A program to empower writers (and you might just get published)

Tuesday, February 16, 2016
Sarah Vincent

Hard Copy logo

The 2016 Hardcopy national professional development program for Australian emerging writers has just opened for applications. I was one of the lucky 2015 participants. I gained so much from this program – advice, support, encouragement, information plus a great community of fellow writers. Hardcopy is an initiative of ACT Writers with funding from the Australia Council. It began in 2014 and alternates each year between fiction writers and non-fiction writers. The program selects 30 participants and this year the focus is fiction.

I came out of the 2015 program with a much better manuscript, increased contacts in the industry, several publishers interested in my manuscript and two agents wanting to represent it. All of this resulted in me signing with Jacinta Di Mase Management and my memoir, ‘Death by Dim Sim’, being published by Random House in March 2017.

I can’t promise the same extraordinary outcome for all participants. In fact, the program doesn’t have publication as its main aim. But when you empower writers with everything this program offers, extraordinary things happen. Other writers in last year’s program have gained agents, publication in literary journals and spots as guest bloggers in writing festivals. I’m sure all would say that their manuscript is stronger and they have a much better idea of its future direction and commercial viability.

If you are a committed emerging writer with a literary, genre or young-adult (for readers 16+) fiction manuscript in development that you are committed to finishing, do check this program out.

For more information see the ACT Writers Centre website.

About Sarah Vincent

Sarah Vincent is the Membership Officer at Writers Victoria. She has been published in 'Gargouille' journal, the ‘Out of Place’ Anthology and ‘The Victorian Writer’. She was shortlisted for the Bridport Flash Fiction Prize and the Joanne Burns Micro-lit Award. In 2014 she was accepted into a memoir writing masterclass at Varuna and in 2015 into the ACT Writers Centre Hardcopy manuscript development program.


Hi Sarah, would Hardcopy be interested in people like me?
Fiction, Essays & Poetry - are my favourite writing likes - Instead of Bin Ladin, crime, drugs, terror, law, medical, police, death, war and destruction themes - that seems to dominate a lot of TV and film, - is Hardcopy/do you know/or do have any contacts - in the publishing world at large, who are interested in manuscripts having music as the theme.
My main characters are all musical types, very prominent (or become very prominent) in the music world. Refreshingly, they do not trash hotel rooms or take drugs because of some set back - instead, drama very much rules their lives as they come from nowhere - delight their fellow partners and audiences in concerts for The Salvation Army, in TV talent shows, on the Ballet stage; they would do anything (sane that is) to enter into lasting relationships, TV talent shows, they suffer real knockbacks and recover to develop into stardom.
Do you know any poetry editors who are interested one page covers the whole story, rhyming poetry?
Lastly, if music is not considered a commercial theme for books (I'll never know why!) - then perhaps it is suitable for TV single and/or short series production. I've adapted my unpublished novels into screenplays -(2 off). Creative musical themes and stories seem to come quickly to me - to get the trilogy thing out of my system, I've started a third story directly as a screenplay.
Many thanks for any pointers/directions/tips you may be able to give,
Best regards,

Doug Hutchinson (Member WV)

Hi Doug. You'll have to contact the Hardcopy team directly for questions about the program. As for your poetry project, there have been some good success stories for verse novels in the Australian publishing scene over the last couple of years, but the market is still very, very small. And for more advice on tv writing or screenplays, you may want to check out the Australian Writers Guild.

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