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News  •  27 February 2023


Write It Fellowship 2023 now open

Applications for the 2023 Write It Fellowship are now closed.

The Write It Fellowship, launched in 2018, aspires to find, nurture and develop unpublished writers across all genres with a focus on under-represented sections of our community, such as writers from socio-economically marginalised backgrounds, LGBTQIA+, First Nations, CALD (culturally and linguistically diverse) or writers with a disability. 

The fellowship provides recipients with the opportunity to be mentored by Penguin Random House Australia (PRH AU) editors and participate in an Open House Day at PRH Australia to learn about the various aspects of the publishing process. 

‘We’re thrilled to be running Write It again this year,’ says Julie Burland CEO of PRH ANZ. ‘We’re very excited to be publishing three previous Write It recipients in the next little while, so we can’t wait for new creative works and fresh voices in this program.’

In 2021, the Write It fellowship received an incredible number of submissions, exploring an array of themes, genres and age groups - including works aimed at adult and young adult audiences. A select number of successful applications were chosen to be mentored by PRH AU editors.

Now, PRH is publishing several authors from the fellowship including, sydney khoo from the 2019 program and Melanie Saward and Erin Riley from the 2021 program.

‘If you’re thinking about applying for Write It, my advice is: do it!’, says previous recipient Melanie Saward. ‘Your idea is worthy, ready, and worth submitting. The process of applying for, winning, and being a part of a Write It cohort has been wonderful. Time, space, and support are things that can be lacking when it comes to the publishing industry and “diverse” voices, but I’ve had all I’ve needed and more as part of this fellowship, made great friends and feel like I’ve got a wonderful team standing with me and my work.’

Another Write It recipient, Erin Riley says, ‘as an emerging writer – a trans and queer writer – being shortlisted for the Write It Fellowship was cause for celebration on its own. Actually, being awarded the mentorship was wild to me, and the reality that this has dovetailed into a published collection remains an absolute, dizzying joy.

'The fellowship and the editorial mentoring that came with it gave my writing validation and gave me the encouragement and structure to keep writing. It is prizes and opportunities like these that make writers out of people like me. Thank you to the team at PRH for their enthusiasm, kindness, expertise and support. I have learnt so much about the incredibly collaborative nature of publishing a book and am beyond grateful to every person that has gifted this book their expertise.’

Joining the program for a second year as a consultant is Bilal Hafda. As a Story Engineer at Story Factory, Bilal runs creative writing workshops across NSW, working with schools and community groups full-time to facilitate and design workshops aimed at developing young writers. Bilal also runs the Bankstown Poetry Slam, the largest regular poetry slam in Australia.

A poet himself, Bilal has performed at TEDx in Sydney and featured at many slams, including the Bankstown Poetry Slam, and the Enough Said Poetry Slam in Wollongong. Of contributing to Write It this year, Bilal says ‘it is such a joy to get to be a part of the Write it Fellowship for a second time! Creative writing is tough, and sharing it even more so! This fellowship is all about access - about providing the opportunity for worthy writers to make a break into the industry, meet fantastic editors, and about giving them a chance to be heard. I’m honoured to be a part of it!’

Submissions are open to all Australian residents aged 18 and older. Submissions closed on 3 April 2023.

PRH will announce a shortlist of candidates on 3 July 2023, with the awarded recipients announced on 9 October. Recipients will be mentored by a PRH AU editor to work on their manuscript, participate in an Open Day at PRH AU and will receive a $2,000 stipend.

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