Aspiring Indigenous writers to vie for $10,000 fellowships

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander writers hoping to have their manuscripts published have the chance to win $10,000 prize money through State Library of Queensland (SLQ) fellowships.

Acting Minister for Innovation, Science and the Digital Economy Mark Bailey said the black&write! initiative, which is open to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander writers nationally, is a terrific development opportunity.

“The Fellowships play a significant role in nurturing Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander writing community,” Mr Bailey said.

“This project exemplifies State Library’s ongoing commitment to telling, sharing and recording the stories, not just of Queenslanders, but of all Indigenous Australians.”

Two black&write! Fellowships are on offer to both published and unpublished authors. As well as the prize money, winners will receive professional manuscript development with SLQ’s Indigenous editing team, and the opportunity to see their work published.

Manuscript entries are invited in a range of genres including the novel, young adult novel, short story collection, poetry collection, or children’s book.

Acting State Librarian Jane Cowell said the program was going from strength to strength, with eight works published to date and two more set for release in the coming months.

“The black&write! project has helped change the landscape of Indigenous writing in Australia,” Ms Cowell said.

“This terrific legacy is a testament to SLQ’s commitment and passion for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander writing that will continue into the future.”

In previous years, fellowships have been awarded to manuscripts as diverse as Bakir and Bi, a children’s book written and illustrated by aunt and niece duo Jillian Boyd and Tori-Jay Mordey; Ruby Moonlight, a historical verse novel by renowned poet Ali Cobby Eckermann; science fiction adventure Rift Breaker from comedian Tristan Savage; and young adult paranormal romance Rise of the Fallen by Teagan Chilcott.

The black&write! initiative is a national program, which began in 2010. The first of its kind in Australia, it was developed to foster a significant Indigenous literary community.

Entries for the 2016 black&write! Indigenous Writing Fellowships close Friday 26 February 2016.

For more information and to download an application form, visit slq.qld.gov.au/whats-on/awards.

Interview opportunities:
Ellen van Neerven
Senior Editor, black&write!, State Library of Queensland
Author of Heat and Light (UQP, 2014)
David Unaipon Award Winner 2013

Alison Whittaker
2015 black&write! Indigenous Writing Fellow
Author of ‘Lemons in the Chicken Wire’ (publication forthcoming)
National Indigenous Law Student of the Year, 2015

Media enquiries:
Shahedah Sabdia, State Library of Queensland Communications
07 3842 9084 | shahedah.sabdia@slq.qld.gov.au

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