Creative Writing Under the Microscope
The Copyright Agency Writer-in-Residence program gives students at the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) the opportunity to experience the creative process, up close and personal, by funding an established writer to work on a project on campus.
Each year, the selected writer receives a $40,000 allowance, and UTS also provides an office and full access to the university’s extensive resources – all designed to create the optimum environment for a writer to get to work.
But it’s not just the writer who benefits from this program. As part of the initiative, the writer shares their experiences by giving two public talks during their residency at UTS. The lectures are recorded and distributed widely throughout the university so students and academics can find ideas and inspiration in how writers approached their work. In addition, there’s the natural relationships that develop up and down university corridors with students talking to the authors while on campus.
The Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund has supported the Writer-in-Residence program for the past two years, bringing Frank Moorhouse (2009) and poet Les Murray (2010) to UTS.
Associate Professor John Dale, Head of Creative Practices, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, believes the support has been invaluable. ‘What has been particularly important about the funding from the Copyright Agency is that these residencies have each lasted for a year. The longer period has enabled the writers to become an integral part of the writing program and share their expertise,’ he said.
‘Having them (Moorhouse and Murray) around the Faculty has been extremely productive and beneficial for a wide range of students who have now been exposed to the work of two of Australia’s best writers.’