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PRH announces new fellowship program for underrepresented writers

Penguin Random House (PRH) Australia has established an annual fellowship program that aims to ‘find, nurture and develop’ unpublished writers with a focus on underrepresented sections of the community.

Modelled on a similar program run by PRH in the UK, ‘Write It’ is open to unpublished writers across all genres, including fiction and nonfiction for both adults and younger readers. Around two or three successful applicants will receive mentoring from PRH editors, with the hope of publication. Fellowship recipients will also travel to Sydney to participate in an Open House Day with Writing NSW, where they will attend information sessions about the publishing process and meet with their assigned editor for the first of at least three feedback sessions. Fellowships will last for up to 12 months from the date the winners are announced.

PRH says it will focus on seeking out writers who are underrepresented in book publishing, including LGBTQIA+, Indigenous, and culturally and linguistically diverse writers, writers with disability, and writers from socioeconomically marginalised backgrounds.

In a statement, PRH said that the new fellowship has been established ‘to respond to the fact that books published are not always reflective of everyone in society, and that the voices of those who might otherwise be overlooked must be championed’. It also added that the fellowship program in the UK, which has been running since 2016, has led to six writers being offered publishing contracts with PRH.

PRH ANZ CEO Julie Burland said she hoped the fellowship would be ‘an exciting platform for people who have an important story to tell about the make-up of modern Australia’.

Submissions are being accepted from 22 February until 31 March. A shortlist will be revealed on 22 April, with the winner announced on 21 June.

For more information, see the PRH website.

 

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