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Lee McGowan

What

The Straw Bale Studio at Moniack Mhor - Scotland’s Creative Writing Centre. Image provided by Lee McGowan.Football writer, Lee McGowan, received funding through Arts Queensland’s Individuals Fund to undertake a research trip to the United Kingdom and to attend a writers’ residence in Northern Scotland. Lee worked with Booker Prize-shortlisted M.J. Hyland, multi-award winning author Tessa Hadley and acclaimed novelist Zoe Strachan.

Lee’s research trip will inform his next major writing venture - an innovative heritage project about women’s football in Queensland. He met with football academics, historians and curators to lay the foundations for future work and the advice and guidance provided will inform his writing about Queensland’s football community.

During the writers’ residence, Lee developed his craft through both formal and informal sessions. The process significantly deepened his skills, knowledge and understanding of his own practice and of the process of writing more generally.

The professional contacts Lee made have generously offered to provide continued guidance and input wherever they can to support his new work.

When

August 2016

Where

Manchester and Leicester, England and Glasgow, Scotland.

Arts Queensland contribution

$5,371 – Individuals Fund   

 

Outcomes

  • As a direct result of his trip, Lee has noticed a significant improvement in his professional craft.
  • Lee’s new professional network in the United Kingdom provided him with an excellent referral to a publisher in Scotland.
  • Working with expert football historians and academics has developed Lee’s knowledge and skills in researching and writing football stories.
  • Lee’s international contacts indicated that the localised focus of his writing on women’s football will put him at the forefront of this field.
  • Lee has used the knowledge and skills gained on his trip to help write and develop online resources for the Queensland Football History Project.

Learnings

The writers’ residence experience has made a significant impact on Lee’s professional development and his craft. He reflects:

The writer’s residence offered multiple opportunities to write and improve my abilities by testing my work with established and accomplished authors. The workshops and one-to-one sessions were extremely useful in helping me identify and address areas for improvement in my writing. I now better understand the craft of writing and my own approach to my practice.

I have developed a clearer sense and knowledge of the publishing industry in the UK which will increase my opportunities for publication.

What next

As a result of the writer's residence, Lee has drafted and submitted a book proposal to a publisher. Another two works drafted during the residence are being edited in preparation for submission.

 

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