As the year draws to a close all my attention is focussed on redrafting my full length manuscript. My Amplify grant means I have the support of professional editor Elizabeth Cowell to guide me. Throughout the year I have continued to write and submit short stories drawing on the learning experiences the Amplify grant has opened up for me as a writer. 2014 has been a year full of positives, my short story successes building my confidence step by step:
Eyre Writers Literary Award, SA ‘Final Bid’ First Prize
Laura Literary Awards, SA ‘Irish Stew’ First Prize
Heart of Annandale Short Story Prize, NSW ‘Annandale Dreaming’ First Prize
Society of Women Writers, TAS ‘Memory’ Highly Commended
Port Stephens Examiner Literature Awards, NSW ‘Patchwork’ Second Prize
Thanks to Amplify for a year of writing time, support and ongoing achievement.


As part of my Amplify grant I am attending an 8 week FICTION FEEDBACK Workshop with professional Convenor/Editor Nicola O’Shea and a group of four other fellow writers. Three writers submit a piece of writing up to 6000 words on a fortnightly basis. We then have the opportunity to read in advance and provide specific feedback on each piece when our group of six comes together in session. FICTION FEEDBACK offers a valuable and intensive combination of personal attention and truthful critical advice – ideal for anyone who is serious about improving their writing. We learn as much from reading and commenting upon each other’s pieces as we do from submitting and receiving feedback on our own. Fortnightly attendance makes revision and rewriting possible as advice is received. Each session also allows for focus on particular aspects of writing. We have covered Point of View, Showing Not Telling, Characterisation, Plot and Structure. I feel each session strengthens my writing skills and, by bringing me into close contact with other writers, opens new doors for me.

Christine Johnson

Amplify your art Blog – Daniel Monks

“My first week of the “IT’S ALL ABOUT ME (solo series)” residency with Philip Channells has been challenging, rewarding & fun. I’ve been stretched & pushed, not only conceptually, but also physically. What I have thought my body is capable of has been expanded & perceived limitations have been tested, which has been liberating & exciting. With the opportunity to work with award-winning filmmaker Stevie Cruz-Martin, as well as being able to share what we have created with the public, I’m incredibly excited for what our second week will bring.”

Workshops with Restless Dance Theatre

Chris Bunton

I spent the last week in Adelaide with Restless Dance Theatre where I was included in their daily workshops. Each day, I participated and observed their training and work, learning new ways to move and how to interpret some of their phrases which will be used in their show “In the Balance”.

I enhanced my knowledge on the development of new dance theatre pieces such as adding elements to make a show more unique. Some of these included a chair stack, dodgem cars and chair swap. I also had the chance to learn new movement activities such as “tracing phase”. This was to show how the body could interact with other parts of the body.

Additionally I learnt how to express myself through movements such as unison (where everybody does the same move together). This helps to keep the body more aware of the space around you with a group of performers branched in. The Restless group are using this technique in their show with elements such as leg kick, arm bend and reach, and it is called the “Dance off moment phrase”.

Besides all the activities, I had a wonderful week full of fantastic inspiring moments which were enjoyed with a great bunch of artists. I would like to give a special thank you to Michelle Ryan the Artistic Director for all her efforts to support me and make me feel so welcome.

Photo Credit: Shane Reid

Professional workshops with Kay Armstrong

Chris Bunton

For the past 8 weeks I have been travelling to Parramatta’s Connect Studios for one-on-one dance lessons to learn basic contemporary dance techniques. Each week I was accompanied and instructed by Kay Armstrong; a professional contemporary dance artist who helped and mentored me.

I improved my muscle memory sequencing through exercises such as triplets. I also had a fixed lesson plan which included a set warm up and I learnt about the technical features of the music we used including the phrasing and time signatures. Additionally I learnt how to create a floor dance sequence number and developed different ways of using images in the space.

It was a challenging, enjoyable and highly rewarding period of time and I thank Kay for sharing her knowledge with me!

Photo Credit: George Tillianakis

The Gospel of Schizophrenia Mentorship Project 2013

Richard Bell – The Gospel of Schizophrenia Mentorship Project 2013

Richard Bell was awarded $8500 dollars through the Amplify your Arts Program 2013 to develop a ready-to-publish manuscript named “The Gospel of Schizophrenia.” With the help of his mentor Lizz Murphy, they got to work on the process of finalising the manuscript through self-critiquing, development of poems, copy-editing and proofreading Richard’s work.

Below is a sample of before the editing process and after the editing process.

Frozen Over – Before Editing

The walls are frozen solid

the real world is distorted

Through the bricks of ice

I cannot see the situations

For what they really are

Cold watery glaze

Warping my perception

Vision blurred

From an icy prison in my mind

In the morning sunlight

I am no longer trapped

Reality becomes clearer

When the barriers melt releasing me.

Richard Bell © 1st April 2012



Frozen Over – After Editing

The walls are frozen solid as the real world is distorted

Through the bricks of ice I cannot see situations

for what they really are

Vision blurred from an icy prison in my mind

In the morning sunlight reality becomes clearer

© 2013 Richard Bell

Chris Bunton Workshop Photos 2014

Amplify your art recipient Chris Bunton received $10,000 for professional development in dance, theatre and physical theatre. He recently travelled to Victoria to undertake development across these forms where he was exposed to new activities and techniques.

“At Rawcus Theatre in Melbourne I observed different theatre activities which I hadn’t previously experienced, such as Impulse which prompted expression through movement with listening cues,” said Chris.

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