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  • Writer's pictureMark J. Keenan


In the 1930s, a small weatherboard house was constructed on a quarter acre block in the growing suburb of Bassendean. Steel and heavy industries had come to this part of Perth, and workers came with them. One of those workers was my grandfather, Jock, and his wife, Violet and they came to live in this house.

Staying in the hills of Perth, walking the streets of Bassendean, wandering John Forrest National Park, imagining my grandparent’s lives. This was my two weeks at KSP.

No two days were the same. I wrote, of course. Quite a lot in fact. And the “word-count” momentum has continued since I arrived home. But so much more than this, I connected with my work, and my characters, in a way which was wonderful and magical.

It was important to me in going to stay at KSP that I let things happen. I was, and somewhat still am, a control nut. I plan my week in advance, allotting writing time, chores, social, work. Everything.

I wanted to approach KSP differently because I wanted to approach the project differently. With purpose, but with freedom. Without a road map, but with a sense of direction. If I am going to do this work, I want to enjoy it.

I let go. I allowed it to happen. I turned up to the page. And it worked.

By the time I left KSP, I had far exceeded my expectations in terms of output but, most importantly, I felt deeply in touch with my writing, my characters, and my story. This is something I think would not have been possible without the Fellowship and the support of my two co-residents, Sharon Barba and Karen Atkinson.


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