Opportunities and awards

Saatchi launches new emerging artist prize, Neilma Sidney Literary Travel Fund inviting applications and 2022 William and Winifred Bowness Photography Prize shortlist unveiled, plus more!

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This week’s winners
Shortlisted and finalists


Emerging Artist Award 2022, VIC

fortyfivedownstairs is inviting submissions from emerging Australian visual artists for their annual showcase from 27 September – 8 October with a $3,000 prize pool. The award seeks works which exemplify innovation and originality across a range of media, from cutting-edge artistic practices to new takes on traditional styles.
Entries close 25 August; learn more and enter.

Art for Change Prize

This new initiative launched by M&C Saatchi Group and the London Saatchi Gallery is inviting emerging Australian artists to enter the competition with the opportunity to exhibit their work at the Gallery in December 2022. The inaugural award adopts the theme of ‘Equality’ with a winner to be selected in each region including the UK, Europe, Americas, Asia, Australia and Africa. A total prize fund of £20,000 (or around $35,200 AUD) will be split between six regional winners, five to receive £2,000 each and one overall winner to receive £10,000 ($17,600 AUD).
Entries close 8 September; learn more and enter.

SBS Emerging Writers’ Competition 2022

Emerging writers with bold new voices are invited to respond to the theme ’Emergence’ at this year’s SBS Emerging Writers’ Competition, to be judged by Australian writers Alice Pung and Christos Tsiolkas. Tsiolkas urged entrants to have courage and share their stories while Pung is looking for good storytelling over perfect English. The winning submission will take home $5,000 with $3,000 for second place and two $1,000 honourable mentions.
Entries open from 16 August – 13 September; learn more.


Sanctuary Point Library, Shoalhaven NSW

Soda Arts is working with Shoalhaven City Council to commission a series of public artworks for the new Sanctuary Point Library opening in 2024. First Nations artists who have a cultural connection to the Bay and Basin area of the Shoalhaven, NSW can submit EOIs for three permanent public artwork opportunities.
Applications close 8 August; learn more and apply.

Grants and funding:

2022 Neilma Sidney Literary Travel Fund

Round eight of the Neilma Sidney Literary Travel Fund is open for applications which supports emerging, midcareer and established Australian writers and literary sector workers with grants between $2,000 and $10,000 for travel-based career development. Judges are Haneen Martin, Sara Saleh and Mali Hermans.
Applications close 5 September; learn more and apply.


Curiocity Brisbane 2023

Artists, creators, makers, engineers, architects and collaborators are invited to submit ideas and be part of Curiocity Brisbane 2023 running from 22 March – 2 April 2023, a key pillar of World Science Festival Brisbane. Expressions of Interest (EOI) are now open for a large scale physical or digital installation that celebrates the interconnectivity of art and science. Applicants must be 18 years or older; base funding is available for selected artworks and installations. 
EOIs close 12 August; learn more and apply.

TiNA Festival 2022/2023, NSW

Emerging and experimental artists of all creative disciplines are encouraged to contribute an event, act or project to the TiNA Festival. Successful applications may be eligible for grants and TiNA will support the process through mentoring.
Applications for 2022 close 15 August; Applications for 2023 ongoing; find out more.

Professional development:

Georges Mora Fellowship 2022/23

The Georges Mora Fellowship supports an artist who has shown a continuous commitment to contemporary art with a cash grant of $10,000, one year’s premium membership to the National Association for the Visual Arts (NAVA), international residency opportunities, research opportunities and a secure desk at State Library of Victoria.
Applications close 29 August; learn more and apply.

Writing NSW Varuna Fellowships 2022

The Writing NSW Varuna Fellowships are awarded annually to writers who have a work of fiction, creative non-fiction, a play, or a suite of poems that is ready for the next stage of development. This year there are two fellowships available, with one place reserved for a writer under the age of 30.
Applications close 5 September; learn more and apply.

