The Julia Darling Travel Fellowship was set up in 2015 to assist a writer to undertake a period of travel, which will inform their work. Founded by New Writing North and Julia’s family and friends it commemorates Julia as a writer and also her kind and generous spirit, as Julia often went out of her way to support and encourage many other writers and aspiring writers to develop their work and creativity. The fellowship is inspired by Julia’s love of travel and by the appreciation that she had of writing away from home, whether that was at creative retreats in the wilderness or in rented houses at the seaside.
Julia loved to travel, she loved the experiences this brought, the people she met, the stories she heard and the landscapes which fed directly into her novels, poetry and plays. The first draft of Crocodile Soup was written in Australia and many plays, short stories and poems were created on writing retreats like the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Ireland, Banff in Canada, cottages in the Lake District or castles in Scotland. These retreats gave Julia an intense time to write and she always came home full of new ideas, new friends and plans for her next project (which often involved more travel!). She always had a positive outlook on life, a thirst for adventure and was supportive and encouraging of other writers and artists, so it seemed fitting that this prize should reflect her generous spirit and enthusiasm for life.
The first award of £2,000, with thanks to the support of New Writing North, was presented to the children’s novelist and playwright Chloe Daykin. The award enabled Chloe to research her second children’s novel in Norway. You can read about Chloe’s travels on the award-winners’ page.
We would like to make this an annual prize and to do this we hope to raise the resource through donations from family, friends, writers and artists that knew Julia and those that valued her writing and teaching. If you would like to be part of this, further information can be viewed on our supporters page.