Di Yerbury Residency Award 2024 by Colleen Keating


Jan Conway the worthy winner with the two judges Colleen Keating  & Sharon Rundle

Congratulations to Janette Conway, worthy winner of this year’s Di Yerbury Residency Award. 

Emerita Professor Di Yerbury, Patron of the Society of Women Writers NSW, generously sponsors the Writers Residency which grants the winner 3 months stay in Barnstaple, Devon, UK to research and to continue to write a full length work-in-progress.

Maria McDougall (President of the SWW, Jan Conway the 2024 winner of the Di Yerbury Award,
Emerita Professor Di Yerbury and Colleen Keating one of the judges.

Previous winners of this award Belinda Murrell and Cindy Broadbent spoke about their time at the residency, the benefits that they enjoyed from their stay there, what it meant to them, as well as giving a brief insight into the work-in-progress that they are writing. Each showed a video to illustrate their talk. 

Pamela Rushby was guest speaker and spoke about her book about mudlarking on the Thames in London and showed us some of the artefacts she had retrieved from the banks of the river.

I highly recommend entering the Di Yerbury annual Residency Award, but you do need to be a member of the SWW. More at:


Congratulations to all our residency winners past and present.




Congratulations to Janette Conway on being awarded the 2024 Di Yerbury residency. Jan is seen here with Patron, Emerita Professor, Di Yerbury and judges Colleen Keating and Sharon Rundle

Di Yerbury Residential Award 2023 has a vibrant winner by Colleen Keating

                                       Congratulations to Belinda Murrell  

                                                          on winning this year’s

                                   Di Yerbury Residency in Barnstaple, Devon.

Judges’ Report:
The applications shortlisted for the 2023 Di Yerbury Residency were outstanding. They each demonstrated a solid background of writing and publishing, study and research, accomplished writing skills and a publishing track record. All have received various writing and publishing awards.
The writing samples were of a high standard, demonstrating the applicants’ command of the necessary attributions for publication. Research and writing plans were detailed and showed how the Di Yerbury Residency would assist their current writing and research.
It made our task of selecting a winner extremely difficult. It took several weeks of considering and assessing the applications to come to a decision.
We believe that our chosen winner meets the residency criteria and the spirit of the Di Yerbury Residency. We feel sure that she will make the most of her opportunity to research and write her novel while overseas.
The award this year for a proposed novel with the working title The Shadow Girl goes to:
Belinda plans to research and write the first draft of a proposed novel set during the 1930s and 1940s, ‘shining a light on the courage and achievements of a forgotten Australian woman war correspondent … inspired by the remarkable true-life story of Margaret Gilruth’ and the ‘fascinating World War II history of young English and Australian women working for the secret Y listening stations in Abbots Cliff, near Dover, decoding enemy messages from German pilots and naval vessels’.
We congratulate Belinda Murrell and wish her all the best with her research and look forward to reading her novel The Shadow Girl when it is published.

Colleen Keating and Sharon Rundle

Judges, Di Yerbury Residency 2023

Australian biographer
Dianne Yerbury AO is an Australian university administrator and company director. She was the Vice-Chancellor of Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia from 1987 to 2005. She was Australia’s first female Vice-Chancellor, and was also the longest serving Vice-Chancellor of Macquarie University.Wikipedia