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…