Writers Victoria is excited to announce our 2021 Writeability Fellows. Since 2013, thanks to the support of the Grace Marion Wilson Trust, we have recognised outstanding writers with disability annually as part of the Writeability Fellowship Program. In 2021 we are grateful to the Grace Marion Wilson Trust and an anonymous donor for their contributions, allowing us to continue our important work with the Writeability Fellowships.
This year five writers with disability will receive tailored support for their writing project in the form of mentoring, manuscript assessment and/or attendance at Writers Victoria workshops.
This year, we received 37 applications for Writeability Fellowships. Entries were extremely varied in style and genre, including playwriting, poetry, young adult and middle-grade fiction, creative non-fiction, science fiction, fantasy and memoir. The quality of applications was high, with judge Roz Bellamy commenting, “I really enjoyed reading and judging the 2021 Writeability Fellowship entries. Each work was captivating. I was delighted – and not at all surprised – to encounter such unique, original, nuanced and experimental work emerging from writers with disabilities.”
The 2021 Grace Marion Wilson Writeability Fellows are:
- Beau Windon for “A Proud Failure”, a hybrid memoir exploring neurodiversity through the lens of failure.
- Chim Sher Ting for “Solitude Is A Slow Self-Immolation”, a poetry collection exploring identity through themes of loneliness/loss and memory/nostalgia and issues of race, culture and heritage.
- Claire Capel-Stanley for “The Hunters”, climate fiction about surviving a bushfire, told through the eyes of a domestic cat.
- Sarah Halfpenny for “The ABC of Melbourne Girlhood”, Young Adult fiction about two cousins whose lives are vastly different growing up in Melbourne.
- Steph Amir for “Yeah nah, no worries”, a poetry collection about contemporary Australian life, its link to different cultures and the natural environment.
From left to right: Beau Windon, Chim Sher Ting, Claire Capel-Stanley, Sarah Halfpenny and Steph Amir.
The applications were of an extremely high calibre, and the final decisions were very difficult. The judges would like to congratulate everyone who submitted to the Fellowships, especially in light of the extra pressure and uncertainty of ongoing lockdowns and isolation.
We encourage all applicants to continue to develop their writing projects, and to keep seeking opportunities for development and support. Writeability aims to remove some of the barriers that prevent people with disability from connecting with writing and publishing, and to support them to develop their skills and writing careers.
For more information about Writers Victoria’s Writeability program, visit this page: www.writersvictoria.org.au/writeability.