Opportunities and Awards Wrap

NAVA announces EOI for writers, first NIDA Youtube Scholarship recipient awarded, ABIA announces long list, plus more awards and opportunities.
Opportunities and Awards Wrap Michiru Encinas has been awarded a YouTube scholarship with NIDA. Image: Lakshmi Dasi.

Staff writer

Wednesday 24 February, 2021


We begin this week with a few interesting opportunities for writers, starting with the Allen & Unwin Crime Fiction Prize. The prize is open to writers who have an unpublished full-length manuscripts that fall into the crime or thriller genres with the winner to be awarded a publishing contract with an advance against royalties of $AUD 25,000. Entries close on Friday, 26 February, 2021.


Allen & Unwin publisher Jane Palfreyman said she looks forward to discovering untapped writing talent. 'The appetite of readers for quality crime fiction has never been so high, and Australian crime writing is flourishing here and around the world,' she said.

'At Allen & Unwin we have been consistently thrilled by the response to our award-winning and bestselling crime list, and are keen to expand it by discovering strong voices and new talent.'

Writers and performers both with and without disability are invited to take part in Speak of What you Love, a mixed ability performance and writing group. Up to 10 places are available for creatives to join this group through Eurella Creative. Participants will work with a vocal coach to create original monologues. The EOI is due on 28 February.

Those interested in writing about the performing arts might want to check out NAVA's EOI for Writers  –  this is an opportunity for writers to contribute to the major revision of NAVA's code of practice. Selected applicants will write short discussion papers and contribute to draft sections of the Code, receiving 90c per word. This 'payment for consultation model' aims to centre the diversity of the arts communities and credit them directly as advisers, designers and co-authors. Sections of the code to be revised include: Exhibiting, Selling, Commissioning and Funding, Residencies, Studios, plus more.

For digital storytellers, there's the chance to design three workshops for the Recovery Arts Initiative Storytelling Project:  My Story. Writers will record and edit the stories of senior members of the community on behalf of Moonee Ponds City Council. The project will allow community members to tell their stories and reflect on how the 2020 lockdowns affected them – creating connections, opportunities to heal and recover by utilising digital storytelling.

The workshops are targeted to senior members of the local community in Moonee Ponds, giving them a platform in which to tell their stories and express how the recent lockdowns affected them. EOIs close Thursday 25 February. Artist fee is $4000. 

Want more? Visit our Opportunities page for more open competitions, prizes, EOIs and call outs.


NIDA announces first Youtube Scholarship recipient

The National Institute of Dramatic Arts has announced young Brisbane creative Michiru Encinas as the first recipient of the inaugural YouTube scholarship, which will allow her to study NIDA's Bachelor of Fine Arts (costume).

In 2020 YouTube committed USD $100,000 to fund three student scholarships for individuals to study at the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA). The scholarships, of approximately AUD $43,500 each, will be awarded in 2021, 2022 and 2023 to students from backgrounds that have historically been underrepresented in the screen and stage industries. 

Encinas said the scholarship provides an opportunity for a diverse group of creatives to create something special.

‘I think if you bring together a variety of people with different backgrounds, cultures or perspectives, it can provide an opportunity to create richer, more diverse and more exciting productions,' she said.

NIDA only accepts six students per year for its Bachelor of Fine Arts (costume), which is even more exclusive than NIDA’s Acting degree.

NIDA’s Head of Costume, Annette Ribbons, said, ‘Michiru came across as a resourceful, creative, proactive young person with an understanding that we operate as part of a collaborative artform. Her dedication, hard work and unique creative vision were evident as she spoke of her passion and ambition to work in the world of costume. Michiru will thrive because she is open to learning, and has demonstrated creative problem-solving skills with a calm, articulate nature.’

Regional Arts WA invests over $300K into creative recovery projects

Western Australia's creative ecosystem has so far received $303,874 thanks to Regional Arts WA's Recovery Boost – a one-off investment provided by the Australian Government through Regional Arts Australia. 

The Recovery Boost is a nation-wide funding initiative that was announced last year to support creative industries across regional, rural, and remote Australia, recognising arts and culture activities are vital in the recovery from the impacts of COVID-19.

Announced last year, the initiative is a nation-wide funding initiative to support creative industries across regional, rural, and remote Australia, recognising arts and culture activities are vital in the recovery from the impacts of COVID-19.

Regional Arts WA CEO Paul MacPhail said the Government's commitment to the Regional Arts Fund Boost has helped the local arts community recover from COVID disruptions.

