Writers Victoria has a history of supporting writers who face barriers in the development of their writing careers, such as regional writers, writers with disability, and writers from culturally and linguistically diverse communities – including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander writers. We are also actively working to strengthen young people’s literary engagement and expression through our workshops for younger writers.
We value the contribution of Victoria’s diverse writers and recognise the difficulties many people face in accessing opportunities for their own professional development, inspiration and engagement.
Our D-Writers initiatives aim to increase access and representation of diverse writers across our entire program: from our tutors to workshop participants and commissioned writers in The Victorian Writer magazine.
In 2016, this will include the launch of our Directory of Chinese-Australian Writers and our partnership on the Chinese-Australian Writers Festival in August. It will also include a number of paid commission and mentoring opportunities as part of our D-Writer Commissions (thanks to the Australia Council for the Arts).
Recent D-Writer projects
In 2015, projects included a new D-Writers China initiative to provide skills development, profile and commission opportunities for contemporary Chinese-Australian writers in Victoria (thanks to the support of the Copyright Agency Cultural Fund and the Melbourne City of Literature Office).
In 2014, Writers Victoria and the Koorie Heritage Trust launched our first Indigenous Writing Intensive. This unique model combined a day of Cultural Awareness Training with a day of skills development with Aboriginal author Anita Heiss.
In his author talk on Indigenous Places, Tony Birch spoke about writing place or setting from an Indigenous perspective, which was widely distributed as a video podcast and his thoughts on whether non-Indigenous authors should write about Indigenous characters.
In 2013, our You, Your Story and the World: Writing the Refugee Experience project was a collaboration between Writers Victoria and the Ecumenical Migration Centre made possible thanks to the generous support of the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation. The project included free workshops with Robert Hillman for writers from refugee and new arrival backgrounds and resulted in the production of a series of postcards and memes.
Writers Victoria ran a mentorship program for writers from non-English speaking backgrounds in order to support and promote the diversity that forms the fabric of our writing and our broader community. The CALD Mentorship Program was supported by the Grace Marion Wilson Trust.
And a group of multicultural and bilingual writers undertook a residency at Mooramong in Skipton thanks to a new partnership between Writers Victoria and the National Trust (Victoria).
D-Writers also continues to publish new work by writers from diverse cultural backgrounds on the Writers Victoria website and in The Victorian Writer magazine.