“The truth is, the success of getting a first book published is often followed by struggle,” says University of Technology Sydney (UTS) Professor of Writing John Dale.
“The late Brian Johns, former chairman of the Copyright Agency, pinned it down when he said that for authors it's often not the first book that's the hardest but the subsequent books. They may have a pitiful advance, if any advance at all, and though there's been some critical success there is no financial success.”
Support at an early stage can thus change a writer’s life, says Dale, and that’s the driver behind the New Writer’s Fellowship at UTS, with renewed backing for the next three years from the Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund.
Applications for the $40,000 2019 fellowship have opened with the first recipient to be selected in March.
“The Copyright Agency New Writers Program at UTS will assist three Australian writers at a critical stage of their development,” says Dale.
“Each year a successful new writer will be selected nationally and attached to the UTS Writing Program for two days a week. One of these days they will be available to writing students and the other day will be devoted entirely to their own work.
“They will have access to more experienced writers and a space to create a new work within a creative and supportive environment.
“We know from previous Copyright Agency New Writers in Residence at UTS that something as simple as having a proper place to work away from home can make a huge difference.”
2017 New Writer in Residence Fiona Wright said the fellowship had been “instrumental in allowing me the time and space to pursue my writing, across a number of forms”, while last year’s recipient Anwen Cameron said it had brought “collegiate, financial and research support that I would not otherwise have had during the development of my book”.
To qualify as a 'new' writer, applicants for the fellowship will have had one or two book-length works of fiction or non-fiction published with a commercial publisher since 2014. Proposals close on 25 February and should be addressed along with a CV to John.Dale@uts.edu.au.