'The Recovery Boost through the Regional Arts Fund was delivered quickly into the regions last year as a response to COVID-19 and, as a result, artists and creative communities were able to bounce back from the downturn much faster while boosting the Australian economy as well,' MacPhail said.

'It is exciting to see artists, creative organisations, and arts workers embracing new ways of working and adopting new technologies to overcome the impacts of COVID-19 and continue to connect their communities through arts and culture opportunities.'

Winners of Split Second Film Festival announced

The Transport Accident Commission (TAC) has announced filmmaker Alex Lowe as the winner of the Split Second Film Festival – for his entry A Trial Before the King.

Lowe's concept was selected from over 200 entries as part of the TAC competition, and puts a medieval spin on road safety to highlight the importance of careful driving and minimised distraction behind the wheel.

The film features Australian actor and logie winner Firass Dirani who will appear alongside Alex and TAC’s Road Safety Project Manager, Helen Reddan for a panel discussion prior to the short film premier, discussing the film’s portrayal of the dangers of mobile phone usage while driving. 

Seven major writers' festivals gain support through CACF

Adelaide Writers Festival has received funding from CACF. Image L to R: Adelaide Writers Week 2020: Sharon Davis, Meredith Lake, Tim Costello, Christos Tsiolkas. Photo credit: Roy Vandervegt

The Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund (CACF) will support writers’ panel sessions at seven major writers’ festivals around the nation, kicking off with Perth’s Literature and Ideas: Weekend in the City this weekend (20-21 February 2021).

In response to COVID-19, and the way it impacted creatives' ability to earn money and promote their work, the Cultural Fund brought forward to rounds of funding as a way to continue to support creatives.

'The latest round of funding was created to further support our authors and publishers, with more than half of full-time writers’ earnings falling below $15,000 per year because of the pandemic,' said Suckling.

The Cultural Fund’s will support specific panel sessions and events that focus on raising the profile of writers and writing and that engage with topics (such as literary reviewing, the importance of reading, focus on Australian literature, and books that changed lives); and promoting emerging, First Nations and diverse writers to new audiences.

'For the November round we invited several major writers’ festivals and key writing organisations to submit expressions of interest for projects that would directly benefit writers. This year, in addition to the seven writers’ festivals, the Cultural Fund will be supporting The Wheeler Centre’s ‘Broadly Speaking’ series of talks that will feature brilliant local and international feminist thinkers to discuss culture, media, matriarchy, law, health, sex, sovereignty and more. These events will be delivered via livestream, and will be available all around the world.

'We are also supporting a pilot program by Sydney Review of Books that will commission and publish reviews of new Australian books on current affairs and history each month in an effort to convey the vibrancy, diversity and distinctiveness of Australian life,' said Suckling.

The seven major writers festival to receive funding from CACF are:

• Perth Literature and Ideas: Weekend in the City ($15,000)

• Adelaide Writers’ Week ($15,000)

• Sydney Writers’ Festival ($25,000)

• Brisbane Writers’ Festival ($10,000)

• Byron Writers’ Festival ($7,500)

• Canberra Writers’ Festival ($7,500)

• Melbourne Writers’ Festival ($20,000) 

2021 ABIA longlist announced

The Australian Book Industry Awards have revealed their 2021 longlist with the winners to be announced on 28 April at an event at Carriageworks.

The ABIA Academy, a group of more than 250 publishers, booksellers, agents, media and industry representatives – have selected and voted for books published in 2020 across 12 categories. 

ABIA 2021 longlist includes:

Biography Book of the Year

  • A Bigger Picture, Malcolm Turnbull (Hardie Grant Publishing, Hardie Grant Books)
  • A Repurposed Life, Ronni Kahn with Jessica Chapnik Kahn (Allen & Unwin, Murdoch Books)
  • Boy on Fire: The Young Nick Cave, Mark Mordue (HarperCollins Publishers, Fourth Estate)
  • Fourteen, Shannon Molloy (Simon & Schuster Australia, Simon & Schuster Australia)
  • Paul Kelly, Stuart Coupe (Hachette Australia Pty Ltd, Hachette Australia)
  • Soar: A Life Freed by Dance, David McAllister with Amanda Dunn (Thames & Hudson Australia)
  • The Happiest Man on Earth, Eddie Jaku (Pan Macmillan Australia, Macmillan Australia)
  • Truganini, Cassandra Pybus (Allen & Unwin, Allen & Unwin)

Book of the Year for Older Children (ages 13+)

