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The Magabala mid-career Fellowship was launched in 2020 and is an annual award generously supported by Serp Hills Foundation. This opportunity, worth $10,000, is intended to provide valuable time for a mid-career author to work on a current manuscript.
The Fellowship is open to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander storytellers and writers who have previously published at least two books. We welcome submissions of junior, YA and adult fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and memoir (please note children’s picture book manuscripts are ineligible).
Please note, the Fellowship is awarded to a mid-career author. To enter you must have previously published at least two books. This can be in any genre or category, but it must have been traditionally published. Self-published works are excluded.
If a publishable work is produced as a result of the fellowship, Magabala Books reserves the first right of refusal to publish the work. The Fellowship payment is awarded separately to a publishing contract and does not constitute an advance on royalties. Applications will be assessed by Magabala Books, subject to approval by the Magabala Books Board.
Eligibility for Entry
To be considered for the Fellowship, you must:
1. Be an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander person, currently residing in Australia;
2. Be aged 18 years or over;
3. Have published a minimum of two trade published books (self-published works do not fit this criteria);
4. Be working on an unpublished manuscript; and
5. Be able to outline how you would benefit from this fellowship.
The 2023 mid -career Fellowship will open for application in September 2023.
Magabala Books acknowledges Serp Hills Foundation for their generous support of this award.
2022 Fellowship recipient is Vivienne Cleven.
Vivienne Cleven is a Kamilaroi author who grew up in outback Queensland. She has won the David Unaipon Award with her comedy novel Bitin’ Back. Published the following year, Bitin’ Back was shortlisted in the 2002 Courier-Mail Book of the Year Award and in the 2002 South Australian Premier’s Award for Fiction. In the latter shortlist, Bitin’ Back was listed with Peter Carey’s True History of the Kelly Gang, which won. She wrote the playscript for Bitin’ Back, which was performed by Brisbane’s Kooemba Jdarra Indigenous Theatre Company. Her Sister’s Eye was published in 2002 and was chosen in the 2003 People’s Choice shortlist of One Book One Brisbane.
Vivienne will use the Fellowship to progress her current manuscript 'Beautiful Monsters' currently under development.
2021 Fellowship recipients were Sue McPherson and Charmaine Papertalk Green.
Sue McPherson is a Freescribing Storyteller who lives on the Sunshine Coast. As a writer Sue enjoys making change, pushing boundaries and challenging her readers and audience. Currently Sue writes for TV, Film, Scripted Podcasts and for Young Adult fiction. She loves meeting people from all walks of life, they are her inspiration. Sue McPherson has previously published Grace Beside Me (Magabala Books 2012) and Brontide (Magabala Books 2018).
With the support of the Fellowship, Sue will progress her first work of adult fiction, under the working title ‘Caravan’.
Charmaine Papertalk Green is from the Wajarri, Badimaya and Southern Yamaji peoples of Mid West Western Australia. She has lived and worked in rural Western Australia (Mid West and Pilbara) most of her life, and within the Aboriginal sector industry as a community agitator, artist/poet, community development practitioner and social sciences researcher. Her poetry has appeared in many anthologies and her publications include Nganajungu Yagu (Cordite 2019) and False Claims of Colonial Thieves, co-authored with John Kinsella (Magabala Books, 2018). She lives in Geraldton, Western Australia.
Charmaine will use the Fellowship to progress two manuscripts currently under development.
In 2020, the inaugural Fellowship was awarded to Tristan Michael Savage. A Brisbane-based, Kalkadoon man who grew up in Townsville, North Queensland, Tristan is the author of the young adult sci-fi adventure novel Rift Breaker and has written for the Logie nominated children’s television series, Grace Beside Me. Tristan’s other creative pursuits include the performing arts, filmmaking, and stand-up comedy. Of the Fellowship win, Tristan said:
“I’m absolutely stoked and consider it a great honour to be chosen as the inaugural winner of the Magabala Fellowship, and I look forward to further developing my current work-in-progress."
Magabala Books will publish Tristan's award-winning title in 2023.