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News  •  1 June 2021


Write It Fellowship recipients 2021

We're delighted to announce the recipients of the 2021 Write It Fellowship.

The recipients were selected from a shortlist of talented writers, who were invited to a panel interview with the Write It team at Penguin Random House (PRH) as well as Bilal Hafda, an experienced creative writing teacher and spoken-word-artist from Story Factory. Hafda offered invaluable counsel and broadened the scope of the application process.

On the experience, Hafda commented, ‘This entire process has been genuine and thought-provoking, and we have been absolutely spoiled for choice. The writers we've met and spoken to (and the authors of all the work we've read) have important, powerful voices, and it’s been an honour to get to hear them.’

From the 121 entries submitted for the fellowship, we are thrilled to reveal that the four recipients are:

Erin Riley – Wrestling With Feelings
‘I am extraordinarily grateful to be one of the people offered a Write It fellowship. Making the shortlist was a gigantic thrill in itself and a real validation of my writing. To be mentored, supported and nurtured as a new writer over the next year is an invaluable opportunity and one I am so excited about. As an emerging writer – a trans and queer writer – stumbling across the call out for applications for Write It, a fellowship with the aim of opening up space for writers like me, left me no choice but to try my luck. I am grateful that such opportunities exist.’

Gwen Luscombe – A Peacock Slumber
‘I feel so grateful to have been selected for this exciting opportunity and be included among some talented writers with incredible stories to tell. A Peacock Slumber has been a project I've been passionate about for nearly a decade. The Write It team have already been so gracious with their feedback along the journey; I'm genuinely looking forward to having the dedicated time and support to make the most of this experience.’

Lyn Dickens – Intertidal
‘I am incredibly thrilled to be a 2021 Write It Fellow with Penguin Random House Australia. I respect and value the ethos behind the Write It Fellowship and its commitment to working with diverse voices, and I am very honoured to be a part of that process. It has already been a tremendous experience to be able to discuss my writing in-depth with members of PRHA, and I look forward to working with an editor over the course of the fellowship.’

Melanie Saward – Barks and the City
‘Everything about the Write It Fellowship process so far has been affirming and rewarding – particularly the interview process. How wonderful it is to just sit and yarn about your work with people who are genuinely interested in what you have to say. I am incredibly grateful to the team at Penguin Random House for selecting me for the fellowship and I cannot wait to get started.’

As part of the fellowship, each recipient will be mentored by editors at PRH. They will also be invited to the PRH offices in Sydney to meet and talk with our departments, to learn more about the various facets of publishing and what goes in to pitching, acquiring, editing, marketing, publicising and selling a book.

The Write It Fellowship program will continue to engage a new talent pool of writers who have both diverse and important stories to tell, and are representative of the society in which we live. The fellowship aspires to find, nurture and develop unpublished writers across all genres, with a focus on under-represented sections of our community.

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