Groundbreaking program spearheads change in publishing industry

Monday, August 27, 2018
By: 
Writers Victoria

A black and white photo of Jax Jacki Brown smiling
Jax Jacki Brown. Photo: Suzanne Phoenix

Writers Victoria is thrilled to announce the launch of Publishability, a groundbreaking two-year initiative funded by the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria's Talent Matters program. Publishability will support four talented emerging writers with disability to develop their manuscripts and bring their work to the attention of publishers.

‘This is a fabulous opportunity to showcase the new and emerging voices of talented writers in the disability community,’ says Jax Jacki Brown, herself a writer with lived experience of disability, who will coordinate delivery of the program. ‘We look forward to challenging cultural perceptions of people with disability as part of this project.’

Publishability will provide two writers each year with mentorship, editing, professional development opportunities, and financial support.

At the same time, Writers Victoria will partner with Arts Access Victoria to support cultural change within the publishing industry, by tailoring AAV’s ‘Open Your Eyes’ disability awareness training program to publishers.

‘While Publishability will support individual writers with disability, the project also aims to help create a more inclusive publishing environment,’ says Angela Savage, Director of Writers Victoria. ‘We are excited by the enthusiasm already shown by publishers toward this project.’

Five publishing houses – Allen & Unwin, Echo Publishing, Hachette, Penguin Random House, and The Lifted Brow – have signed up to participate, demonstrating a genuine appetite for and commitment to publishing writers with disability. Writers Victoria will be extending a broad invitation to publishers across Australia to be part of the project.

Publishability Fellows have been chosen from among those who previously undertook fellowships as part of Writers Victoria’s flagship Write-ability program. The inaugural Publishability fellows are creative non-fiction writer Fiona Murphy and YA speculative fiction writer Mary Borsellino. Two further fellows will be appointed in 2019.

For further information on the project, please email Jax Jacki Brown.

Media inquiries: Angela Savage director@writersvictoria.org.au 9094 7855