A Varuna Fellowship – a tick off the old bucket list!

Varuna Writers HouseWhen I first started writing seriously and heard of Varuna Writing Fellowships, and Varuna Writers’ House, I wrote “achieve a Varuna Fellowship” clearly on my bucket list of writing goals.

So forgive me while I jump up and down with excitement to share the news that I have been awarded a 2014 Varuna Retreat Fellowship to work on my YA historical novel Prison Boy.

I have been to Varuna. Back in 2011, I paid for a one-week residency. It was writer heaven to be encircled by the quiet of the house, knowing my fellow writers too were squirrelled away at their desks, writing, reading, imagining. Best, there were no interruptions. No appointments, no ringing phone, no clothes to wash and most importantly and best of all (if you don’t count the writing) no meals to prepare. The wonderful Sheila prepares and cooks the most incredible meals and all one has to do is come down to dinner. Oh, and share a drink and conversation with fellow writers and/or illustrators.

I have to say that last time, a little part of me didn’t quite feel I’d earned the right to be there. I still coveted a Fellowship. Three weeks after the announcement, I’m still pinching myself.

Maggie the MuseI can’t wait to revisit, hopefully, the same productivity and inspiration of last time. Also I want to see if my little mate, Maggie, the magpie, and muse, with his twisted foot, is still there. I hope so.

Varuna, here I come!

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Peter Taylor" alt="Peter Taylor">

Peter Taylor

Superb and well deserved! I know you’ll enjoy this, will make the most of it and create a book we all want to read.

All best wishes


October 18, 2013 at 11:33 am
    christinemareebell" alt="christinemareebell">


    Thank you, Peter.
    I’m sure I will make the most of it. Varuna is inspiring, just the being there, before one even gets into the writing, the library, the charm of yesteryear.
    I hope you’ll love Prison Boy and a lot more readers too.
    Best wishes,

    October 21, 2013 at 8:14 am

Dimity Powell

Chris this is outstanding news! I am so deeply thrilled for you and know you will turn this time into something even more wonderful with your writing. Very Well Done. 😀

October 18, 2013 at 12:17 pm
Leisl Leighton" alt="Leisl Leighton">

Leisl Leighton

Congrats Chris. You have worked hard and really deserve this. I love Prison Boy (as you know). I have a great feeling about it. Can’t wait to hear more.

October 18, 2013 at 5:47 pm
Dee White" alt="Dee White">

Dee White

Congratulations Chris – so pleased for you – so well deserved. I’m sure it will be fabulous:) xx

October 19, 2013 at 7:53 pm
    christinemareebell" alt="christinemareebell">


    Thank you, Dee.
    I’m looking forward to the Varuna retreat very much. I bet you are jumping out of your skin in anticipation of your Lake Tahoe retreat and mentorship with Ellen Hopkins next week. Have a brilliant time. I can’t wait to read “Hating Ric”.
    xx Chris

    October 21, 2013 at 8:19 am
Corinne Fenton" alt="Corinne Fenton">

Corinne Fenton

Sounds wonderful, Chris and coming at a perfect time. So well deserved. Congratulations. x

October 24, 2013 at 7:03 am


Hi Chris, Congratulations on this milestone. I know how much this means to you. Many blessings… Karen 🙂

November 5, 2013 at 10:56 am

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