Call for submissions: Growing Up Aboriginal In Australia

Dr Anita Heiss (photo: Amanda James)

Wonderful news from Black Inc Books: calls for autobiographical accounts of growing up Aboriginal in Australia for an anthology aimed at high school students, to be published in 2018.  This is a timely and brilliant idea – have we really not had such a collection before this?

Dr Anita Heiss, lifetime ambassador for the Indigenous Literacy Foundation and author of Am I Black Enough for You? will edit the anthology, Growing Up Aboriginal in Australia.

Submissions must be between 800 and 3,000 words, and are due on May 1st. The publisher states:

The pieces can be written in a wide range of styles, voices and tones, as long as they are original, honest and reflective; we are not looking for abstract or sociological treatments. The anthology will be aimed both at high school students and general readers. The submissions can deal with any aspect of growing up as a Blackfella, and must be engaging while providing insight into the diverse lives of Aboriginal people in Australia today. We are looking for voices that defy, question or shed light on the usual stereotypes.

A few more details are available on the Black Inc website.


Writing fellowships from Australian Book Review – applications open

Under the leadership of Peter Rose and the generosity of individual donors, the venerable Australian Book Review has expanded both the number and quality of its writing fellowships and prizes in recent years. Here are some application deadlines to note if you have something to say and the time in which to craft it.

2017 ABR Gender Fellowship – $7,500 – closes 1 February, 2017
The ABR Gender Fellowship is a new addition to the Fellowship program. ABR seeks proposals for a substantial article on gender in contemporary Australian creative writing in all its forms.

2017 ABR RAFT Fellowship – $7,500 – closes 10 March, 2017
Australian Book Review welcomes applications for the second RAFT Fellowship, comprising proposals for a 6,000 to 8,000-word article on any aspect of the role and significance of religion in society and culture.

2017 ABR Eucalypt Fellowship – $7,500 – closes 10 March, 2017
For the third ABR Eucalypt Fellowship, ABR seeks proposals for a 6000 to 8,000-word article on the Australian eucalypt in all its forms, with reference to history, literature, science and natural history, Indigenous subjects, the arts, or politics. This Fellowship article will appear in our 2017 Environment issue.

Before you apply, make sure you read the Fellowship guidelines.

2017 ABR Calibre Essay Prize – $7,500 – closes 15 March, 2017
The ABR Calibre Essay Prize is one of the world’s leading prizes for a new essay, open to anyone in the world who is writing in English. We are seeking essays of between 3,000 and 7,000 words on any non-fiction subject. Judges: Sheila Fitzpatrick, Peter Rose, Geordie Williamson

More information here.

2017 ABR Elizabeth Jolley Short Story Prize – prize pool $12,500 – closes 10 April, 2017
The ABR Elizabeth Jolley Short Story Prize is one of the world’s leading prizes for an original short story (2,000 – 5,000 words), open to anyone in the world who is writing in English. 

More information here.

Generous grants for Australian writers up for grabs

I wanted to draw your attention to two grants currently available for writers at different stages in their careers.

The first is the Writing NSW Early Career Writer Grants for writers residing in NSW. There are four grants of $5,000 each available for projects to be conducted in 2017. According to the guidelines, activities supported under the grant program include project-related travel, professional development and mentoring, in addition to the creation and development of new work. Applications close on 28th August.

The second is a lucrative $80,000 Author Fellowship offered by the Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund for one writer to focus on creating his or her next work. It’s open to writers of almost all genres, but the eligibility criteria are tough – five works already published (two can be self-published), with a publisher’s letter of intention to publish, or a publishing contract, for the work the Fellow would conduct during the 12 months of Fellowship money. I suspect these criteria are why the deadline has been extended from 24th August to 23rd September.

Good luck!

My most-reTweeted resources for writers: January-March 2013


I’m often told that I share useful things on Twitter, but for a variety of reasons, loads of people don’t go near that social network with a ten-foot pole. So for those readers I thought I’d offer here this collection of the most-often shared links I’ve posted to Twitter since January. (I’ve been reading Dan Blank’s excellent ebook A Writer’s Guide to Blogging and am attempting to get more organised with my posts.)

