Tag Archives: funding

Thank you: the Calderwood Charitable Foundation

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I was so excited and grateful to hear that my new book project, Islands of Abandonment, has been selected to receive grant funding through the Calderwood Charitable Foundation’s Art of Journalism initiative. The application process, which is open to journalism fellows of the MacDowell Colony, required me to provide samples of the work in progress and records of associated research and travel costs already accrued, which have been a significant financial outlay over the past two years.

The funding is intended “to help the growing number of independent journalists and mitigate the impact of diminishing budgets for long-form journalism at media and publishing outlets.” More information about the Art of Journalism initiative can be found here.

It is a huge boon to receive the grant, not only in practical/financial terms, but emotionally too – it is great to feel supported and to receive outside recognition of a project’s value. So thank you, thank you to the Calderwood Charitable Trust.

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With thanks

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I recently received some welcome news: I’ve received financial awards from two organisations to defray the costs associated with my fellowship at the MacDowell Colony. So I must thank the Whiting Foundation, which generously supports the writers of fiction, nonfiction and poetry, and the Traulsen International Travel Fund, which specifically assists artists travelling to MacDowell from overseas.

Such funding is obviously of enormous practical help to a freelance writer. Financial support also has a knock-on effect: it is a confidence boost, and it helps the recipient to feel that their work and time has value. (Information about donating to the MacDowell Foundation can be found here.)

An invitation to MacDowell was a wonderful opportunity – see me above, proudly posing with the ‘tombstones’ in my studio, where visiting artists recording their names and dates. I highly recommend making an application if a stay of two to 12 weeks in a studio in the woods sounds like something you would enjoy.

If you are a writer, artist, filmmaker or composer and are interested in applying to the MacDowell Colony, please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you want any advice about the application process, or further information about what it’s like to stay there.

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Tracing the Butcher of Gippsland

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Currently I’m working on the first draft of a family memoir in which I retrace the story of my great-great-great uncle, Angus McMillan, who fled Scotland during the Highland Clearances and became a celebrated explorer in Gippsland, Australia – only to reenact brutal ‘clearances’ of his own, upon the local aboriginal people.

I have been lucky enough to receive funding from both Creative Scotland (through their Quality Production programme) and Arts Trust Scotland (through their Emerging Artists programme), which has enabled me to visit Gippsland myself to conduct interviews, follow McMillan’s original exploratory routes, and gain insight into the problems affecting the Gunai people today as a direct result of McMillan and his peers’ actions.

If you’re interested in finding out more about this project – or if you have some information which you’d like to share – I’d love to hear from you. I also keep an Amazon wishlist of books I’d like to acquire for research purposes – so if you’d like to make a contribution I’d be delighted!

A girl’s got to eat so I’m still taking commissions – do get in touch if you’ve got some work for me!

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