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Harlequin announces commercial fiction fellowship for First Nations writers

Harlequin Australia has partnered with Flinders University and Writers SA to launch a new commercial fiction fellowship for First Nations writers.

The fellowship is open to one First Nations writer and offers a 12-month mentorship with Harlequin publisher Jo Mackay, a writing residency at Writers SA, and the status of Associate at Flinders University. The winner of the fellowship will have full access to libraries and resources, and the support of senior lecturer in English Amy T Matthews.

‘Australian commercial fiction is thriving, but we recognise that there are still troves of untold stories and perspectives from people who don’t always have a platform, or access to the world of commercial publishing,’ said Matthews. ‘The fellowship is an opportunity to broaden the diversity of voices we hear and to discover new stories about our past and our present—which can only be good for our future.’

Matthews said they were ‘in the process’ of consulting with First Nations writers and confirmed that First Nations writers would be included on the final judging panel. ‘The involvement of First Nations Australia Writers Network (FNAWN) is important to us. The logistics of the fellowship are still being finalised and we will certainly be consulting First Nations writers as we develop it,’ said Matthews.

Writers SA director Jessica Alice said, ‘First Nations writers are underrepresented in the Australian publishing industry, particularly in commercial fiction. The commercial fiction fellowship is a timely opportunity for writers of popular fiction to work with some of the best mentors in the industry.’

The fellowship will run from June 2019 to June 2020. Submission guidelines will be announced in late October and applications will be open to First Nations writers from around Australia from 15 November 2018 to 15 March 2019.



Category: Local news