Nova Weetman is the writer of Film Victoria short films Ripplesand Mr Wasinski’s Song (AWGIE nomination and winner Best Australian Short at MIFF).
She worked in television for many years. She has published short fiction in Overland, Mslexia, Kill Your Darlings, Wet Ink and Island, and non-fiction in Overland, Island and The Guardian. Nova is the author of fourteen books for young adults and middle grade readers, including Sick Bay, The Secrets We Keep, The Edge of Thirteen and Elsewhere Girls. Sick Bay has recently been published in the US. Nova lives in Melbourne with her two teenagers and a cat.
What activities will the Creators Fund support you to undertake?
I’ll be writing a book on grief, lockdown and the creative process. My partner of many years died of cancer at home in 2020 during Melbourne’s lockdown. The lockdown made looking after him very difficult because we were limited in how many people could enter the house. He was a successful Melbourne playwright whose work often explored the subject of dying. I’m planning on weaving in an examination of his work, of grief, loss and nursing into a form of memoir. Over the next six months of writing, I plan to publish small sections from the book in local literary magazines. The first is coming out in Island magazine. And another in the Metro Tunnel project through the Melbourne Writer’s Festival.
Can you talk us through what your work routine will look like with the help of a creator's fund grant?
Rather than taking on various freelance roles and trying to make a scratchy living, I’ll be able to solidly write. My plan is to write my book three days a week without distractions, which feels like an absolute gift. Some of my writing time will be given over to research and diving into the sorts of non-fiction books I’d like to create myself. I’ll spend time reading, thinking and researching grief and loss, and also examining Aidan’s plays more closely, so that I can draw on all of this when writing.
Where would you like to see yourself and your career at the end of this process?
I would like to have a solid first draft that I can send to my agent to begin the process of finding the right publisher. This is a very different work for me, because my other published books are for young adults and middle grade readers. This is for adults, and it is non-fiction. I have published short pieces of non-fiction and fiction for adults, but never worked on something this substantial before. Ideally, I would like to grow my readership more broadly and find some small success in writing more diversely across readerships. I think too, this book will be about challenging me as a writer and thinker. And that’s both exciting and terrifying.