Supported by the Copyright Agency Cultural Fund, the Overland Writers Residency aims to address a lack of opportunities for marginalised writers. In 2016, the program was open to women writers who are also the sole primary carers of one or more children.
Overland is honoured to announce the successful applicant of the inaugural residency is Melbourne-based writer and performer Karen McKnight.
During the three-month residency, Karen will receive a weekly stipend, private workspace at the Overland office and a mentorship with novelist and poet Alison Croggon.
‘It’s an absolute honour to be Overland’s first Writer-in-Residence,’ Karen said. ‘I think of Overland as a bit of a literary sacred site, and it feels amazing to be associated with it through this unique residency.’
Having juggled her commitments as a community writing teacher and postgraduate student, Karen, a mother of a teenage daughter, makes time to hone her craft every second weekend in her bedroom. ‘Then another fourteen days go past in which I kind of forget I’m a writer,’ she admits.
The residency will provide Karen with support and resources to develop her collection of stories, The Polyester Dress, to publication stage. Her writing explores women, sexuality and popular culture, blending realism with dark humour and surrealism.
‘The collection will take readers to a hard rubbish night in Tokyo; the Playboy Club of North Perth; nude walking at midnight; men shooting wives on the 5pm train; dangerous thoughts involving Tupperware and cheese graters; and falling in love with a phablet.’