Q&A with 2012 Writer in Residence, Stella Duffy

Q&A with 2012 Writer in Residence, Stella Duffy



Author, editor, playwright, theatre director and performer Stella Duffy talks to us about her 2012 residency at Gladstone's Library.

What prompted you to apply for the Gladstone’s Library Writer in Residence award?

Damian [Barr] asked me to as it was the first year!

Did you have any concerns about applying?

Yes, I was worried about being away from home for a full month – I see that the Library is now offering two week residencies, which I’m sure is very useful for some people, but I also have to say that making the commitment to the full month was hugely useful for me.

What did you take away from the residency?

A love for the Library and the people there. Concentrated time to focus on writing, which I have never had in my career of over 20 years as a published author, and have not had again. I do a lot of different work, all of which I am passionate about, but I rarely have a single day where ALL I have to do is write. I had hoped to start on a new book while I was there, but a film re-write was required at very short notice, and that became my main work, not the thinking and dreaming time I had hoped for. All the same, in the walks I took every day, in the conversations with strangers, in the little corner of the library I made my own, I managed to have more time and space for writing and contemplation than usual. 

What advice would you give to anybody considering applying?

Apply. Now. Especially if you think perhaps the library itself is not quite your comfort zone – ie, if you’re a very city-loving person (as I am), or have no previous connection to Gladstone, his time and his work. The Library is hugely welcoming to all and especially to those who are not the ‘usual suspects’.

Any further comments?

The residencies are enormously generous gifts for any writer, and I’m grateful for my time there and the connection I now have with the Library. 

If you think you could be our next Writer in Residence, click here for submission rules and deadlines.