Tuesday, 8 March 2011


Applying for funding is scary. It’s good, however, that I don’t need to replace my salary. The sabbatical is a given. I’ve covered my colleagues in the past – they’re covering me now. But I do need to get some money for some bits and pieces. I need to get over to Germany, I need to make my visits to the war museums and I need to find out about evacuation of the Steiner school from London. It’s good, anyway, in my position to be seen to be applying for funding.
Yet it’s not easy project to justify for funding. It’s been recommended that I apply for for a British Academy Small Grant. The first hurdle is knowing how to describe the project. I’m trying to get a novel finished. Yet specifically these grants are not for allowing time for writing a novel or producing a film. It’s more in this case that the outcome of the research is a novel.
So, is it a historical project and in particular, women’s history? It is, and it isn’t. I’m certainly looking into history. I’m also trying to understand some attitudes that were present at the time when war broke out in Germany. Those of us who write fiction know that it can be a very useful tool for allowing us to work out what might happen in given circumstances. After all, the fundamental question behind any fiction is “what if?”
How do I get all of this into a proposal? Is that not being truly creative with writing?
I only have a few days now to complete this bid. It will have to become a priority. I want it done and dusted by the beginning of next week.

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