Calling all aspiring writers! The Write it Fellowship is open for submissions.
Here’s the information from Penguin Random House:
The Write It Fellowship, launched in 2018, aspires to find, nurture and develop unpublished writers across all genres with a focus on under-represented sections of our community, such as writers from a socio-economically marginalised background, LGBTQIA+, First Nations, CALD (culturally and linguistically diverse) or writers with a disability. The fellowship provides recipients the opportunity to be mentored by Penguin Random House editors and participate in an Open House Day at Penguin Random House Australia to learn about the various aspects of the publishing process.
Julie Burland, CEO, said, ‘We’re thrilled to be running Write It again this year. We’re very excited to be publishing three previous Write It recipients in the next little while, so we can’t wait for new creative works and fresh voices in this program.’
In 2021, the Write It fellowship received an incredible number of submissions that explored an array of themes, genres and age groups – including works aimed at adult and young adult audiences. A select number of successful applications were chosen to be mentored by editors at Penguin Random House Australia. Since its launch, the fellowship has resulted in publication, too, of sydney khoo from the 2019 program and Melanie Saward and Erin Riley from the 2021 program.
Melanie Saward said, ‘If you’re thinking about applying for Write It, my advice is: do it! Your idea is worthy, ready, and worth submitting. The process of applying for, winning, and being a part of a Write It cohort has been wonderful. Time, space, and support are things that can be lacking when it comes to the publishing industry and ‘diverse’ voices, but I’ve had all I’ve needed and more as part of this fellowship, made great friends and feel like I’ve got a wonderful team standing with me and my work.’
Erin Riley said, ‘As an emerging writer – a trans and queer writer – being shortlisted for the Write It Fellowship was cause for celebration on its own. Actually being awarded the mentorship was wild to me, and the reality that this has dovetailed into a published collection remains an absolute, dizzying joy. The fellowship and the editorial mentoring that came with it gave my writing validation and me the encouragement and structure to keep writing. It is prizes and opportunities like these that make writers out of people like me. Thank you to the team at Penguin Random House for their enthusiasm, kindness, expertise and support. I have learnt so much about the incredibly collaborative nature of publishing a book and am beyond grateful to every person that has gifted this book their expertise.’
Joining the program for a second year as a consultant is the Story Factory’s Bilal Hafda. Bilal runs creative writing workshops all across NSW. He works with schools and community groups full-time, at the Story Factory, facilitating and designing workshops to assist young writers. He also runs the Bankstown Poetry Slam, the largest regular poetry slam in Australia.
He’s a poet, and has performed at TEDx in Sydney, and featured at a number of slams, including the Bankstown Poetry Slam, and the Enough Said Poetry Slam in Wollongong. Bilal said ‘‘It is such a joy to get to be a part of the Write it Fellowship a second time! Creative writing is tough, and sharing it even more so! This fellowship is all about access – about providing the opportunity for worthy writers to make a break into the industry, meet fantastic editors, and about giving them a chance to be heard. I’m honoured to be a part of it!’
Submissions are open to all Australian residents aged 18 and older. Submissions will close on 3 April. Entries can be submitted via the Penguin website – www.penguin.com.au/writeit
A shortlist will be revealed on 20 June 2023, with the recipients announced on 9 October. The recipients will be mentored by a Penguin Random House Australia editor to work on their manuscript, participate in an Open Day at Penguin Random House Australia and will receive a $2000 stipend.