Recently I entered the Australian Society of Authors' Ray Koppe Young Writers' Residency, a week long residency for unpublished writers under thirty at the Blue Mountains' Varuna retreat. While the prize went to filmmaker Hannah Kent, I was, in addition to my good friend Julie Koh, one of the four entrants who were commended. The panel included Hazel Edwards (There's A Hippopotamus On My Roof Eating Cake) and Lynne Spender, and their full report can be viewed here.
The residency was established by the Koppe family as a tribute to their mother, Ray Koppe. Ray, who for many years managed the business affairs of the ASA, was always passionately interested in and supportive of young writers.
A brief extract from my entry, the novella Salvation, Tibet:
A touch revealed more than a look ever could. Beneath her fingers she discovered tiny knots of fear that ran up a chain of nodes in a leg, blockages in abdomens that could be expunged in less than a minute, pockets of gas that exploded into relief, a dislodged disc, a deeply blushing penis. Surprising moments of intimacy. Other professions involving spoken communication could expose people more intimately. But in medicine the body spoke everything.