Diversity Initiatives: Emerging Writers

Mentoring Program for Emerging Writers from Diverse Backgrounds

Applications are now open for a new mentoring program for emerging writers from Indigenous or culturally diverse backgrounds. Up to six writers will have the opportunity to work on a short piece of fiction or non-fiction (2000-5000 words) under the guidance of award-winning author Roanna Gonsalves and with support from Writing NSW. The aim of the program is to see the finished works published on the Writing NSW website or other leading journals or platforms.

The program will be conducted online and is open to emerging writers from Indigenous or culturally diverse backgrounds who have some record of publication but have not yet published a book-length work. Applicants must be NSW residents and over the age of 18.

Successful applicants will receive:

  • A prize of $1000
  • Mentoring from Roanna Gonsalves over a four-month period from June to September 2021, including the opportunity to receive feedback on up to three drafts of the work as well as advice on where to submit it for publication
  • Membership and development opportunities from Writing NSW

View the successful and shortlisted applicants here.

You can find out more about the Boundless festival of Indigenous and culturally diverse writers here.

Terms and conditions


Roanna Gonsalves is the author of The Permanent Resident (UWAP) published in India and South Asia as Sunita De Souza Goes To Sydney (Speaking Tiger).  The book won the NSW Premier’s Literary Award Multicultural Prize 2018 and was longlisted for the Dobbie Literary Award 2018. Her writing has been compared to the work of Alice Munro and Jhumpa Lahiri. Her four-part radio series On the tip of a billion tongues, commissioned and broadcast by ABC RN’s Earshot program, is a portrayal of contemporary India through its multilingual writers.

Roanna holds a PHD and has been teaching and supervising creative writing students of all ages within communities as well as at schools and at New York University Sydney, UNSW, Western Sydney University and Macquarie University. She is a recipient of the Prime Minister’s Australia Asia Endeavour Award and is co-founder co-editor of Southern Crossings. She has been an invited keynote speaker and panellist at numerous literary events. She is a recipient of The Bridge Awards’ inaugural Varuna – Cove Park Writing Residency 2019 in Scotland, and was part of the Australia Council for the Arts’ India Literature Exploratory delegation 2020.

Roanna can be found at roannagonsalves.com.au and @roannagonsalves.

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