News and Events

Stay up-to-date with Roderick Centre news and events


Each third Thursday of the month the Roderick Centre facilitates 'The Penultimates', a writers' group for writers serious about developing craft and providing feedback on one another's work. The group is for published as well as unpublished writers of non-academic work and offers a safe space for writers to share drafts (both good and bad), struggles, tears, and laughter.

This year the Roderick Centre hosted a panel featuring Cairns writers Dr Elizabeth Smyth (Roderick Centre staff and JCU PhD alumni), Dr Louise Henry (JCU PhD Alumni), and Dr Gillian Long (JCU PhD Alumni) to discuss the question, 'How does a writer craft a novel set in the Wet Tropics?'

Elizabeth Smyth uses magic realism to explore human relationships with nature, Louise Henry draws on family history and historical artefacts to link the past and present, and Gillian Long employs an immigrant perspective to examine class and ideological issues of the 1930s. It was a conversation about techniques, problems, ethics, culture, and place.


Nine fellowships are available, with three in-person residency fellowships and six virtual fellowships, to writers living in regional and remote parts of Australia. Participants will be selected from across Australia, with at least one fellowship place to be reserved for a First Nations writer, and at least two fellowships to be reserved for writers from regional Queensland.

This is the only national literary program in Australia specifically for regional and remote writers.

This program is presented in partnership with the Roderick Centre for Australian Literature and Creative Writing (RCALC). Newly established in 2024 thanks to a generous bequest from the late Colin and Margaret Roderick, the Centre aims to foster the reading and writing of Australian literature in all its forms, and to encourage the study of Australian literature and literary cultures.

In-person residency fellowships will include:

  • A two-week residency at Varuna, with full board and accommodation including a prepared evening meal
  • Uninterrupted time to write in your own private studio, and the companionship of your fellow writers.
  • Reimbursement of all travel expenses from anywhere in Australia, including airfares and transfers.
  • $600 towards other expenses. Each writer will be able to use this expenses budget to fit their individual needs.

The virtual residency program will include:

  • Two one-hour online sessions (one-on-one) with a Varuna writing consultant.
  • Two online Q&A sessions with published writers experienced in their craft.
  • Daily facilitated professional networking opportunities throughout the week, including the opportunity to share work, talk about process, and receive feedback.

Virtual residency participants need to allow at least two hours at specific times every day for programmed sessions, with the expectation that participants will spend at least three hours dedicated writing time each day.

Applicants will be asked to specify their preference between an in-person and virtual residency. All applicants shortlisted for an in-person residency who are unsuccessful will be offered a virtual residency as a second option.

Click here for more information and application process.

The Roderick Centre for Australian Literature and Creative Writing is delighted to announce a new grant program that reflects the desire of the Centre to align our research with James Cook University areas of strength in the environment, health and wellbeing, and First Nations perspectives.

These grants are open to all academics at JCU to apply, by partnering with anyone in the Centre to ensure your project has a focus on narrative, storytelling, and literature, broadly conceived.

$6000 is available for partner projects that work to form new cross-disciplinary research groups or support partnerships that work with and  extend beyond JCU English faculty or Centre staff.

Proposals that align with and advance research and understanding of the way creative writing and literary studies can promote understanding of and promote engagement with the following themes will be highly ranked:

  • The Environment and/or the Region
  • Wellbeing
  • First Nations Perspectives

If you are interested in initiating such a partner project, or know someone who may be, we invite you to consider developing or co-creating a partnership application (attached) and extend our welcome to contact the RCALC Program Advisor for further information and contact details.

Application form here

The Roderick Centre for Australian Literature and Creative Writing seeks expressions of interest (EOIs) from researchers in the field of Australian literary studies to participate in a series of Roderick Visiting Fellowships. The Roderick Visiting Fellowship Program aims to attract outstanding researchers in the field of Australian literary studies to make a positive contribution to the research culture of the James Cook University. This contribution should include conducting one masterclass, as well as presenting seminars or delivering public-facing guest lectures.

Expressions of interest should align with research themes that acknowledge JCU’s position in the tropical world by addressing one or more of the following themes: ecosystems, conservation and climate change; industry and economy; peoples and societies; health, medicine and biosecurity. Within these broad themes, the Roderick Centre has a particular interest in the Environment (e.g. Reef, Rainforest, Tropics); Empowering Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People; and Medicine - Mental Health/ Wellbeing.

Roderick Visiting Fellows will join the centre for thirty (30) days. The Fellowship is valued at up to $20,000 which includes travel, accommodation, and administrative expenses plus a stipend to cover incidentals while staying at JCU.


The fellowships are available to any scholar from Australia or overseas who is actively working in the field of Australian literary studies.

Your expression of interest should include:

  • Curriculum Vitae (CV), including details of degrees and qualifications; relevant positions held in the past five years; a list of publications, presentations, and achievements relevant to the application.
  • Fellowship Proposal: In no more than two pages, indicate the ways in which you will contribute to the University research culture by drawing on your experience and track record. The proposal should also indicate a schedule for the visit to JCU. We are initially seeking scholars who could be in residence from 15 July 2024 to coincide with the launch of the Roderick Centre. Other periods in 2024 and 2025 are welcome.
  • Two referee reports: The referee reports should address your experience and research capabilities, and an assessment of the value and viability of the fellowship proposal.


  • EOIs will be considered by the Director and leaders of the Roderick Centre for Australian Literature and Creative Writing, as well as independent assessors.
  • EOIs will be assessed against your track record (relative to opportunity) and standing in the field, and also the strength of the proposal.
  • Preference will be given to EOIs that clearly align with JCU’s research themes.