In collaboration with Trawalla Foundation, and Life At Springfield, Stella is proud to support Stella Prize-listed authors with a variety of opportunities including writing retreats, residencies and workshops. The generosity of our partners affords these authors time, solitude, peer networks, as well as an inspiring environment in which to think deeply, and write, uninterrupted by the usual commitments of daily life.
Life At Springfield is an oasis located on a 20-acre estate in the beautiful Southern Highlands of NSW — the lands of the Gundungurra, Dharawal and Yuin Nations.
As well as a variety of regular retreats designed to enhance individual and collective wellness, Life at Springfield generously supports Stella Prize-listed authors with dedicated periods for their writing through a range of self-directed residencies and participation in thematic retreats.
At Life at Springfield, Stella Prize-listed authors are gifted that most precious commodity: time. Time a writer needs to think deeply, and write, uninterrupted by the usual commitments of daily life.
“We are delighted to be working with Stella to offer women writers time and space to write. We believe that now, more than ever, it is imperative that we uplift women’s voices, because the power of women’s voices can inspire change in our society. Our ethos is based on growing a creative ecology to nurture and nourish our guests so they can sink into their creative process. Our wish is to ensure that all who come to stay will leave feeling revitalised by the beauty and bounty of nature at Springfield, and ready to raise their voice.
– Kinchem Hegedus, Director – Life at Springfield
Of their time at Springfield, Stella Prize-listed authors have said:
“The atmosphere and environment at Springfield are perfectly curated for writing. The natural surroundings and the space were useful for nurturing my creative projects in the time I spent there. It will always stand out as an idyllic period in my memory. I’m immensely grateful for the opportunity to think and write freely without the distractions of regular life and its associated routine.”
— Yumna Kassab, 2020 longlistee
“What rare gifts are time and solitude for a writer. Two weeks immersed in this beautiful, peaceful environment have been a balm for my spirit. I’m working on a book that has a connection to gardens and the natural world — so the opportunity to spend time in such a beautiful environment was perfect.”
— Joyce Morgan, 2018 longlistee
“Springfield is an extraordinary place, and a wonderful environment for writers to work in. Facilitating the retreat was a really rewarding experience — it was a pleasure to work so closely with such a committed group and to see their work flourish.”
— Stephanie Bishop, 2019 and 2016 longlistee
Generously supported by The Trawalla Foundation, the Stella Grasstrees Writing Retreat were awarded to Stella Prize shortlisted authors between 2013 and 2019. Grasstrees is a tranquil property nestled on the south-west coast of Victoria near the Great Otway National Park, in Wadawurrung Country. The Stella Grasstrees Writing Retreat provided writers with the space to begin or progress a new work of Australian literature.
“Virginia Woolf’s words about women needing ‘a room of one’s own’ still ring true, and we trust that the residency will nurture these female writers’ creativity.”
– Carol Schwartz, Trawalla Foundation
Recipients of the Stella Grasstrees Writing Retreat have said:
“The gift of time and solitude at Grasstrees is incalculable. The property is exquisite and any writer’s dream. But the opportunity to have uninterrupted thinking time is the greatest gift of all.”
– Heather Rose, 2017 Stella Prize winner
“Being in such a beautiful and peaceful location, and away from all of the everyday logistics and distractions of my regular life, enables a different kind of deep thinking that’s so rare and so precious. I wrote some really significant parts of the book I’m working on, and some other, more surprising pieces too, because there was so much space for ideas and odd connections, nothing to crowd them out. And I left feeling rejuvenated in my work, which is a remarkable thing in and of itself.”
– Fiona Wright, 2016 Stella Prize shortlistee
“It is difficult to get time to ‘sink’ into a project – to engage at the deepest level. Grasstrees has a special kind of silence, and there’s such an equality to the place – living gently among the creatures. The value is immeasurable. My only hesitation is that I may never find such fertile creative solitude again!”
– Carrie Tiffany, 2013 Stella Prize winner