Five state-funded writers’ centres from around the country will combine forces to form a new national organisation called Writing Australia, in a new Literature Board initiative announced today by the Australia Council for the Arts.
Writing Australia, to be based in Canberra, will bring together the Tasmanian, NSW, Victorian, South Australian and the ACT Writers centres to deliver services and programs for writers on a national level, while writers’ centres from the remaining states will be become associate members.
The new body will provide an additional layer of professional skills development and promotion for Australian writers, including a national program of residencies, opportunities for mid-career writers to promote their work outside their home states, a national conference and links to similar overseas service organisations.
A web-based information hub will also provide a meeting-place for writers across Australia, in cities and the bush, as well as provide on-line workshops, comprehensive information on publishing opportunities for emerging writers and a wiki-based meeting place for writers at every stage of their career.
The Australia Council Literature Board will fund Writing Australia as an emerging key organisation from January 2011, committing to triennial funding. The Board congratulated the directors of each centre for their energy and initiative in helping develop a viable and forward-looking plan for the literature sector.
“Our state based writers’ centres do a fantastic job providing invaluable support, workshops and resources for our Australian writers. Bringing them together to form this national network is a logical and progressive step to continuing this great work,” said Professor Dennis Haskell, Chair of the Australia Council Literature Board.
“Implementing a national network dedicated to promoting writing-based culture, and supporting the rights and interests of writers, will ensure that our writers receive the right opportunities and encouragement to create excellent Australian literature. We’re thrilled to see this organisation come to fruition and can’t wait to see the results.” Professor Haskell said.
Writing Australia will commence operations in January 2011 once the recruitment of its national director is complete.
Media contact: Victoria McClelland-Fletcher, 02 9215 9008.