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Affirm’s Varuna Mentorship Award made more accessible for low-income earners

Affirm Press has announced changes to its mentorship program with Varuna the National Writers House, in order to make the award more accessible for low-income earners.

This year, entrants with health care cards will have their application fees for the award halved from $60 to $30, and a travel bursary of up to $300 will be provided to successful entrants.

Affirm Press senior editor Ruby Ashby-Orr and editor Cosima McGrath will provide ‘in-depth manuscript development and feedback’ as part of the award, which will focus on literary fiction this year.

Ashby-Orr said she was ‘delighted’ that through the bursary Affirm can now ‘open this opportunity to a wider range of voices’. ‘We have worked with many talented writers through the program; it’s always an enjoyable week of collaboration and creativity for the writers, and also for us as editors.’

As previously reported by Books+Publishing, the Affirm Press Mentorship Award was launched in 2015 to offer up to four local writers at any stage of their career the chance to work with Affirm’s publishing team during a week-long residence at Varuna.

Two previous winners of the award have gone on to sign publishing deals with Affirm, including 2015 winner Paula Keogh, whose memoir The Green Bell was longlisted for the 2018 Stella Prize and shortlisted for the 2018 NSW Premier’s Literary Award, and 2016 winner Sonia Orchard, whose novel about troubled female friendship is scheduled for publication in 2019.

For more information, see the Varuna website.



Category: Local news