O’Hanlon wins Varuna / NEWC scholarship | Books + Publishing


James O’Hanlon won the 2021 Varuna / New England Writers’ Center (NEWC) Fellowship for his manuscript “I Love Spiders”.

O’Hanlon receives a week-long writing residency at Varuna, The National Writers’ House, in the Blue Mountains. The scholarship, which will start in 2022, also includes full board and accommodation in Varuna, funds for travel and one-on-one consultation with a Varuna expert.

Selected from a shortlist of two candidates announced earlier this month, O’Hanlon will work on his winning manuscript during his residency. “I Love Spiders” draws on “groundbreaking” research to form a “light” approach to the “fascinating and misunderstood world of spiders”.

Varuna’s judges praised “I Love Spiders” for “the originality of the concept and the transformative potential for readers,” calling his writing style “lively” and “immersive”. Varuna Executive Director Veechi Stuart said: “James’ submission sparked a lively and positive discussion around spiders. His writing is handcrafted and lyrical, and through his enthusiastic and heartily anecdotal style we were drawn to his subject. His plan for Varuna was specific and achievable. We look forward to welcoming him to Varuna in 2022. ‘

“James is a wonderful writer and artist, with the scientific background and communication background to make this project a reality,” said NEWC President Sophie Masson. “We are delighted that he won the 2021 scholarship to work on his ambitious and important project.”

O’Hanlon is a writer and illustrator from Armidale in the NSW area. Of his victory, he said, “I can’t believe I was selected for the Varuna NEWC 2021 scholarship. I am so grateful for the opportunity. Working from home with a toddler is quite difficult, so the opportunity to spend time in Varuna is priceless and will push my writing to the next level and give me the opportunity to make enough progress on my book. , “I Love Spiders” that I can start approaching agents and hopefully begin the release process. ‘

In its third year, the scholarship is awarded to a writer currently living in the New England area or who has lived there for at least five years.

Category: Local news