If you like this kind of roundup, please let me know in the comments (or via Twitter, of course), and I’ll do this once a month.

  • Of these ten tips for editing your work, in my opinion it’s 7 (let a trusted third party review your work), 8 (implement the correct feedback) and 9 (cut the dead wood) that sort the wheat from the chaff.
  • A fascinating profile of the remarkable Sydney literary agent Selwa Anthony, which ran in the Sydney Morning Herald in November but I only came across recently.
  • A fantastically useful collection of links on getting published, courtesy of Ploughshares magazine.
  • The Art of Editing: insightful and revealing interview with legendary editor Robert Gottlieb at The Paris Review.
  • A list of 17 essays by female writers that “everyone should read” (in quotation marks because I hate being told what to read, which is why I’ve never been a member of a book club) – thanks to Flavorwire.
  • John Updike’s rules for constructive criticism
  • A revealing interview with novelist Jamaica Kincaid, who proclaims that marriage should be a verb instead of a noun: “A person is a verb is what I say.”
  • Writing tips from W G Sebald, via his former student, Faber Academy director Richard Skinner.
  • Looking for grants for writers? Here’s the Australia Council’s grants finder to help you identify the right pot of funding for you.
  • Video: Helen Garner’s insights into her nonfiction writing process – her keynote address at the 2012 NonfictioNow conference


I hope you found a few of these useful. Do let me know, and I’ll keep going until you ask me politely to stop. Thanks!

Popular links for July-August

On Twitter I share links for Australian writers about literary agents, getting published, editing, and grants for writers (@v11oyd). At the end of each month I collect here my most-retweeted links. Confession: some of these links stretch back to July as I took a break at the end of that month and sorta kinda forgot to do this post.

Literary agents
What do I look for in an unsolicited manuscript?

Unsolicited manuscripts: What a publisher means by “not for us at this time” 

Writer’s Relief’s treasure trove of information about Literary Agents

Caveat emptor: Writers Without Literary Agents: 5 Things That Can Go Wrong


Grants and resources for writers
Regional Arts NSW has a great website which includes this 2012 calendar of grants.

Call for submissions from Australian writers: The Nature Conservancy’s Nature Writing Prize.


Reading and writing
Paris Review – The Art of Fiction No. 135, Don DeLillo. If you’re serious about writing fiction, this interview series is essential reading.

From the sublime to the ridiculous: “Not well written” but “can’t put it down”: Story explains the Fifty Shades of Gray phenomenon

A list of the 200 books that will be featured on the CAL-funded Reading Australia website

Grants for Australian writers due in September 2012

For some reason these three grants for Australian writers are all due on 3 September 2012.

Each year the Asialink Arts Residency Program sends approximately 30 Australian writers, performers, artists and arts managers to undertake residencies in Asia. The grant of up to $12,000 for three months goes towards travel, living and project expenses, and affords recipients the opportunity for in-depth research, stimulating cultural exchanges, international collaboration and uninterrupted time for creativity. This round of applications is for arts residencies undertaken between 1 January and 31 December 2013. Click here for more info.

See also this recent ArtsHub special edition on the Asialink residencies. Applications close 3 September 2012.


The Ian Potter Cultural Trust
The Trust offers grants of up to $7,000 to assist early career artists to undertake professional development usually overseas. The Trust funds nationally and across the spectrum of the Arts from visual arts to performing arts and music to literature, spanning traditional art forms right through to experimental mediums.

Also closing 3 September. For more information on the Trust, visit the website.


Entries for the 2012 John Marsden Prize for Young Australian Writers, the country’s foremost literary competition for young writers, are now open. Young writers under the age of 25 are urged to enter the competition to share in $5,500 in prize money and have the opportunity to be published online and in the December issue of Voiceworks, Express Media’s literary quarterly. The prize is judged by Express Media and celebrated author John Marsden, author of the Tomorrow When the War Began series. Also due 3 September. For further details click here.


If you have any questions about writing grant applications, feel free to ask me in the comments below. I’ve done quite a lot of it with the usual mixed bag of results for myself and for clients. I plan to address some of the challenges of grant writing in future posts but to know your specific questions would be helpful to shape those posts.