I've been sitting on this since Tuesday but the embargo has finally lifted and I'm now allowed to blurt to the world that I am one of the lucky recipients of an Australia Council Emerging Writer's grant! OMG $25k to cover 'living expenses' while I write a novel next year. I am also permitted to use some of the $$ to travel to Key West, Florida to attend this workshop, The Time Machine Doorway, which is tutored by Margaret Atwood, one of my all time favourite writers. The workshop is attached to the annual Key West Literary seminar so I'll be going to that too, especially as this year's theme is Yet Another World - literature of the future and it features speakers such as William Gibson and China Mieville!
But that's not all. My parents kicked in some cash so I'll also be popping up to Tallahassee to visit the Vandermeers, then across to London to hang out with my sister for a week. Then, flying home through the US, I'll be... wait for it because what follows is the kind of throwaway line a writer waits their whole life to be able to drop... I'll be popping in to NYC to have lunch with my agent.
Thanks are due to several people who helped me with getting the wording of my grant application right: Kate E, Gary K, Tansy R, Jane TG and Selena Q. You folks completely rock!