Australian creators to receive $1.3 million from the Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund

July 10, 2017

Grants for 56 projects have just been announced including funding for the development of more than 15 new Australian plays and the inaugural Australian Reading Hour in September.

The Stella Prize, the Melbourne Writers Festival and the National Young Writers Festival are also beneficiaries of grants just announced by the Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund.

In total, the Cultural Fund is giving $1.3 million to support 56 new projects in the first of two rounds of funding for 2017. This funding is in addition to $66,000 in grants for individual creators made through the Ignite and Create Funds, announced earlier this year.

Copyright Agency CEO, Adam Suckling, says “The Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund comes from the generosity of our members who have committed 1.5% of the agency’s revenue every year. This important source of funding helps to ensure Australia’s talented and diverse literary and artistic community can continue to generate creative work for the benefit of all Australians.”

Other highlights of the funding round include commissioning of 19 new Australian plays, facilitated by nationally renowned theatre companies Belvoir Company B in Sydney, La Boite Theatre Company in regional Queensland, and Red Stitch Actor’s Theatre in Melbourne.

Three Artist-in-Residence programs – in Western Australia, Victoria and Queensland – will enable creators to undertake interdisciplinary programs, create new works, exhibit in group shows and develop new skills.

Cultural Fund Officer Nicola Evans says, “A strong focus for the Cultural Fund, and the Copyright Agency, is to support Indigenous creators and programs that will establish a greater understanding and engagement with Australian First Nations’ histories and culture.”

In total, nine of the 56 funded projects will promote engagement with Indigenous culture, including a three-year commitment to the National Indigenous Story Awards and to the Art Gallery of New South Wales’ outreach education program ‘HOME: Aboriginal art in NSW’.

Reading Australia, a program run by the Copyright Agency, will continue its partnership with remote Indigenous publisher Magabala Books, in Western Australia, commissioning teaching resources for books for secondary students. As well, funding has been committed to the Eleanor Dark Foundation Fellowships for Indigenous Writers.

Children’s literature, poetry, literary journals and trade association conferences were also amongst the successful recipients. A full listing of funded projects is below.


  • $29,000 to Children’s Literature (4 projects)
  • $20,725 to Cultural Institutions (1 project)
  • $122,500 to Education (4 projects)
  • $122,500 to Festivals (7 projects)
  • $76,000 to Journals (8 projects)
  • $10,000 to Poetry (2 projects)
  • $30,000 to Prize Contribution (2 projects)
  • $124,400 to Publishers (4 projects)
  • $52,000 to Theatre (3 projects)
  • $145,800 to Trade Associations (7 projects)
  • $76,460 to Visual Art (4 projects)
  • $92,310 to Writers (7 projects)

Number of projects funded by state


NSW 18
VIC 14
WA 4
SA 1
NT 1
Other 2



  • $29,000 to Children’s Literature

Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) Vic) Inc. (VIC) $11,000.00

Title: Maurice Saxby Creative Development Program

A comprehensive professional development, networking and manuscript development program for talented emerging children’s and young adult authors and/or illustrators who show promise and determination to succeed in the Australian children’s literature profession. The program has nurtured thirty Victorian creators since 2007, and is now open to all Australian creators.

Ipswich District Teacher Librarian Network (QLD) $8,000.00

Title: StoryArts Festival Ipswich 2017

The biennial StoryArts Festival Ipswich offers a vibrant week-long program celebrating books and story in different forms including performances and exhibitions. It provides FREE sessions for children and families and low-cost adult sessions, networking and professional development opportunities for authors and illustrators and a local trade fair.

The Literature Centre (WA) $10,000.00

Title: Celebrate Reading National Conference 2017

The Celebrate Reading National Conference has been held annually since 2012, at The Literature Centre in Fremantle. In 2017 eight authors and illustrators from NSW, VIC and WA will give the inside story on quality Australian literature for children, to 200 delegates from WA, interstate and overseas.

  • $20,725 to Cultural Institutions

Art Gallery of NSW (NSW) $20,725.00 (over 3 years)

Title: HOME: Aboriginal art in regional NSW – AGNSW outreach education program

‘HOME: Aboriginal art in NSW’ is an AGNSW outreach visual arts education program for regional schools in Wagga Wagga, Albury and Dubbo presented in partnership with The Arts Unit, Department of Education and public galleries in NSW. The program provides professional skills and resources for artists, and will support the development of new local, regional and national markets for Aboriginal art – in NSW and beyond.

