Boundless Indigenous Writer’s Mentorship Program
Writing NSW and Text Publishing are pleased to announce the Boundless Indigenous Writer’s Mentorship, a joint initiative that aims to discover and nurture an exciting new Indigenous voice in Australian literature. The program will facilitate mentoring by an established Indigenous writer and other career development opportunities to an unpublished Indigenous writer from anywhere in Australia.
Applications are now open. Find out more here.
The first-ever festival focused on Indigenous and culturally diverse Australian writers and writing.
Boundless is a biennial festival for Indigenous and culturally diverse writers presented by Writing NSW and Bankstown Arts Centre, in collaboration with Sweatshop, WestWords, Urban Theatre Projects, Bankstown Youth Development Service, CuriousWorks and the Bankstown Poetry Slam. The all-day event includes performances, readings, panel discussions, audiovisual experiences, workshops for children and adults, and opportunities for audience members to mingle with the writers and purchase their books. Boundless is a free festival, so that as many people as possible are able to attend.
“By some measures, Australia is one of the most multicultural nations on the planet,” says Boundless speaker Benjamin Law. “We have over 300 languages spoken in our homes, one in 30 of us are Indigenous and half of us were either born overseas or have at least one migrant parent. Boundless is a showcase of those voices.”
The inaugural festival was held at Bankstown Arts Centre on Saturday 28 October 2017. The full program was made-up of a powerful lineup of local and interstate names — including Michael Mohammed Ahmad, Sarah Ayoub, Julie Koh, Benjamin Law, Luka Lesson, Hoa Pham, Ellen van Neerven, and Markus Zusak, amongst others. Alongside more established writers Boundless showcases young and emerging voices, reflecting the long-term commitment of the partner organisations in developing culturally diverse writers in Western Sydney. The program gives space to writing in many forms, highlighting the work and words of playwrights, authors, journalists, screenwriters, performance poets, and interdisciplinary practitioners. The next festival will take place in 2019.
Boundless is supported by the Australia Council for the Arts, Create NSW, the Copyright Agency Cultural Fund and Pantera Press.
Indigenous Writers’ Mentorship Program
The Indigenous Writers’ Mentorship Program was offered by Writing NSW with the support of Create NSW and the First Nations Australia Writers’ Network.
The program was designed to support emerging writers in any genre who have had no more than one full-length work professionally published or performed, but who have made substantial progress on a writing project.
The program paired five emerging Indigenous writers from NSW with a senior Indigenous writer for a structured year-long mentorship.
Recipients of 2015-16 Indigenous mentorship program include: Barry Cooper for his futuristic crime novel, Kirsty Everett-Malesev for her novel about serious illness, visual artist Emma Hicks for her experimental story telling, Elaine Lomas for her rural romance novel, and Donna McLaren for her novel about domestic violence. Each of these talented writers was mentored for a year by an established Indigenous writer under the leadership of mentor director Cathy Craigie.
In 2014, the inaugural mentorees were Janite Barker, Kodie Bedford, Siv Parker, Robyn Ridgeway and Nardi Simpson (pictured). They were mentored by Larissa Behrendt, Cathy Craigie, Gayle Kennedy, Bruce Pascoe and Nicole Watson.
First Nations Australia Writers Network
First Nations Australia Writers Network (FNAWN) is the peak body for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander writers, poets and storytellers, advocating and lobbying on their behalf, supporting ongoing development opportunities, in order to sustain and enhance First Nations Australia writing and storytelling.