The 2018 black&write! Fellowship recipients were announced at a special ceremony at SLQ on Thursday 26 April.

Each fellowship includes a $10,000 prize, manuscript development with the State Library black&write! editing team and publishing opportunities with Hachette Australia.

Congratulations to our 2018 Fellows Lystra Bisschop and Nardi Simpson!

Lystra Bisschop

The Gold Coast’s Lystra Bisschop, a descendent of the Guugu Yimidhirr people (Hope Vale) and Birri Gubba (Mackay), was selected for her Young Adult fiction manuscript The Upwelling, which follows a young surfer named Kirra, who catches a wave and time slips into a land without European influence.

Nardi Simpson

Sydney-based Nardi Simpson, a Yuwaalarayy/Gamilaraay woman from NSW and founding member of the Stiff Gins musical group, was recognised for her adult literary fiction manuscript The Song of the Crocodile, which explores three generations of a fictional Aboriginal family in a rural township.

Read the media release.

Entries for the 2019 black&write! Fellowships will open later this year.

black&write! is a national project and the first of its kind in Australia. The project is designed to recruit, train, and mentor Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander editors to develop Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander-authored manuscripts. black&write! is a State Library of Queensland project.


While Australia is active in supporting its Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander athletes, artists and dancers, there is a recognised lack of long-term strategies to encourage and develop its Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander writing talent.  This imbalance is recognised in many recent writing and publishing surveys and government-funded research studies. black&write! was developed to foster a significant Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander writing community.


black&write! is made up of the black&write! Writing Fellowships and the black&write! Editing Internships.

Through our Editing Internships Program, we employ and train Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander editors, providing support, mentorship and practical development with Australian publishers. During the internship, editors have the opportunity to participate in real industry processes and see a manuscript through to the stage of being ready for publication.

Our Writing Fellowships Program offers a $10,000 cash prize to two Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander writers for their unpublished manuscripts. Recipients of the black&write! Fellowships work with the black&write! editors to develop their manuscripts towards publication. At the end of each Fellowship, the edited manuscripts have the opportunity to be published by black&write! publishing partner Hachette Australia.

black&write! aims to:

  • train, mentor, and promote outstanding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander writers and editors,
  • encourage lifelong Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander learning and literacy and foster a love of reading, writing, and ideas in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

black&write! has been generously supported by:

black&write! Indigenous Writing and Editing Project is assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.

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