  • $122,500 to Education

AATE/ALEA National Conference for the Teaching of English and Literacy          (SA) $20,000.00

Title: 2018 AATE/ALEA National Conf for teachers of English/Literacy (Perth)

A ‘Literary Festival’ program stream, embedded in the wider conference framework, showcasing Australian writers. The project will help writers to gain a broader audience for their work and enable closer connections between educators, publisher and writers.

AustLit, School of Comms Arts, UQ (QLD) $21,500.00

Title: Teaching with Fantasy: Connecting Teachers, Writers, and Digital Outcomes

Fantasy fiction for young adults is an important part of Australia’s publishing industry and secondary students love fantasy. The Teaching with Fantasy project supports English teachers’ use of Australian fantasy; gives local teachers an opportunity to participate in a YA Fantasy PD event; and, delivers rich, specialised content through AustLit.

Boyer Educational Resources (NSW) $6,000.00

Title: Authors in Schools – Storytelling relating to the Australian History Curriculum

The project involves author visits to twenty metropolitan and regional schools to talk about history topics related to the Australian Curriculum (First Fleet, convict experiences and first contact). Additionally, the author will build awareness of the research and writing process for non-fiction and fictional Australian history.

Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (VIC)       $75,000.00

Title: WrICE (Phase 2): RMIT Copyright Agency Asia-Pacific Partnership Program

WrICE (Phase 2) deepens and extends the successful WrICE program of collaborative residencies and public events. WrICE, developed by RMIT with CA support, brings together leading and emerging Australian and Asia-Pacific writers and audiences to expand the horizons of Australian literary culture and open creative dialogues with our Asian neighbours.

  • $122,500 to Festivals

Canberra Writers Festival (ACT) $5,000.00

Title: 2017 Canberra Writers Festival

Held over 3 days the 2nd annual Canberra Writers Festival takes place in an array of venues across the Nation’s Capital and provides audiences with an opportunity to engage with authors, academics and journalists in an array of activities from panels, conversation sessions, workshops to lunches and intimate dining events.

Geelong Regional Library Corporation (VIC) $15,000.00

Title: Word for Word Festival “Getting it Write” Workshop Program

The Word for Word Festival “Getting it Write” Workshop Program will enable emerging and aspiring writers from regional and rural backgrounds to learn new skills and gain valuable insights and learnings from established writers.

Melbourne Writers Festival (VIC) $90,000.00 (over 3 years)

Title: Education Partner of Melbourne Writers Festival Schools’ Program (3 years)

The exclusive Education Partner category ensures growth in reach and impact of Australia’s biggest literary event for students in 2018–2020 through:
1. Participation by Australian authors.
2. Direct access by school children to national writers
3. Quality resources for use by teachers via a proposed new initiative with Reading Australia

National Young Writers Festival (NSW) $45,000.00 (over 3 years)

Title: NYWF 2018-20 Mentorship & National Bursary program (3 years)

NYWF is Australia’s premier gathering for young writers. Each year young writers and industry professionals descend upon Newcastle for four days of rigorous programming curated by the Festival’s CoDirectors in response to artist submissions. NYWF is committed to being free and nationally accessible – artistically ambitious, inclusive, participatory and diverse.

Newcastle Writers Festival Incorporated (NSW) $10,000.00 (over 2 years)

Title: 2018 and 2019 Newcastle Writers Festival Schools Program (2 years)

The 2018 and 2019 NWF Schools Program is aimed at primary students and will be held over two days in the lead-up to the main Newcastle Writers Festival program [5-6 April 2018 and 4- 5 April 2019]. It will include author/illustrator visits, workshops, and readings

Tasmanian Writers Centre (TAS) $5,000.00

Title: Tasmanian Writers & Readers Festival 2017/18

TWRF17/19 is a celebration of powerful story telling from around the world. It provides the unique opportunity to spend time sharing ideas and exploring literary conversations with favourite authors, artists and performers. New knowledge, cultural learnings and Tasmania’s unique connection to nature will be celebrated through words, images and sound.

 WORD Christchurch (NZ) $1,000.00

Title: Clementine Ford to attend WORD Christchurch, Christchurch Arts Festival

This project will ‘underpin export market development of Australian publishing’ to New Zealand. Clementine Ford will speak in Christchurch, but she will also receive nationwide media coverage, and her books will be on sale at her events. This is a great opportunity for her to raise her profile in New Zealand and develop a new audience for her work.


  • $76,000 to Journals

Australian Book Review (VIC) $52,500.00 (over 3 years)

Title: Promote Australian Book Review to new audiences (3 years)

Australian Book Review will support and promote Australian writers and attract more readers by expanding its subscriber base and audience. ABR will do this by promoting the magazine through engaging a professional marketing and PR agency.