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

This week’s winners

Visual arts:

Reko Rennie and Angela Valamanesh have been announced as the latest recipients of the Mordant Family/Australia Council Affiliated Fellowship at the American Academy in Rome. Rennie will spend two months in residence researching marble sculptures for future works, and travelling to Carrara to speak with local artisans. Rennie is the first First Nations recipient of the fellowship. Valamanesh will use the residency to research early Roman ceramics, including mosaics, votive offerings and functional objects.

Artisanal brand ALEMAIS from Australian desinger Lesleigh Jermanus took out the National Designer Award at PayPal Melbourne Fashion Festival. The record $120,000 prize will support ALEMAIS’ ongoing development and growth alongside marketing support and editorial opportunities. ALEMAIS also took home the inaugural People’s Choice Award presented by David Jones.

Design Institute of Australia announced the State winners for its flagship program for emerging designers – the Graduates of the Year Awards 2022 (Gotya). From 181 exceptional nominations and 83 shortlisted, 27 State winners will now progress to further judging, with the National winners announced on 3 August at the Designers Australia Awards 2022. Leading jurors include Daniel Dalla RIva, James Harper, Dean Norton, Jo Ann Kellock, Brett Capron, Alish McGilp, Claire Bramich and Sally Evans. Find the list of State winners.

Performing arts:

Brisbane born, Melbourne based violist Katie Yap has been named winner of Music Trust’s $21,000 2022 Freedman Classical Fellowship who was competing against harpist Emily Granger and violist Henry Justo. ‘The finalists selected are a wonderful reflection of the depth and diversity of music making in Australia today,’ said the 2022 judges Professor Kim Cunio, Kirsty McCahon and Dr Stephen Mould in a combined statement. In her Freedman project Multitudes, Yap will create four new works through collaborative composition and improvisation with four collaborators: Emily Sheppard, Donald  Nicolson, Bowerbird Collective, and Mindy Meng Wang. Yap said: ’That’s why I’ve chosen the medium of collaborative composition to create the pieces in this project, and I’m so excited to work with each of my collaborators!’

Katie Yap, second from left, celebrates her win at the 2022 Freedman Classical Fellowships. Image supplied.

The Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) marks the 50th Anniversary of the RAD Awards SA, recognising talented young ballet dancers from across the state. Alannah Hefford from Turning Point Dance in Thebarton took home the Sir Robert Helpmann Award from Intermediate and Advanced Foundation (RAD syllabus grades) and the Eileen Hogarth Award for Most Potential. Mietta Brookman from GWB Studios in Miles End took out the Lorraine Irving OAM Scholarship and the Kathleen Short Award for Advanced 1, 2 and Solo Seal (the most senior award). This year’s awards were adjudicated by Lisa Pavane, Director of The Australian Ballet School.

The Phonographic Performance Company of Australia (PPCA) and the Australia Council for the Arts today announced the latest recipients of their partnership program, which to date, has provided $807,000 in creative grants to Australian musicians. 10 new recipients will share $15,000 in grants including Nina Wilson, Matthew Keegan, Angela (Angie) Hart, Lucas Abela, Taka Perry, Natalie Bartsch, Tiana Naug, Ryan Hutcheson, Christopher Moses, and Tania Frazer.

Earning his medallions overseas, is the Melbourne magician Simone Coronel who was recently announced as new World Champion of Magic at the Grand Prix in Quebec, Canada. Every three years thousands of magicians gather in a different city for their equivalent of the Olympic Games. They compete to see who is the best in a number of different events including Close-Up Magic, Grand Illusions, Manipulation, Mentalism and more. After Coronel presented his first show at The Melbourne Magic Festival, Festival Director Tim Ellis said: ’Simon has an air of genuine mystery about him. A playful curiosity that enables him to share his original creations with the audience as he seems just as amazed by the magic as they are.’ Two other competitors from Australia also received applause, including Dom Chambers and Vincent Kuo, who also took out Second Place in the Parlour Magic Competition.

