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Black&write! winners: Tori-Jay Mordey, Janette Wright (State Librarian and CEO, State Library of Queensland), Jillian Boyd, the Honourable Ian Walker, Teagan Chilcott and Michelle Broun (Magabala CEO). Photo credit: State Library of Queensland
In early May 2013, Magabala Books launched the winning books for the 2012 black&write! Indigenous Writing Fellowship, Rise of the Fallen by Teagan Chilcott and Bakir and Bi, written by Jillian Boyd and illustrated by Tori-Jay Mordey. Hosted by the State Library of Queensland in Brisbane, the launch was featured as part of the program for the inaugural ‘First Nations Australia Writers Workshop.’
A national project and the first of its kind in Australia, black&write! was developed in 2010 in partnership with Magabala Books to foster a significant Indigenous writing community. Two winners each receive $10,000 and a publishing deal with Magabala Books, thus enabling their work to receive national and international exposure.
The 2012 winning books were officially launched by Hon. Ian Walker, Queensland Minister for Science, Information Technology, Innovation and the Arts. The Minister also announced the 2013 black&write! fellowship winners; Tristan Savage (North Queensland comedian) with his science fiction adventure Rift Breaker, and Jared Thomas (South Australian lecturer) for his young adult novel Calypso Summer.
Entries for the competition this year were so impressive that an additional prize was added to the program, the one-off kuril dhagun prize. This was awarded to Brisbane Broncos player, Scott Prince, and deputy principal of a Logan primary school, Dave Hartley, for their co-authored children’s book, Deadly D and Justice Jones – Making the Team.
Minister Walker said all four winners were outstanding role models. "This year’s black&write! fellows represent an exciting future for Indigenous writing, editing and publishing in Australia." he said.
In attendance at the launch was Magabala CEO, Michelle Broun, and board member, Tony Lee. Past and present Magabala creators, Alf Taylor, Anita Heiss, Sue McPherson, Dub Leffler, Bruce Pascoe, Norma McDonald and Nola Turner-Jensen were also there; all of whom attended the First Nations Australia Writers Workshop.