Grants Information for South Australian Writers

Yesterday I went to an event run by the Arts South Australia on grants from their Independent Makers and Presenters Program (IMPP).

My thanks to Jennifer Sando on Writers in Adelaide for the tip-off!

Introduction

It was an open panel discussion about project and professional development funding opportunities for independent writers.  About fifteen of us got to learn more about IMPP funding categories, and we got inside tips on how to present a competitive application.

The session focused mainly on Project Grants, for – you guessed it – specific projects and on Individual Development Grants for mentoring opportunities.  A lot of the advice was along the lines of “read the handbook and do what it says”; a handbook or guide is available on the website for each grant category and the ones I read were clear and helpful.

Good Advice on Grants

However, there was also lots of other good advice, for example:

  • You can’t apply for funding to do things that are part of an existing course;
  • Include a one-paragraph synopsis of your intended work;
  • What is your inspiration? What are you exploring?
  • How are you pushing (your) boundaries? Why is this work a strategic choice for you?
  • The Arts SA staff encourage applicants to get in touch with them (contact details on the IMPP website) – indeed few applications succeed without this;
  • The Arts SA staff will read applications for first-time applicants (but NOT in the final week before the submission deadline;
  • You should begin writing your application at least six weeks before the deadline; and
  • About one in three applications succeed!

I felt greatly encouraged to “give it a shot” and apply, even dare I say to try something out of my comfort zone – why not?  Peter Grace and Julia Moretti of Arts SA were excellent, as were Arts South Australia peer assessors Dr Cameron Raynes and Dr Danielle Clode, who had themselves won such grants in the past.  I also know some un/published writers who have won these grants, so there is hope for us mere mortals!

Panel Members

https://arts.sa.gov.au/sites/default/files/public/styles/flexslider-mid/public/field/image/cloderaynes_0.jpg?itok=X1TmIHQr

Dr Cameron Raynes is an Adelaide based writer and educator. His published works include First Person Shooter, The Last Protector and The Colour of Kerosene, for which he received the prestigious Josephine Ulrick Literary Prize in 2008. Cameron currently teaches Aboriginal History, Contemporary Aboriginal Issues and Creative Writing at the University of South Australia.

Dr Danielle Clode is the author of numerous literary non-fiction publications, including Voyages of the South Seas, A Future in Flames and The Wasp and the Orchid. She is the recipient of the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for non-fiction, Whitley Award for popular zoology and has been shortlisted for the Children’s Book Council of Australia award. Danielle is currently a Senior Research Fellow in the College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences at Flinders University.

Further Information

For further information contact Julia Moretti, Arts Development Officer, Independent Makers and Presenters Program on julia.moretti@sa.gov.au

The Maker of the Jar

Introduction

I heard a story (again) yesterday.  A teacher takes out a jar, which is a life, and puts things in it:

 

  • 1st, Golf balls – your health, family & friends (is it full?);
  • 2nd, Marbles – your job, house, car, etc (is it full?);
  • 3rd, Sand – all the other stuff of life (is it full?).

 

They all fit if you put them in that order.  However, if you put the sand in first, then there is not enough room for everything.  The moral is to prioritise loving relationships first in life, otherwise, they suffer.

Now this story is fine on the surface, but it has always annoyed me, and yesterday I asked God ‘why is that?’  He answered straight away, showing me that this story is useless to people who lack:

 

  • Good health or a loving family;
  • A job or possessions; and
  • Everything else – if just staying alive is a struggle.

 

So this story only speaks to a privileged few.  It is only for those who are rich, in every sense of the word, those who have choice, who have to choose, because they have so much.

Scripture

Contrast that story with this image from Revelation Chap 21.  God speaks to the faithful, who have lost their jobs, possessions and loved ones, who have been tortured and even killed because of their loyalty to Him.  He promises a new universe, with a new Jerusalem, where God and His people will live together like never before.  There will be no more death, grief, crying or pain.  God declares that life, the universe & everything is completed, as he is the beginning and the end of history, the reason for it all.

Conclusion

God’s Revelation is greater than man’s wisdom.  He will satisfy those who have everything and nothing, the loved and unloved, the comfortable and the suffering.  He made all the golf balls, all the marbles and all the sand – every good thing comes from him.  He made the jar itself.  He is the creator and ultimate fulfilment of the universe and of everything in it.  He is love and life itself.  Amen.

