Angie Martin wins inaugural First Nations Fellowship for commercial writing
Harlequin has announced Angie Martin as the winner of the inaugural Commercial Fiction Fellowship for First Nation Writers, for her manuscript ‘Melaleuca’.
Martin’s manuscript was chosen from a shortlist of three. She receives a 12-month mentorship with Harlequin publisher Jo Mackay, a writing residency at Writers SA and the status of Associate at Flinders University, where she will have full access to libraries and resources and the support of creative writing senior lecturer Amy Matthews. Martin also receives a $3500 stipend.
Martin is a writer of the Kooma nation, and also has Kamilaroi, Welsh, German and English ancestry. ‘I am very happy to be supported in pursuing my three great passions in life: reading, writing and sharing my Aboriginal culture,’ said Martin. ‘I am grateful to both my grandmothers for instilling in me an appreciation for storytelling.’
‘Melaleuca’ is a character-driven crime novel that follows protagonist Josh Cunningham, who questions what he know of his father—and himself—following the death of his mother. Josh returns to his rural hometown to unravel a family secret and investigate unsolved disappearances of young Aboriginal women with the help of police officer Renee Burns.
The judging panel comprised Mackay, Matthews and author Karen Wyld. Wyld said ‘Melaleuca’ is ‘full of dark mystery and a unique sense of place that at the same time could be nowhere but Australia.’ ‘It slowly builds up the suspense until the tension becomes hard to tolerate,’ said Wyld.
As previously reported by Books+Publishing, Harlequin partnered with Flinders University and Writers SA to launch the fellowship in 2018.