Across the country – in our regions, in our suburbs, in our cities – there are aspiring writers with stories to tell. But getting those stories heard is not easy. And the commercial market is not always the best place for a writer to develop their skills and hone their craft. So what are the challenges for emerging talent in Australia? How do we make it possible for aspiring writers to connect with peers and mentors across the nation? And how do we make sure the industry has the tools to build inclusive networks and support writers from marginalized communities? The Wheeler Centre’s Next Chapter is here to elevate the Australian stories that aren’t being published – and to nurture a new generation of writers, from all sorts of backgrounds, to tell them.
Each year, The Next Chapter judges will pick ten outstanding writers and give them $15,000 each to develop their work. The scheme will match them with a mentor who will work closely with them on bringing their writing to life, connecting them with peers, publishers and readers. If their work finds publication, the Wheeler Centre will then work with the successful publisher to support getting the books into the hands of new readers. Ten writers a year. A truly three-dimensional grant scheme created by Australia’s home of books, writing and ideas.
The inaugural Next Chapter judges include Benjamin Law, Ellen van Neervan and Maxine Beneba Clarke. Applications and nominations open 9am Friday 4 May and close 5pm Friday 13 July 2018. Writers will be assessed on a writing sample, a 300 word or less pitch and a one page letter of support from someone who can vouch for the entrant’s commitment to writing. They don’t need a university English degree, industry connections or even to have been published before.
More information on how to apply or nominate a writer can be found at wheelercentre.com/the-next-chapter