Reasons to Love Adelaide

  • gorgeous old stone buildings earthed in charm and character. Sometimes it was like stepping back in time.
  • the walks – so many lovely walks – through city streets, and around parks and city walking trails
  • bushwalking and koala spotting – in the wild!

    When your friend wants a photo with a koala … and it won’t come down from the tree!

  • autumn leaves – tree bones and lacework in the sky (We don’t have autumn leaves in CQ.)
  • beautiful weather – and heating on cooler days. (Bliss!)
  • metropolitan sights and eats –with country hospitality
  • time with the Adelaide kidlit community – which is every bit as supportive and FUN as I had imagined. So much laughter. LOVED!
  • critique sessions with Katrina Germein and Janeen Brian. (So valuable!)
  • meeting with Little Book Press, who are doing amazing things to promote literacy
  • bookshop visits
  • book club dinner at Glenelg
  • author visits at Victor Harbor (4 days) and Walford Anglican (1 day) – affirming to introduce new activities and have them so enthusiastically received.
  • exploring Victor Harbor – including a visit to the Coorong, where Storm Boy was set and filmed. Super-special, thank-you Sarah!

Nostalgia washing over me, in Storm Boy country – inspiration for the legendary Colin Thiele.

I wrote. Lots! Though nowhere near as much as some preceding May Gibbs Fellows. There’s a Fellows Journal in the Burrow that we all contribute to, and I must confess, the word counts of some Fellows had me a wee-bit intimidated for the first few days. But then I gave myself permission to polish and perfect as I go, as is my process. One day I took 7hours to write 49 words – but that was a particularly challenging poem! (Writing a non-fiction verse novel makes many poems particularly challenging! Which is half the fun. 🙂 )

For the first two weeks I worked on my historical NF verse novel about an early scientific expedition to Antarctica. That story hooked me the moment I heard it (whilst on a ship enroute to the Antarctic Peninsular)  – and the more I write, the more I love it. I added 3,550 words (more in draft stage still – but I only count polished words dropped into my WIP) to bring my word count over 10,000wrds, and am so excited about this manuscript! Having worked more on this since I’ve returned home, it now totals almost 11,000wrds.

Some of the lunchtime poets! Gotta love kids who come back voluntarily for poetry!

The last week of my Fellowship I was focused on picture books – revising and polishing a number of manuscripts, critiquing with two writing buddies, writing submissions, researching publishers open for submissions and getting work out there! This was a more disjointed period – but valuable! (More ideas in the pot of inspiration, too.)

And finally, I worked on a poetry collection for children! Still not complete – but closer!

It was a productive, inspiring and affirming month! I was spoilt beyond belief and am exceedingly grateful to the May Gibbs Trust – and for the care and attention from the May Gibbs care team, who think of absolutely everything and are beautifully generous, each in their different way. I don’t think I have ever felt so nourished within my creative soul. Thank-you.

I love Adelaide!

Could not get enough of those LEAVES!

I posted more pics to Instagram, under #MGCTF – when I remembered the hashtag!

This post is a part of the Poetry Friday link-up around the blogosphere. You’ll find more poetry posts at  Michelle Kogan‘s blog – where you’re sure to get double the creativity with words and art! Thank-you Michelle.


  1. Wow! I want to sign up. It sounds like you were really productive…and that’s great! I’m astounded at the amount of time that research, critique and putting work out takes. Those beautiful children were into poetry? Kisses to each. I really look forward to your NF verse novel. I’m writing NF verse now….and it’s tough. I love it. But, it’s like chipping away at a big rock…little bits, by little bits I’m amassing words. You’ll get there, I am sure!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am keen to apply again, a few years down the track. And yes! Time! Because every submission guideline is different, it is always a big process – and even if the weren’t I think I’d still be tweaking each time. #iknowiwould All the best with your NF verse novel. It brings a whole new set of challenges to the process – but I’m beginning to think one of the reasons I love poetry so much is *because* of the challenge! 🙂


  2. Wow, Kat, this sounds so lovely, from koalas to being with friend writers to the words themselves. It seems you came away with so much to follow upon, a good thing, and so much to be proud of, another good thing. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • And so much to power me up, emotionally, for the time ahead. 🙂 I hadn’t realised how much incidental networking (and affirmation) is gained from extended social chatter. As a regional writer, I don’t get that. (Not complaining. Just noticing.) Even at conferences, it’s always a different level of communication. But this extended time allowed for more conversations – so it went deeper, and covered seemingly incidental topics. So valuable!


  3. Eeep. Sorry, all. It seems I’m going to be quiet this round, too. My laptop charger just very quietly went ‘pop’ – and no more charge light… No more charge! Hoping to have a new one next week – and hoping that resolves the problem. Meanwhile… nursing my laptop battery!! (Having just run back-ups!)


  4. Ah, sounds like you had a power-filled productive month–wonderful. I’m looking forward to reading some of the fruits of your labors from this fellowship time! Love all the pics here too, and those intriguing young budding poets, thanks for this rich posting Kat.

    Liked by 1 person

    • My writing progress stalled by necessity when my laptop charger broke – but after an extended weekend of winter re-arranging (It feels like I have a new house!) I’m ready to get back into it, Michelle. 🙂


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