Charles Perkins Centre seeks its next Writer in Residence

28 November 2016
Applications now open for $100,000 creative writing Fellowship

Stella Prize-winning author Charlotte Wood is calling for Australia's most talented writers to seize unexpected creative opportunities by applying for the 2017 Charles Perkins Centre Writer in Residence Fellowship.

Author Charlotte Wood

Author Charlotte Wood is halfway through her time as inaugural Charles Perkins Centre Writer in Residence. Image: Wendy McDougall. 

Expressions of interest are now open for the $100,000 Fellowship, which will give an Australian writer the chance to join researchers in the University of Sydney's multidisciplinary Charles Perkins Centre as they help solve some of society's greatest health challenges including obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Halfway through her one-year tenure as the inaugural Writer in Residence, Charlotte Wood said the Fellowship has provided unparalleled opportunities to enliven her work.

"The Charles Perkins Centre residency is one of the most significant developments of my career. It has not only afforded me extremely generous financial support, space and time in which to work, but has opened up and enriched my writing process in ways I could not have foreseen," said Wood, who began her Fellowship in June.

I'm surrounded by hundreds of curious, open and superbly intelligent minds in a well-resourced institution which truly respects creativity and risk-taking as fundamental values.
Charlotte Wood

Wood has used the first-of-its-kind Fellowship to begin a new novel focused on the lives of three elderly women. Working as an Honorary Associate alongside world-leading health and chronic disease specialists, she hopes to explore the complex experience of aging – the changes in the body and the mind as they play out in relationship to other people, our broader culture and the self – from a creative standpoint.

"Opening up the dialogue between health science and art is really important. Art – and especially fiction – has the capacity to reach into the complexity of the human psyche in a way medicalised systems have often failed to do, illuminating the intimate experience of readers' own lives through inhabiting the imaginary lives of a book’s characters," Wood said.

"Progress on my novel is flourishing and I can see the professional and personal benefits of this residency continuing well into my future. I can't recommend this residency highly enough to other writers."

Professor Stephen Simpson, Academic Director of the Charles Perkins Centre, said he has been thrilled by how Charlotte Wood has immersed herself in the work of the Centre while writing her new novel.

"Our aim was to offer a stimulating and supportive environment for our Writer in Residence, in which she could draw inspiration from our work and our people, without it feeling artificial or forced in either direction," he said.

"It's been a joy to see Charlotte grab this opportunity as our inaugural Fellow and she has set the bar extremely high. We're excited to invite the next round of applications for the Charles Perkins Centre 2017 Writer in Residence."

One of Australia's most provocative authors, Charlotte Wood was recently announced as joint winner of the Fiction Prize in the Prime Minister's Literary Awards for her novel, The Natural Way of Things, which also won the Stella Prize and Indie Book of the YearShe is author of seven books, which have been shortlisted for many prizes including the Miles Franklin Literary Award and the Christina Stead Prize for Fiction.

Expressions of interest close at 5pm, Friday 10 February 2017, with the new Writer in Residence to commence in mid-2017. 

About the Charles Perkins Centre Writer in Residence Fellowship

Beginning in 2016, the Charles Perkins Centre Writer in Residence Fellowship is a one-year Fellowship which provides $100,000, an honorary appointment at the University of Sydney, an office in the Charles Perkins Centre Research and Education Hub, full library access, and the opportunity to meet and work with a diverse range of researchers, educators and clinicians. The Fellowship will support an established Australian writer to create new work within Australia's leading interdisciplinary Centre dedicated to easing the global burden of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and related conditions.

Launched in 2014, the Charles Perkins Centre is a $500 million initiative at the University of Sydney which brings together researchers and clinicians from the University's 16 faculties to develop integrated solutions for easing the burden of obesity and chronic disease.

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