Crinkling News (NSW) $20,000.00

Title: Crinkling News and improving media literacy in young Australians

This project will give journalists, writers, graphic artists, photographers, video producers and teachers the opportunity to work together through Crinkling News to produce written and visual/digital work used in the school education sector to improve young Australians’ media literacy.

Griffith REVIEW (QLD) $20,000.00

Title: The Novella & Narrative Non-Fiction Project V Competition

This year, Griffith Review embarks upon its fifth Novella Project to publish the best fiction and creative non-fiction in Australia of 7,000-25,000 words. Extending its scope for the first time to narrative non-fiction with a biographical theme, the project will showcase a new, diverse group of established and emerging writers.

Island Magazine (TAS) $20,000.00

Title: Increasing Island’s Writers’ payments

This project will support a long-established non-profit Tasmanian cultural institution (Island) to offer authors greater opportunities to develop their skills and create new works.

Increased author payments will encourage new poetry, fiction and nonfiction from both emerging and established writers throughout Australia. This has potential to support writers to then develop longer works, such as published volumes of poetry, novels and nonfiction books.

Meanjin (VIC) $60,000.00

Title: Meanjin Papers (3 years)

The Meanjin Papers project will fund author payment for longform essays dealing with issues of Australian cultural significance. One Meanjin Papers essay will be published in each edition of the quarterly journal. The essays will be commissioned from Australian authors, journalists and academics.

The Big Issue (VIC) $20,000.00

Title: The Big Issue Fiction Edition

Preparation and production of The Big Issue’s annual Fiction Edition. It provides an opportunity for all writers – established, emerging and unknown – to be part of Australia’s biggest-selling annual short story publication. Each year’s edition is subtly different – this year’s will showcase a mix of commissioned stories and open entries.

Westerly Magazine (WA) $13,500.00 (over 3 years)

Title: Westerly Magazine’s Writers’ Development Program 2017-19 (3 years)

Westerly’s Writers’ Development Program will be offered to WA emerging writers, providing professional mentorship in manuscript development, multiple opportunities for paid publication, industry networking, and ongoing feedback and support for the emerging writers involved. After a successful pilot Program in 2016, this Project seeks funding for a three-year iteration.

Xou Pty Ltd (NSW) $6,000.00

Title: Stories of …

The funding will be used to commission pieces from contemporary writers and artists exploring modern Australian life and diversity in each major city. ‘Stories of…’ will produce six collections of new writing as well as publishing the work online with a focus on culturally and linguistically diverse writers.


  • $10,000 to Poetry

Slamalamadingdong (VIC) $2000

Title: Slamalamadingdong National Poetry Slam Team

Slamalamadingdong is travelling to the United States in August to compete as a Poetry Slam, Inc. poetry slam in the National Poetry Slam, sending our top four poets from our Grand Slam in May with a coach to compete in the slam and participate in the workshops.

University of Canberra: IPSI (ACT) $8,000.00

Title: The Poetry Editor

Poetry is notoriously difficult to edit, and emerging editors are often anxious about the extent to which they should intervene in a poem. This project places emerging editors alongside very established poetry editors and allows them to work on real-life books and journal publications to develop knowledge, skills and confidence.

  • $30,000 to Prize Contribution

National Indigenous Story Awards (3 years) $30,000.00

These awards support the generation, regeneration, and dissemination of Indigenous cultural knowledges through the arts. The awards recognise the significance of Indigenous story in the maintenance of culture, and in cultural exchange and recognising that the forms of story will emerge out of the specificities of Indigenous experience.

Stella Prize       $20,000.00              

The Stella Sparks event series will partner with festivals around Australia to present four curated events celebrating women writers and showcasing their diversity, strength and creativity widely. Participating artists will be primarily drawn from Stella Prize winners, shortlistees and longlistees – with a focus on performing new work.

  • $124,400 to Publishers

Magabala Books (WA) $51,200.00 (over 2 years)

Title: Magabala Books Education Strategy – Promoting Indigenous Secondary Titles (2 years)

A partnership with Reading Australia and the Australian Association of Teaching of English (AATE) to develop teaching resources for 8 Magabala Books titles, for secondary levels, for inclusion on the Reading Australia website. In 2016 CAL awarded a grant to Magabala Books to engage ALEA to commission teachers’ resources for 15 primary titles. The announcement of the partnership generated a significant amount of interest in Reading Australia and Magabala’s titles. In addition to creating resources, the partnership with ALEA significantly enhanced our education networks. Since the launch we have been repeatedly asked whether resources for secondary level titles might be included.

