black&write! Writing Fellowships

Each year black&write! offers two Fellowships for unpublished manuscripts by Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander writers. 

The winning Fellows work closely with black&write! editors to develop their manuscripts for publication. We are proud to work with our publishing partner, Hachette Australia.

Congratulations to our 2020 black&write! Fellows Eunice Day and Carl Merrison

Eunice Day (nee Graham) is a proud Aboriginal woman, who values connecting generations and connecting people. Her mother’s tribe is the Yimen Eaglehawk people from the Dawson Valley and her father’s tribe is the Lama Lama people from North Queensland. Her stories are inspired by stories passed down to her.

"What drew me to writing was all the old people always told us stories around the camp fires. Lots of these stories I remember, and they also told us scary ones too! I always could draw, paint and love sketching.

Writing drives me to see my stories and art out there for our children to give them something; like, if I can do this, maybe they can do it too.

I write for my children’s children, to leave a legacy to them." 


Rabbits by the Fence Line is a tale about finding our way through adversity, and caring for one another. Brown rabbit and white rabbit are two best friends who play together without a care in the world. But when a drought comes, their food and water sources are threatened and the rabbits fight about who owns the land they live on. Brown rabbit and white rabbit decide to live on either side of the longest fence line ever built, and refuse to talk to each other. Rabbits by the Fence Line will be a charming illustrated children's book which captures the strength of friendship and the spirit of reconciliation.

Carl Merrison is a respected Kija man from the Halls Creek area. He came WA runner up Australian of the Year - Local Hero in 2016. He has worked for over ten years alongside Aboriginal youth as a mentor and coach.

Carl’s first co-authored book, Black Cockatoo, was published by Magabala Books in 2018 and won Honour book in the CBCA Young Reader category. Black Cockatoo was shortlisted for Readings Children’s Book of the Year, the ABIA Small Publisher's Children Book, the Speech Pathology Book Awards and the Queensland Literary Awards. It was selected as a feature text for the 2018 Queensland State Library Summer Reading Challenge and included in the NSW Premier’s Reading Challenge 2019.

"[Winning this Fellowship] means a lot.The recognition, and the chance to have my story published is incredible. The story will be around longer than me, I hope.  I want to change the life of young people in the Kimberley - if they are interested in a book they will be inspired to learn to read. I write stories with their faces, their experiences, their interests. I want them to learn from my characters and books."


Set in the Kimberley, the Backyard Sports Series celebrates the diversity of Indigenous kids and captures the community spirit of the Kimberley. These stories follow different young people as they play backyard games of basketball, footy and teeball. When the ball goes over the fence into another backyard, the adventures begin. Their games grow bigger and better as more people join in, and the fun grows too! Young readers from across the country will enjoy these fun and adventurous stories.

These entries were highly commended by the judging panel

  • Eyes of the Sea by Charles Passi (QLD)
  • Finding Billy Brown by Edoardo Crismani (SA)
  • I Am As You Are by Nicole Jones (QLD)
  • Baloo Murri by Darren Green (NSW)

Competition details 

Applications open in November and close in January each year.

Manuscripts can be

  • fiction
  • poetry
  • short stories
  • children’s or young adult. 

The submitted unpublished manuscripts are assessed by a panel of expert judges with knowledge of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander writing. 

Two winning manuscripts are selected each year. 

The authors of the two winning manuscripts are awarded black&write! Fellowships. 

The manuscripts are developed with the black&write! editing team and have the opportunity to be published by Hachette Australia, black&write!'s publishing partner.

Highly commended writers and entrants each receive feedback on their work from the black&write! editing team. 

To find out more about submitting to the black&write! Fellowship, click here

Fellowships prize 

The authors of the two winning manuscripts receive Fellowships, which include:

  • $10,000 prize money
  • manuscript development with black&write! 
  • publication opportunity with Hachette Australia

Fellowship recipients will be expected to work co-operatively with the black&write! editors through to the completion of their manuscripts.

Please contact black&write! for more details
(07) 3842 9985

black&write! is supported by the Copyright Agency Cultural Fund, The Lionel & Yvonne Spencer Trust and the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body. We are proud to work with Hachette Australia as the black&write! Fellowship publishing partner.


Tristan Savage

Discover past Fellowship winners and their publications.