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Article  •  18 January 2023


Penguin Random House is now publishing three Write It authors

Learn about the Write It Fellowship and the three authors that Penguin Random House Australia is publishing from the program.

Since launching in 2018, the Write It Fellowship has sought out writers from marginalised backgrounds. Open to writers in all genres, with a focus on under-represented communities, the fellowship aims to support culturally and linguistically diverse writers and provide the opportunity to be mentored by Penguin Random House (PRH) editors.

Since kicking off the fellowship, PRH ANZ is now publishing three authors from the Write It program: sydney khoo from the 2019 program and Melanie Saward and Erin Riley from the 2021 program.

About Write It

The Write It Fellowship is a biennial program that seeks to help support and nurture writers from marginalised backgrounds including LGBTQIA+, Indigenous or CALD (culturally and linguistically diverse) writers and writers with a disability.

The fellowship is open to writers from all genres who have not previously published a book. Since its inception, the Write It fellowship has received an incredible number of submissions across a range of themes, genres and age groups –  including works aimed at adult and young adult audiences. 

Winners are also invited to patriciate in a PRH AU Open House Day to learn about the various aspects of the publishing process including acquisition, editing, marketing, publicity and book sales.

The Authors

sydney khoo, The Spider and Her Demons – 2019 recipient

sydney khoo (they/them) is a nonbinary and asexual writer, born on Dharawal Country (south-west Sydney), to Malaysian-Chinese parents.

Having worked odd jobs at health clinics, tattoo parlours, gyms, and publishing houses, sydney has found working in made-up worlds to be the most fulfilling. 

​Though typically drinking bubble tea in Cabramatta or reading fanfiction in a McDonald's carpark, they can occasionally be found writing poetry and nonsense stories at cafes with their dog Gizmo.

Erin Riley, A Real Piece of work – 2021 recipient

By day, Erin Riley is a social worker, having spent most of the last decade working alongside marginalised populations in community aged care in and around Sydney. By night, Erin’s a skivvy wearer, a dedicated reader, a wrestling fan, a swimmer of laps and a lover of routine. Erin brings a queer lived experience to their professional work and their writing, and is fascinated and energised by the power of stories in both understanding and reimagining ourselves. They were a Penguin Random House Australia Write It fellow in 2021, and have been published in Kill Your DarlingsBent Street and various corners of the internet. Erin lives in Sydney with their partner and Remy the dog.

Melanie Saward, Love Unleashed – 2021 recipient

Melanie Saward is a proud descendant of the Bigambul and Wakka Wakka peoples. She has been published in Kill Your DarlingsOverland, and the short-story anthologies New Australian Fiction 2019 and Flock: First Nations Stories Then and Now. She is a 2021 Penguin Write It fellow, and was shortlisted for the David Unaipon Award (2018, 2020), the Boundless Indigenous Writer’s Mentorship (2021, 2020), and the Harlequin First Nations Fellowship (2020).

Write It Fellowship 2023

PRH AU will begin accepting applications for the 2023 Write It Fellowship at the end of February. Check back for regular updates, and subscribe to our newsletter to be notified once applications are open.

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