Charles Perkins Centre offers limitless scope for thinking about what it is to be human,” she said.

Ms Valentine said the residency allowed her to plug into a strong network of project nodes and scientific hubs that reach far beyond the city campus of the University.

“The Charles Perkins Centre is level after level of fresh stories and fascinating storytellers, and then there are all the regional hubs and international visitors. For a playwright this place is like a living library of possibilities – for both new insights and new work,” she said.

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