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Applications are now open for the inaugural SA Literary Fellowships program to support professional writers living in South Australia.

Writers SA and the State Library of South Australia have partnered to deliver the fellowship program of five annual creative writing fellowships. The program includes a dedicated First Nations fellowship ($10,000) for mid-career and First Nations authors, plus desk space, and access to the library’s diverse collections. Promising emerging writers can apply for a $3,000 fellowship.

The Fellowships program is open to all early and mid-career writers living in South Australia to encourage the original and imaginative use of the State Library's spaces and collections to develop new literary works.

Presented by Writers SA and the State Library of South Australia, the Fellowships program is jointly funded by Creative Australia (Australia Council for the Arts), Arts South Australia and the Libraries Board of South Australia.

Writers SA CEO Jessica Alice said,

“These Fellowships offer a timely and urgent boost to the development of local literature.

“Australian authors earn an average yearly income of only $18,200, and those in South Australia are far from many east coast opportunities. This new initiative represents an ambitious state that is serious about nurturing local authors.

“Together with the State Library, we’re delighted to host the fellows on their residencies to write the next great books from South Australia.”

State Library of South Australia Director Geoff Strempel said,

“We are pleased to partner with Writers SA to deliver the inaugural SA Literary Fellowships program.

“The program encourages the original and imaginative use of the Library’s diverse collections for new literature.

“As the largest public research library in South Australia, the State Library offers the ideal location for writers to access literary research in the development of their work.

“We’re calling on early, mid-career and First Nations writers to consider submitting an application for the coveted fellowship program.

“Through the awarding of fellowships and the presentation of a series of public events, the program aims to grow audiences of readers, promotes libraries and literature, and furthers the development of South Australian authors.”

Federal Minister for the Arts Tony Burke said,

"Writers are fundamental to our cultural life, creating the books that define our times and tell our unique stories.

“This new initiative will provide direct support to writers to create new works and to grow audiences across Australia for their published works."

Arts Minister Andrea Michaels says the Malinauskas Government is committed to supporting South Australian writers, including emerging and First Nations writers.

“South Australia is renowned for its brilliant creative minds and the inaugural SA Literary Fellowships program will provide support to five talented writers to share their stories with the world.”

Fellowship applications will be selected by two three-person panels of independent judges from the literary sector, including authors, editors, publishers, booksellers and literary academics. One panel will be dedicated to the First Nations fellowship and will consist of First Nations literary sector representatives.

Successful annual fellows will receive:

  • Writing prize (2 x $10,000 Mid-Career; 1 x $10,000 First Nations; 2 x $3,000 Emerging).
  • A travel stipend for writers from regional parts of the state to undertake residency in Adelaide.
  • Up to three months residency with a desk in the State Library, access to items in collections from Writers SA, State Library and National Archives of Australia.
  • Presentation of a public workshop, public reading event each to be held at the Institute Building presented by Writers SA and the State Library.
  • Introduction to a national network of literary agents, publishers and literary festival directors via Writers SA.

Applications must be submitted by Friday, 20 October 2023.

To apply for the SA Fellowships program, please visit Writers SA website.

About the State Library of South Australia

The State Library of South Australia is the largest public research library in the state and among the most iconic cultural institutions in South Australia. It is home to the historic Mortlock Wing which is consistently voted among the most beautiful libraries in the world. As custodians of stories, the State Library of South Australia welcomes over half a million visitors a year and plays a significant role in collecting, preserving and making accessible the State’s history for current and future generations to enjoy, experience and learn from.

Open 7 days a week, the State Library of South Australia provides 24/7 access that connects people to resources including research and information services. It also hosts events, exhibitions, and curated programs to enrich access to its collections.

About Writers SA

Writers SA is the peak organisation for literature – and the only dedicated organisation for literature – in South Australia. Through our annual artistic program of festivals, writing commissions, literary development courses, and community projects, we represent the breadth and diversity of writers in our state, and act as a pathway between local writers and the national literary ecosystem.

We are a not-for-profit organisation with over 800 members that aims to foster, develop and promote writers and a national culture of writing. Established in 1985, Writers SA was the first writers centre in Australia, and we remain one of the most visible writers centres in the country thanks to our national advocacy for literature, our partnerships and creative development initiatives.

Media inquiries

Lisa Reichstein
0481 238 560

Download the media release


Image: Writers SA CEO Jessica Alice and Director of the State Library of South Australia Geoff Strempel