National Library of Australia

2020 Creative Arts Fellowships


Creative Arts Fellowships offer a $10,000 grant to support writers and artists to spend four weeks in the Library developing an artistic concept, artwork or body of work inspired or informed by the collections

Two Fellowships are available:

Creative Arts Fellowship – using our collections, artists can progress or complete an artwork/body of work. Artists may be working in any medium other than writing. This may include music, dance, visual arts, emerging or experimental artforms. The Creative Arts Fellowship is supported by the Friends of the Library.

Creative Arts Fellowship for Australian Writing – using our collections, writers working in any literary genre can progress or complete a new creative work. This may include writing for performance, poetry, fiction, or graphic novels. The Creative Arts Fellowship for Australian Writing is supported by the Ray Mathew and Eva Kollsman Trust.

Creative Arts Fellowship benefits

The Fellowship offers:

  • a four-week residency, which may be extended but without further funding
  • $10,000 for use as a stipend, travel and accommodation support, and project expenses
  • special access to collections and staff expertise
  • access to office facilities and a workstation
  • copies of collection materials (within limits and access conditions)

Fellows will join the Library’s community of staff, researchers and Friends.

Note: The grant will only be paid to the individual. It is recommended Fellows seek financial advice as the grant may have tax implications.

Who can apply?

To be eligible, you must be:

  • An individual creative practitioner or artist practising in a professional forum, that is, your artistic work is available and subject to public and peer review.
  • An Australian Citizen or permanent resident.

Only one application per person is allowed. That is, you cannot apply for both a Creative Arts Fellowship and a Creative Arts Fellowship for Australian Writing.

You cannot apply if you have received a National Library Fellowship within the last five years.

What projects are ineligible?

You cannot apply for projects that:

  • contribute to your academic employment. Projects must be part of your independent creative practice.
  • form part of any official educational assessment including a PhD or Masters project.
  • support non-fiction research or literary criticism about Australian writing. These projects are supported through the NLA Fellowship for Research in Australian Literature

What are Creative Arts Fellowships?

The Creative Arts Fellowship and Creative Arts Fellowship for Australian Writing are for works inspired by the Library’s unique, rare or comprehensive collections. Works can be at any stage of development but must require direct access to the collections to progress or be completed. The final work, which does not have to be finished within the residency period, should showcase the collections in unique or interesting ways, and acknowledge their contribution through commentary or in the artwork.

The collections can be used to:

  • reimagine or repurpose existing materials
  • research original sources that underpin or inspire new work
  • arrange, adapt or transform collection content for another purpose
  • develop an innovative artistic concept or practice

IMPORTANT: You must demonstrate knowledge of and identify specific collections that are relevant to your project. For example, it is not enough to seek to access ‘dance collections’. You must identify the relevant manuscripts, objects, ephemera, etc. within the Library’s dance or other collections. This can be done using the Library catalogue. The Library’s Ask a Librarian service may provide some initial guidance.


For more information, click here.

Applications close
12 Jul 2019
All artforms
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National Library of Australia (opens in new window)
National Library of Australia
(02) 6262 1240