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Wheeler Centre’s Next Chapter program funding ends

The Wheeler Centre (TWC) has announced its Next Chapter program will not open for applications in 2022, following the end of the organisation’s partnership with the Aesop Foundation, which had funded the program.

The Wheeler Centre said the scheme would ‘proceed uninterrupted for the current intake of writers and their mentors, and the Wheeler Centre team will continue to facilitate publishing outcomes, connections and industry guidance for current and former participants’.

Established in 2018, the Next Chapter scheme has since offered 40 participants a stipend of $15,000, guidance from a matched mentor and a residence at Varuna. To date, three titles have been published as a result of the program—Adam Thompson’s Born Into This (UQP), Ennis Ćehić’s Sadvertising (Penguin Random House) and Evelyn Araluen’s Stella Prize–winning Dropbear (UQP)—‘with more in the works’, according to TWC.

‘The Aesop Foundation’s four-year support for this landmark scheme has helped to create an enduring awareness that for too long, only a certain set of stories have been told in this country,’ said TWC. ‘Since 2018, The Next Chapter has championed new writers and encouraged risk and experimentation freed from commercial constraints, and supported publishers to find and elevate new voices.’

TWC said the Aesop Foundation is now ‘turning their focus overseas, offering opportunities for communities across the globe’.

‘The Centre is deeply proud of the exceptional impact of The Next Chapter to date and will take this opportunity to consult with the alumni and mentors throughout the life of the scheme, to find new ways to build on its success in the future’ said TWC, adding that it is ‘currently offering opportunities for collaboration and partnership for those interested in supporting the continuation of this remarkable program’.


Category: Local news