New anthology calls for disabled writers

Monday, December 3, 2018

a photo of Carly Findlay. She has a red face and dark, curly hair, and is wearing a floral blouse
Carly Findlay

Australians with disability are invited to submit their work to ‘Growing Up Disabled in Australia’, to be published by Black Inc. in April 2020.

Carly Findlay, a blogger, past Write-ability Fellow and author of the upcoming memoir ‘Say Hello’, will edit the anthology, which will be aimed at general readers and high-school students. Submissions will be accepted on the basis of the social model of disability, and Black Inc. is seeking non-fiction submissions that deal with any aspect of growing up disabled, deaf, Deaf or chronically ill. Submissions can be in any manner, tone or style, but should not be academic or scholarly.

Pieces should be written in first person and be honest accounts of lived experience – positive, negative or anything in between.

‘I want young disabled people to read this anthology and know what’s possible for them, to see that other disabled people have had similar experiences, and to feel the impact of visibility and positive representation,’ Carly said. ‘While I have had a lifelong chronic illness, I first identified as chronically ill and disabled when I heard other chronically ill and disabled people’s stories. We need diverse voices and we need diverse books. It’s very important that #OwnVoices are centred – particularly because disabled voices are so often silenced, erased or spoken over.’

Carly is well-known as an appearance activist, and has been widely published in publications including ‘The Guardian’, ‘The Age’, ‘The Sydney Morning Herald’, ‘Daily Life’, ‘Mamamia’ and ‘Frankie’.

‘One in five Australians are disabled,’ she said, ‘and disability presents itself in many ways. Yet disabled people are still underrepresented in media and literature. There is a diverse experience of disability – disabled people come to acceptance and pride at different times, and some not at all. All experiences are valid.’

Publisher Kirstie Innes-Will said she was delighted that Carly approached Black Inc. with the idea. ‘Part of the strength of the Growing Up series is the way it has evolved organically, championed by editors from different communities. The way these books have been embraced by readers shows how much representation matters. ‘Growing Up Disabled’ will be an invaluable contribution to that tradition.’

Some proceeds of the anthology's sales will be donated to Children and Young People with Disability Australia.

Submissions should be between 1000 and 4000 words and will be accepted until 5pm on Friday, 31 May 2019. For more information, click here.