The City That Never Sleeps

Sometimes the world works in strange ways. Wonderful, but strange. You may remember late last year I attended a workshop on applying for grants (and blogged about some of the things I learned), then in October I had a go at applying for a well renowned scholarship.

One of the many reasons I was applying was with the far flung hope of being able to travel to New York to meet my publisher. I knew the winners of the scholarships were being announced in March, so as the March days trickled by I accepted that I wasn’t one of them. Still really hoping to be able to meet my publisher, I started investigating other possible grants for writers. I made a shortlist of about three I was eligible for, and on the final day of March I sat down to begin writing my applications.

As my fingers hovered over the keyboard, I got a call on my mobile. And nearly dropped it. It was a delightful lady, ringing to tell me that I had been awarded a 2010 Marten Bequest Travelling Scholarship. For a writer, I was embarrassingly lost for words.

The scholarships were established by John Chisholm Marten and commenced in 1967 as a way to support young artists. Their website describes the awards as follows:

The … Scholarships provide support for young Australians in a variety of categories to help them further their cultural education and achieve their dreams. They are awarded each year for study, maintenance and travel either in Australia or overseas.

The scholarship will span over two years, and true to their word it will allow me to access opportunities that have so far been purely the stuff of dreams. So it turns out I will get to meet my publisher, next year in January while I’m in New York for the annual SCBWI Winter Conference. I’ll also get to attend some other conferences, research a series of middle grade novels set in South America, research a new YA novel I’m currently planning set in the UK, plus have some dedicated writing time away from other commitments.

They’re lucky they didn’t wait a day longer to call me, as April 1st being what it is, I never would have believed them…

30 Responses to “The City That Never Sleeps”

  1. 1 deescribewriting April 6, 2010 at 8:17 am

    Congratulations Kath! That is amazing news, and so well deserved:-)

    How long will you be going for?


  2. 2 katswhiskers April 6, 2010 at 8:23 am

    Huge news there, Kath. What fun, fun, FUN! No doubt you’re a very hoppy bunny again. :) A-mazing. Is this all happening in one trip – or do you do it in short hops?

  3. 3 Katherine Battersby April 6, 2010 at 8:28 am

    Thanks girls :) I’ll be doing a few trips over the course of the scholarship, for about a week or two at a time. I’ve had to do a lot of shifting around in my head, because it completely changes what I thought my next two years would look like!

  4. 4 Sheryl Gwyther April 6, 2010 at 8:29 am

    Fabulous news, Katherine. Just proves it is worthwhile applying for grants etc. What a fantastic opportunity. :)

  5. 5 Scott Chambers April 6, 2010 at 8:35 am

    Fantastic News! Great to see a pot of money being put to such good use (rarely happens in the public service =)

  6. 6 Claire Saxby April 6, 2010 at 8:35 am

    That’s just awesomely fantastic! Congratulations to you. What a wonderful opportunity. Look forward to following your journey.

  7. 7 Karen Collum April 6, 2010 at 8:41 am

    How exciting! What an awesome opportunity for you and I can’t wait to hear about your trips as they unfold. Happy planning!

  8. 8 Sybil April 6, 2010 at 8:58 am

    Well done!! Fantastic news – oh the jetsetting you will do

  9. 9 Dale Harcombe April 6, 2010 at 9:00 am

    Great news Katherine. Very exciting!

  10. 10 Kathleen Noud April 6, 2010 at 9:05 am

    Squee!!! I put the gushy post on your facebook page, so you didn’t have to have it on your blog, but I am so excited for you!

    When you say South America, I think you mean Peru. Am I right? Because you know I miss Peru, and while my Spanish is terrible I could totally be your tour guide!

  11. 11 Trudie Trewin April 6, 2010 at 9:18 am

    Amazing news, Kath! Congratulations :-)
    I can’t wait to read more about all your travels and opportunities,

  12. 12 Katherine Battersby April 6, 2010 at 9:19 am

    Thanks all!

