03 May 2012

Four Funded Spots for Women: The Stella Prize/ Varuna’s Critiquing Culture Residency (Australia)

Post date: 03 May 2012
Deadline: 10 May 2012

A Residency and a Workshop on Writing Criticism at Varuna in July: four funded spots for women.

In order to support the aims of gender balance in Australia’s review pages, the Stella Prize Committee is funding three places for women at a workshop run by Geordie Williamson, chief literary critic of The Australian, at Varuna on Saturday 7th July. The “Critiquing Culture” workshop is part of the residency program he is leading at Varuna, the Writers' House in Katoomba, from the 2nd-9th July. There will also be funding for one scholarship for the entire residency.

If you’re a woman and you’re interested in learning more about how to refine your critical skills and find your way into publication, you are eligible to apply for one of these funded spaces. To apply, please send:
  • a one-page CV including your contact details, and
  • a 650-word sample of your critical writing, in any field of the arts

to Lis Bastian at Varuna, the Writers’ House: lis@varuna.com.au by May 10, 2012. This could be a published review or a piece you are preparing for publication, whether online or print. Your application will be assessed by Geordie Williamson, Kirsten Tranter and Jo Case, and decisions will be made at the discretion of the judges. Successful applicants will be notified by email by May 25, 2012, and will either have a space reserved at the workshop with all tuition paid (we are not able to fund travel or accommodation costs for the workshop), or else a full week’s accommodation and meals, with mentoring time set aside, for the residency.


10am - 4pm | 14th July

Geordie Williamson has been chief literary critic of The Australian since 2008. His reviews and essays have appeared in newspapers, magazines and journals both here and in Britain since 2000. He is a regular presence on ABC radio, an intermittent academic, and the recipient of 2011's Pascall Prize for critical writing.

New digital publishing platforms have had a revolutionary effect on the nature and function of cultural criticism, not least by exponentially expanding its potential pool of practitioners. While this democratic opening is a hugely positive development, the slackening of standards that has sometimes accompanied it demands to be grappled with. This workshop will allow new voices to gain a basic grounding in how to write entertaining, thoughtful, and (in the best sense of the word) discriminating criticism.
  • The workshop will provide an overview of the cutting edge of internet criticism – the blogs and websites that are reshaping how we discuss books, music and the visual arts.
  • We’ll discuss ways to balance the different (and sometimes contradictory) demands of print and online criticism, and how to draw on the best aspects of each.
  • We’ll examine audience (who are we writing for?) and the use of social networking and micro-blogging to assist in the creation of communities of readers.
  • And we’ll look at the dos and don’ts of contemporary critical practice, from blogging frequency to winning the hearts and minds (and commissions) of arts editors and literature boards.


For inquiries: contact Lis Bastian or Geordie Williamson geordie.williamson@gmail.com

For submissions: lis@varuna.com.au

Website: http://www.varuna.com.au
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