The Australian Society of Authors will manage the Australia Council’s support for emerging writers and illustrators in 2009.
A new program will be managed by the Australian Society of Authors (ASA), known as the Australia Council’s emerging writers/illustrators’ initiative. The ASA will assess applications and disburse emerging writer and illustrator grants for a total of $175,000.
ASA chair Dr Anita Heiss said: ‘We already work with emerging writers and illustrators through our successful mentorship program. This provides us with a further opportunity to nurture and support the creation of Australian literature in its many forms.’
‘We see this as an extension of our professional development programs. We aim to provide Australia’s literary creators with the means to have a sustainable career,’ added Dr Jeremy Fisher, ASA executive director. ‘With this program, emerging writers will have the support of an organisation dedicated to enhancing the professional development of Australia’s literary creators.’
The Australia Council’s literature board chair, Dr Imre Salusinszky, welcomed the move. ‘We believe that the synergy offered between the Australia Council’s funding and the ongoing support for emerging writers offered by the ASA through its mentorships and other professional support – the creation of a “one stop shop” for new writers – will be of enormous benefit for practitioners,’ he said.
Susan Hayes, Australia Council director of literature, added: ‘The Australia Council and the ASA have worked together successfully on numerous projects and I look forward to this new development.’