    Kathleen, enjoyed your gushing immensely. I did a bit of Squeeing myself when I was first told the news! And you’re spot on with Peru, unless I’m working on book two by then, so it could be further north. But if it’s Peru then I could really do with a super-experienced-adventurous-trekking-guide like yourself. I’ll be so out of my depth! (which would be good research in itself, because my main character is too). And while your Spanish might be terrible, mine’s non-existant…

  13. 13 Tina C April 6, 2010 at 9:23 am

    Fantastic news – soooo excited for you!

    Well done Kath!You soooo deserve this.

    Bye 4 now

  14. 14 Sharim chua April 6, 2010 at 9:37 am

    Freaking awesome news Kath! Congratulations, hope this gives you a chance to get lots of ideas (and eat lots of yummy food!)

  15. 15 dsjohansson April 6, 2010 at 10:07 am

    Congratulations Katherine, what brilliant news. I’m glad everything is happening for you. I look forward to hear what’s going to happen next!

  16. 16 Katherine Battersby April 6, 2010 at 4:08 pm

    So much enthusiasm – you’re all too lovely! Thanks.

    Sharim, you know me so well … there will be lots of eating, but I’m sure many ideas too (surely the food helps the brain?)

  17. 17 Karen Tyrrell April 6, 2010 at 4:22 pm

    Hi Katherine,
    Congratulations. This is absolutely fantastic news.
    Your hard work and planning have come to fruition.
    I wish you the very best for your trip to the Big Apple.
    Cheers, Karen :))

  18. 18 Joanna Gaudry April 6, 2010 at 4:31 pm

    Wonderful news, Katherine. A brilliant opportunity. Congratulations. Joanna :))

  19. 19 Deborah April 6, 2010 at 4:57 pm

    congratulations, that is so wonderful!
    sounds like you’re going to make great use of it.

  20. 20 Jeffery E Doherty April 6, 2010 at 7:16 pm

    That is brilliant. Well done. You must e so excited.


  21. 21 Book Chook April 6, 2010 at 8:36 pm

    Wonderful news, Katherine!

  22. 22 Lynn Priestley April 6, 2010 at 9:48 pm

    Hope you are going to squeeze in the Robert McKee workshop now. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for lotto! Congratulations!

  23. 23 Angela Sunde April 6, 2010 at 10:16 pm

    That is awesome news Kath! A huge congratulations to you. I have heard the sky is the limit, but you have rocketed off into space.:))

    I speak Spanish by the way, a bit rusty, but I could polish it up (if you need me).



  24. 24 Karin April 7, 2010 at 5:19 am

    Very wonderful news for you to receive! I’m so happy for you! I wish you the best with your new adventures! :)

  25. 25 Amanda Worlley April 7, 2010 at 8:21 am

    Congratulations Kath! This is my first visit to your blog, it’s great. You have worked really hard to get this. Well done.

  26. 26 Bren April 7, 2010 at 9:17 am

    That’s awesome. It’s a great idea for a grant. Clearly Mr Marten understood the problems writers face and I’m so glad it was you that his grant helped. Brilliant stuff. What fun you’re going to have!

  27. 27 Michelle Macwhirter April 7, 2010 at 12:34 pm

    Katherine, congrats!!! Such amazing news! You are an inspiration. Happy travel planning. :-)

  28. 28 Katherine Battersby April 7, 2010 at 5:13 pm

    Thank you :)

    Lynn, I hadn’t even thought of that – I will track him down and make sure I get to a workshop!

    Angela, you speak Spanish? Wow. So multitalented…

  29. 29 JJ Cooper April 7, 2010 at 7:02 pm

    Awesome news Katherine. I’m heading to NYC in July for Thrillerfest so I’ll warn them you’re coming. Thankfully, I’ll get the New York Summer. Congrats!



  30. 30 Katherine Battersby April 8, 2010 at 2:10 pm

    Thanks JJ. Brilliant that you get to head over to Thrillerfest – you’ll have a ball. I’m a bit jealous you get to go in the summer, but I’ll take anything I can get!

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About this Blog…

A blog of ramblings about the world of writing and illustrating for children, by an author / illustrator who might just have a thing for rabbits.

Katherine's picture books, 'Squish Rabbit' and 'Brave Squish Rabbit', are out with Viking (Penguin, US) and UQP (Australia). Please e-mail if you would like her to blog about something in particular.

All text & images  Katherine Battersby

Released Sept 2012:


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