We’re please to announce our very first CFLA Writer in Residence, the award-winning author Tara Gould.
Our first-ever residency attracted applications from talented emerging and established authors around the country, but the panel unanimously decided toappoint Lewes-based writer Tara Gould. Since studying a Masters in Creative Writing at Sussex University, Tara has had stories published in anthologies and had work featured on BBC Radio 4. She is passionate about supporting local writers and set up the live literature night ‘Short Fuse’ at Brighton’s Komedia, and more recently ‘The Small Story Cabaret’ in Lewes. Tara is a single parent living with her daughter, and alongside her work as a freelance copywriter is chipping away at the second draft of her first novel. ‘When I got the phone call from Creative Future to tell me I’d been chosen as the writer in residence for this programme I was overjoyed.’ says Tara. ‘It’s a good feeling when the effort you’ve put in for such so long is acknowledged and rewarded.’
Over the next three months, Tara will receive mentorship and bespoke training from Creative Future and partner New Writing South. In addition, she’ll receive a bursary to support dedicated writing time. She’ll also have her work included in the CFLA annual anthology alongside critically acclaimed writers like Lemn Sissay. Over the course of her residency, Tara will spend time at Preston Park Recovery Centre, speaking to the Centre’s service users about her experience of being a writer as well as working on a collection of short stories.
It’s the placement within a busy mental health recovery centre which was particularly attractive to Tara. ‘I’m excited about what my time and experiences at Preston Park Recovery Centre will yield. I’m hoping that through the people I meet, the support of the programme, and having the rare luxury of space and time to create, I will produce a new piece of work and take my writing journey to the next stage.’ And Preston Park Recover Centre are equally enthusiastic about welcoming Tara. ‘We are delighted that Tara has been appointed as the writer in residence for Preston Park Recovery Centre,’ says Lynne Thomas, Contract Manager for Preston Park Recovery Centre. ‘With her experience and passion for supporting local writers she will be well placed to share her skills and knowledge with the people who use the Centre.’
While Tara’s residency will benefit people using the Centre, the residency will also give her time and space to reflect on her writing practice, and support to take her career to the next level. As a single parent, accessing these types of support has been a challenge. ‘The value of time and space to write can’t be underestimated’, says John Prebble, Director of New Writing South. ’It is really clear what a difference this residency will make to her work and life as a writer at this stage.’
‘At Creative Future our central ethos is to create new opportunities for marginalised artists and writers,’ says Creative Future’s Director Dominique De-Light. I’m so proud that we are now being able to do this via a Writer in Residence post at the Preston Park Recovery Centre. Tara Gould is a talented writer who we know will make the most of this great opportunity. We look forward to reading more of her work, hearing how she inspires others and working with the Centre – who have been enormously supportive of the process. We hope this residency will be the first of many more to come.’
‘These kinds of opportunities are crucial for writers like me who have experienced obstacles because of life circumstances,’ says Tara. ‘And I believe Creative Future is unique in providing this kind of support.’