Waiting … Patience

A Sermon on 2Peter 3:8-15a (Year B, Advent 2)

Aim:  To see our history and future with God’s perspective.

Waiting for Christ’s Return

The early church had a problem:

  • Many believers expected Jesus to return in their lifetime, but he had not.
  • Many had died waiting, even some leaders had been executed for their faith!

Where was Jesus?  Why hadn’t he come back to save them from their earthly trials?

Peter must have felt this personally.  He had known Jesus as a man, as well as anyone could – better than many of Jesus’ own human family.

Peter’s answer is to put things in perspective – in previous verses he give’s the perspective of Creation – earth, water and fire.  In these verses he points out that God’s timing is not ours:

  • God is patient and wants to give people time to turn to Christ and be saved.
  • Peter could not know how many people, because the world is bigger than he knew!
  • Southern Africa, the Americas, East Asia, the Pacific and Australia were unknown to them.

He assures the early church – and us – that the Day of the Lord will come.

  • He uses Jesus own words to describe the suddenness and ferocity of the destruction, which will be total.
  • Everything that we are used to and take for granted will be gone.
  • So, how should we then live?  Patience means salvation!

Waiting for Christmas

We have to wait decades to be united with God, and Creation must wait much longer.  Today we think of both Christ’s First and Second comings:

  • The Jews had to wait hundreds of years for the Messiah; and
  • We’ve had to wait for 2,000 years already for Christ’s return;
  • We could be stuck on this planet, this history, this universe for a long time.

Maybe the annual cycle that we go through is training:

  • Maybe, while the days and years pass we should use this cycle, ride it like a wave;
  • Make the most of every moment (“if you can fill the unforgiving minute, with sixty seconds’ worth of distance run” Kipling).
  • Focus on the eternal, unchanging, God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Christianity is for life, not just for Christmas!

Conclusion

We need that refreshment, that renewal, we need to celebrate Jesus’ Birth, a baby, something fresh and innocent and new and wonderful (although babies are demanding too and they take years to mature!)  We need God’s perspective – personal, unexpected, unusual, and refreshing.

God’s Leadership versus Human Leadership

Samuel has appointed his sons as judges, but their leadership is corrupt…a sermon on 1 Samuel 8:4-20 (Year B, Proper 7)

The People/Elders

A conspiracy!  They have planned this, rather than listening to God, waiting on his word.  The Elders don’t want to keep going with the current system – they want something new, better!

  • Why won’t they try and make the current system work? …
  • … you don’t make a name for yourself by keeping things the same!

The focus of the elders is ‘keeping up with the neighbours’ other nations.  Nevertheless, in vv19-20 the people want:

  • A tangible, visible leader;
  • To be the same as others – they desire to conform;
  • Someone to make the difficult decisions for them; and
  • They desire for security.

God and His Prophet

Samuel is horrified, (Moses held it together, but now it’s all going wrong on his watch) so he goes to God in prayer immediately.  God is the real authority here, Samuel is only his servant, his prophet; Christian leaders take note!  We see an incredible insight into God’s relationship with his people:

  1. God knows that His people are consistently unfaithful;
  2. Nevertheless, He commands His leader to listen to their demands;
  3. He ensures that they are warned of the consequences; but
  4. He does not force His will on them.

The Prophecy

Samuel warns the people that a king will compete with next-door nations for power and glory, which will lead to war.  Then the people and the economy will be devoted to war, which is costly.  That hierarchy between king and people will be costly – all those layers of self-important people will eat up what once belonged to the people and the 10% tithe to God.  They think that they would get a king to serve them, but they will serve him!

Application

Someone asked the question: ‘how do you explain war to children?’  Here is an answer.  When we humans are not busy loving God, listening to him and giving him the glory, we get busy looking after themselves and our possessions.  Then we begin comparing themselves to others and start looking at our neighbours with suspicion!  So, conflict begins…

Our church leaders may be weak and fallible, and we have those like Samuel’s sons among us, but our hope is not in them.  Our God is pure and can hold power and authority without being corrupted.  We have the Spirit – the mind of Christ – in us, the loving example of Jesus and God Himself.