In December 2015 I was lucky enough to be chosen for the Busybird Creative Fellowship. The fellowship aims to help an emerging writer through their current project. For me, this meant developing my skills as a writer, starting my own writing group, meeting a vast network of amazing people, and ultimately, bringing my novel up to a standard so I can start submitting.
Now, as applications open for the 2017 fellowship, I urge anyone who is looking to take the next step in their writing journey to apply. Whether you have just finished a first draft, are thinking of self-publishing, or even believe you’re ready to submit, the Creative Fellowship will help you.
I received the fellowship when I was hallway through writing my second draft. I was feeling quite confident with it, thinking I might even be able to submit by June 2016. However, during the many courses that Busybird offer FREE with the fellowship, I learned so much that made me take a step back and analyze certain aspects I had previously thought needed no improvement. Through Busybird’s mentoring with Les Zigomanis, I went from having five protagonists in a 95,000 word novel, down to three protagonists in a 45,000 word novel within the space of a month. That was due to how much unnecessary information I had repeated, repeated, and repeated again. I learned to be succinct and trust the reader, and I’m not sure I would’ve have been able to do that so readily if not for Busybird.
The networking aspect of the fellowship also helped me a great deal. At events such as the Busybird Open Mic Night and their Publish for Profit workshops, I’ve met many people with such vast backgrounds in writing. Through these events I have been able to organize and facilitate a fortnightly writing group, in which sessions are broken up to critique and give feedback on an individual’s piece. Not only does this help improve my writing in general, but it adds a certain social aspect to the experience that really helps to network.
Again, anyone who is considering applying for Busybird’s 2017 Creative Fellowship, I urge to do so. It is a great initiative for an emerging writer, and will absolutely help you take your next step.