2021 National Regional Arts Fellowship

Woo! I’m one of an additional three recipients who have been awarded a National Regional Arts Fellowship through extension funding in 2021. Six original recipients were announced back in May.

I’ve been dying to tell everyone for ages but it’s been embargoed since July.

Back in March this year I submitted my application for a National Regional Arts Fellowship. In May I got an email saying I was “unfunded excellence” meaning the panel thought my application deserved to be funded but that there wasn’t enough money to fund everyone and I had not been selected in this case. I expected that to be the end of it. I’ve had emails like that before.

In the last week of Term 2 (middle of July) the Director of Regional Arts Australia called to tell me they’d successfully lobbied for some additional funding and that would include funding my Fellowship.

Reader, I was unprepared for this delightful news (I was in the middle of mentoring a team for Australian Business Week at Renmark High School) and may have said swear words and/or screamed a bit.

It’s been under embargo since then, until Minister made official announcement, but it is now public and real and I can shout all about it!

Through the support of this fellowship I’ll be spending all of November exploring my community and writing and co-creating through my project Novel November:

“What would a version of the Riverland full of dragons and magic look like (and how can that help us better care for and build the real Riverland)? Novel November is a month-long collaborative experiment re-imagining our local haunts and habits. Writer and creative ‘doer’ Alysha Herrmann will lead a process of world-building and creative responses with other Riverland creative folk to generate short stories, poems, illustrations, songs, installations, experiences and ideas for the general public to explore a yet-to-be-named and yet-to-be-created alternate version of the Riverland.”

If you want to get involved with any of my fellowship activity, you can find all of the info here: https://partofthings.org/portfolio/novel-november-2021/

Novel November is the first stage of an ambitious multi-year speculative fiction project right here in our Riverland and I’m thrilled to have the backing of this fellowship to kick it off.

My long-term vision is that the fantasy world version of the Riverland created through Novel November will become a framework for future stories, theatre projects, visual art exhibitions, cosplay, LARP and other things here in my community.

image by Kirste Vandergiessen, created for the Part of Things 2021 program

Alysha Herrmann’s Novel November Residency is supported by the Australian Government’s Regional Arts Fund, with additional support from Writers SA through Alysha’s role as Writers SA Riverland Coordinator. 

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