  • Aurora Burning: The Aurora Cycle 2, Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff (Allen & Unwin, Allen & Unwin)
  • Future Girl, Asphyxia (Allen & Unwin, Allen & Unwin)
  • Jane Doe and the Key of All Souls, Jeremy Lachlan (Hardie Grant Children's Publishing, Hardie Grant Children's Publishing)
  • Please Don't Hug Me, Kay Kerr (Text Publishing, Text Publishing)
  • The End of the World is Bigger than Love, Davina Bell (Text Publishing, Text Publishing)
  • The F Team, Rawah Arja (Giramondo, Giramondo Publishing)
  • The Left-Handed Booksellers of London, Garth Nix (Allen & Unwin, Allen & Unwin)
  • This One is Ours, Kate O'Donnell (University of Queensland Press, UQP)

General Fiction Book of the Year

  • The Bluffs, Kyle Perry (Penguin Random House, Michael Joseph)
  • The Dictionary of Lost Words, Pip Williams (Affirm Press, Affirm Press)
  • The Godmothers, Monica McInerney (Penguin Random House, Michael Joseph)
  • The Good Turn, Dervla McTiernan (HarperCollins Publishers, HarperCollins Publishers)
  • The Morbids, Ewa Ramsey (Allen & Unwin, Allen & Unwin)
  • The Mother Fault, Kate Mildenhall (Simon & Schuster Australia, Simon & Schuster Australia)
  • The Survivors, Jane Harper (Pan Macmillan Australia, Macmillan Australia)
  • Trust, Chris Hammer (Allen & Unwin, Allen & Unwin)

General Non-fiction Book of the Year

  • Fire Country, Victor Steffensen (Hardie Grant Publishing, Hardie Grant Travel)
  • My Tidda, My Sister, Marlee Silva; Illustrated by Rachael Sarra (Hardie Grant Publishing, Hardie Grant Travel)
  • One Day I’ll Remember This: Diaries 1987–1995, Helen Garner (Text Publishing, Text Publishing)
  • Phosphorescence: On awe, wonder and things that sustain you when the world goes dark, Julia Baird (HarperCollins Publishers, Fourth Estate)
  • The Golden Maze: A biography of Prague, Richard Fidler (HarperCollins Publishers, ABC Books)
  • The Space Between, Michelle Andrews and Zara McDonald (Penguin Random House, Viking)
  • Un-cook Yourself: A Ratbag’s Rules for Life, Nat's What I Reckon (Penguin Random House, Ebury Australia)
  • Women and Leadership, Julia Gillard and Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala (Penguin Random House, Vintage Australia) 

Literary Fiction Book of the Year

  • A Lonely Girl is a Dangerous Thing, Jessie Tu (Allen & Unwin, Allen & Unwin)
  • A Room Made of Leaves, Kate Grenville (Text Publishing, Text Publishing)
  • All Our Shimmering Skies, Trent Dalton (HarperCollins Publishers, Fourth Estate)
  • Honeybee, Craig Silvey (Allen & Unwin, Allen & Unwin)
  • Infinite Splendours, Sofie Laguna (Allen & Unwin, Allen & Unwin)
  • Song of the Crocodile, Nardi Simpson (Hachette Australia Pty Ltd, Hachette Australia)
  • Sorrow and Bliss, Meg Mason (HarperCollins Publishers, Fourth Estate)
  • The Last Migration, Charlotte McConaghy (Penguin Random House, Hamish Hamilton)

Small Publishers' Adult Book of the Year

  • Glimpses of Utopia: Real ideas for a fairer world, Jess Scully (Pantera Press, Pantera Press)
  • Living on Stolen Land, Ambelin Kwaymullina (Magabala Books)
  • Stone Sky Gold Mountain, Mirandi Riwoe (University of Queensland Press, UQP)
  • The Animals in That Country, Laura Jean McKay (Scribe Publications, Scribe Publications)
  • The Rain Heron, Robbie Arnott (Text Publishing, Text Publishing)
  • What Is To Be Done: political engagement and saving the planet, Barry Jones (Scribe Publications, Scribe Publications)
  • Where the Fruit Falls, Karen Wyld (UWA Publishing, UWA Publishing)
  • Yornadaiyn Woolagoodja, Yornadaiyn Woolagoodja (Magabala Books)
  Visit ABIA Awards for the full longlist.   

Looking for open prizes? Check our prizes and awards page  for some of the hundreds of competitions we list every year.

About the author

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