Winners of The Sydney Piano Lovers’ Competition 2022 for amateur Australian and New Zealand pianists over the age of 30 have been unveiled. Ian Lucas from Montville in Queensland was awarded the first prize and was also the co-winner of The Sydney Piano Lovers’ Competition in 2020 (its inaugural year). Lucas studied piano under the tutorage of his mother as a child, before receiving private lessons until his tertiary years. He left the Tasmanian Conservatorium after one year and moved into an 30 year aviation career as a commercial pilot, working as both outback mailman and with the Flying Doctor Service in the Northern Territory, followed by the Qantas group. Lucas’ winning repertoire consisted of three romantic and captivating pieces including Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet. Op. 64/2 No.6, Liszt’s Sonetto 104 del Petrarca and Prokofiev’s March from the Opera Love of Three Oranges. Find out more.

Shortlisted and finalists

A shortlist of 54 exceptional works will be exhibited as part of the 2022 William and Winifred Bowness Photography Prize, selected from a total of 1,334 images across a range of landscape, architectural and portrait photographs. Anouska Phizlackea, Director of Monash Gallery of Art said while the entries capture a breadth of photographic practices, ’what was surprising is that only a few works directly addressed the impact of COVID on society, with artists tending to return their focus to areas that interest them and yet its tendrils winds its way into their making, sometimes transforming their practice into something quite astounding.’ View the full list of shortlisted artists.

2022 Australian Book Review (ABR) Elizabeth Jolley Short Story Prize unveiled its shortlist including Nina Cullen for ’Dog Park’, Tracey Ellis for ’Natural Wonder’ and C.J. Garrow for ’Whale Fall’. The stories will be included in the August issue of ABR with the $6,000 overall winner to be announced on 11 August.

45 finalists have been announced for the 2022 Australian Museum Eureka Prizes, Australia’s leading science awards offering $140,000 in prize money across four categories, Research and Innovation, Leadership, Science Engagement and School Science. Finalist projects include a new class of drugs that can put cancer cells to sleep, expert on understanding and preparing for a future with Artificial Intelligence (AI), and STEM initiatives for underrepresented communities (First Nations, LGBTQIA+ and people living with a disability). Winners to be announced on 31 August at the 2022 AM Eureka Prizes awards ceremony.

A total of 33 titles have been shortlisted for the 2022 Davitt Awards celebrating women’s crime writing. Nominations include 11 adult novels, four YA adult novels, three children’s novels, four non-fiction books, and 11 debut novels (most of which received multiple nominations). The list also includes two self-published debut novels: The Waterhole by Lily Malone, and Crime Writer by Dime Sheppard, showcasing the passion and drive of women crime writers. Find the full shortlist and judge’s comments.

The shortlists for the 2022 Age Book of the Year Award, which this year includes a prize for nonfiction, have been announced. The shortlisted works in each category are:



  • Whole Notes: Life lessons through music (Ed Ayres, ABC Books)
  • Leaping Into Waterfalls: The enigmatic Gillian Mears(Bernadette Brennan, A&U)
  • The Boy in the Dress (Jonathan Butler, Affirm)
  • The Uncaged Sky: My 804 days in an Iranian prison (Kylie Moore-Gilbert, Ultimo)
  • Astronomy: Sky Country (Karlie Noon and Krystal De Napoli, Thames & Hudson)
  • Childless: A story of freedom and longing (Sian Prior, Text).

Each of the award winners, to be announced on 8 September as part of the Melbourne Writers Festival opening gala, will receive $10,000.

Check out previous Opportunities and Awards wraps for more announcements.

Celina Lei is an Arts Writer at ArtsHub. She acquired her masters in Art, Law and Business in New York with a B.A. in Art History and Philosophy from the University of Melbourne. She has previously worked across global art hubs in Beijing, Hong Kong and New York in both the commercial art sector and art criticism. Prior to joining ArtsHub, she was an editorial assistant at the Hong Kong based ArtAsiaPacific magazine and is an art host on independent Instagram platform Club Ambroise. Celina is based in Naarm/Melbourne, Victoria. Instagram: @lleizy_