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.

Call for submissions: The Nature Conservancy’s Nature Writing Prize

Australia’s unique landscape has inspired writers for generations. Now with the support of the McLean Foundation, the Nature Conservancy Australia has announced a generous prize for the author of an essay between 3,000 and 5,000 words about place.

The Nature Writing Prize is worth $5,000 and will be judged by The Australian’s literary critic Geordie Williamson and Dr Janine Burke, historian and author of The Nest.

As someone with a long history of involvement in the not-for-profit sector I am always thrilled to see philanthropists supporting Australian writers. I checked the Philanthropy Australia website to confirm that the McLean Foundation is indeed a grant-making member. The foundation’s stated goal is to promote and celebrate the “literature of nature in Australia”. The Nature Conservancy, with more than one million members, works globally to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people.

According to the press release, the winning entry will be that which is “judged to be of the highest literary merit and which best explores his or her relationship and interaction with some aspect of the Australian landscape.”

The prize is offered every two years. The inaugural winner in 2011 was Annamaria Weldon for her piece “Threshold Country” from a field of 130 entries. I have a feeling there will be quite a few more entries this time around.

Your deadline is 16 November 2012. The winner will be announced in March 2013. It’s always wise to  read the guidelines and conditions first. You will need to contribute an entry fee of $25 with your entry form.

On the entry fee, it’s not clear the extent to which the McLean Foundation’s support is paying for the prize money and/or other fees (such as for the judges’ time, the administration and promotion of the prize), or to what extent the entry fees will cover the admin side of things. The May-June issue of Poets & Writers magazine had a special section on writing contests, in which one article examined the economics of writing competitions. Either way I feel this is a generous prize for an essay contest and if the Nature Conservancy raises some money during the process then why should they not? I’d love to hear your views on this topic, actually, so please comment away.