$10,000 Fellowships to champion Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander writers

State Library of Queensland’s (SLQ) black&write! Fellowships are now open for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander writers nationwide.

The two black&write! Fellowships offer unpublished and published authors the chance to each receive $10,000 prize money, professional manuscript development with SLQ’s black&write! editing team and a publication opportunity for their final work.

Minister for Innovation, Science and the Digital Economy Leeanne Enoch encouraged aspiring Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander writers to apply.

“black&write! Fellowships have been a cornerstone in the career pathways for some of our most exciting new voices in literature who are sharing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stories in diverse and innovative ways,” Ms Enoch said.

“2016 Fellow Claire Coleman recently released her debut speculative novel Terra Nullius to strong critical acclaim, with a second print run already commissioned by black&write! publishing partner Hachette Australia.

“In previous years, black&write! Fellowships have helped elevate the careers of writers such as Ali Cobby Eckermann, who recently made history as the first poet to win the prestigious Windham Campbell Prize from Yale University in the United States.”

Alumni also include Sue McPherson, whose winning manuscript Grace Beside Me was published in 2012 by Magabala Books. The popular coming-of-age novel is now being transformed into a NITV/ABC ME series, currently filming on location in Queensland’s Scenic Rim and slated for release in 2018.

black&write! Fellowships are open to unpublished manuscript entries in the form of a novel, young adult novel, short story collection, poetry collection, or children’s book.

In previous years, Fellowships have been awarded to manuscripts as varied as Bakir and Bi, a children’s book written and illustrated by aunt-and-niece duo Jillian Boyd and Tory-Jay Mordey; Ruby Moonlight, an 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.

In 2018, black&write! continues its partnership with Hachette Australia, the Australian arm of the international publishing house.

State Librarian and CEO Vicki McDonald said SLQ is proud to help foster a significant Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander writing community.

“black&write! is a national project and the first of its kind in Australia. Supporting new talent to share their stories is central to State Library’s commitment to nurturing a culture of reading, writing and ideas,” Ms McDonald said.

“We are extremely grateful to the Australian Government, through the Australia Council for the Arts, and Hachette Australia for supporting this vital initiative.”

Entries for 2018 black&write! Fellowships are free to submit, with applications closing on Wednesday 31 January 2018.

More information and application forms can be accessed via slq.qld.gov.au/whats-on/awards.

Media enquiries:
Amanda Lawson | SLQ Communications
07 3842 9847 | communications@slq.qld.gov.au

Interviews and images are available upon request.

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