Melbourne University Publishing (VIC) $25,000.00

Title: Australia’s National Heritage

Significant writing and photography will bring alive each of the 100 heritage sites. The book will include a full heritage-listing index containing details about the sites and their significance, as well as a general index. The heritage sites will be shown on a four-colour map of Australia.

The Guardian (NSW) $30,000.00

Title: Guardian increased book coverage

The Guardian will increase its coverage of Australian books and profile Australian authors through a series of commissioned interactive essays highlighting established and emerging authors, a number of book reviews and a series of articles to introduce domestic and international readers to the best of new Australian literature.

University of Queensland Press (QLD) $37,500.00 (over 2 years)

Title: UQP: A Cultural Legacy – 70th anniversary program (2 years)

In 2018 UQP celebrates its 70th anniversary and its significant contribution to Australian literary culture. UQP will do this by curating an anthology including approximately thirty new pieces for publication by thirty distinguished UQP authors from the seven decades and a series of related public programs including on campus.

  • $52,000 to Theatre

Belvoir Company B Ltd (NSW) $90,000.00 (over 3 years)

Title: Belvoir’s Commission Series – Investing in Australian Stories (3 years)

Commission two playwrights each year for 3 years to each write a new Australian play with the intention for it to be developed and programmed for presentation at Belvoir Theatre and/or other Australian or International theatre companies.

La Boite Theatre Company (QLD) $10,000.00

Title: The Practice Project: Phase One – Script commission and Resource Development

PrActice Project will provide students and teachers in regional Queensland with an online Arts resource kit, including play script, videos of actors rehearsing and performing, lesson plans and complete unit of work. This application is for Phase One – engaging a playwright to write a new work, and development of resources.

Red Stitch Actors’ Theatre (VIC) $12,000.00

Title: Red Stitch ‘Ink’ Writers’ Residency

Ink is writer-centric. Our Artistic Director works closely with playwrights to tailor a creative team and timeline specific to each project. Funding will provide dramaturgical support, enabling the creative development of twelve new Australian plays over three years, within a collaborative environment focused on professional development, relationship-building and career advancement.

  • $145,800 to Trade Associations

AALITRA (Australian Association for Literary Translation) (VIC) $3,800.00


A half-day symposium to promote Australian literary translation and the dispersal of Australian books throughout the world. The symposium will explore the act of translation between author and translator and ways in which Australian writers can work across cultures to express themselves and become recognised internationally as well as nationally.

Australian Historical Association (NSW) $27,000.00 (over 3 years)

Title: AHA-Copyright Agency Early Career Researcher Scheme (3 years)

An award that supports Early Career Researchers in history to develop an innovative journal article, through a six-month mentorship program. Awardees must publish a shorter piece about their research for a general readership and will be invited to participate in a career development workshop.

Australian Library and Information Association (ACT) $30,000.00

Title: The Australian Reading Hour 2017

A cross-industry, national promotion and celebration of reading, with a focus on Australian writers and their work, engaging with readers through author events and readings in libraries, schools and bookshops throughout the country. Supported by a digital marketing campaign, capitalising on the existing Reading Hour website.

Australian Publishers Association (NSW) $40,000.00       

Title: FutureBook Australia 2018: Where next for Australia’s book industry

Bring together in a one-day event, leading Australian and international thinkers and practitioners in publishing, retail, editorial, writing, marketing and tech along with speakers from other industries, focusing on how publishers can define and take advantage of current trends.

Australian Society of Authors (NSW) $20,000.00  

Title: Virtual Professional Development

The Virtual PD Program will develop a broad spectrum of digital workshops, interviews, informal chat rooms and resources in order to provide greater access, interaction and flexibility for creators to connect to the writing community, develop their skills and access the international marketplace, regardless of their location.

The Walkley Foundation (NSW) $33,000.00

Title: Walkley Journalism Explored quarterly essay series

The Walkley Journalism Explored quarterly essay series provides grants of $8000 to three journalists to research and write rigorous analytical essays of up to 10,000 words about rapid changes the journalism industry is going through and by extension the impact these are having on our society

The Walkley Foundation (NSW) $10,000.00

Title: Walkley Foundation Freelance Program

The Foundation’s Freelance Journalist of the Year award celebrates independent writing and keeps it on the agenda. With CAL’s support, the 2017 winner and finalists will be given a platform at Storyology to raise the profile and reiterate potential of freelance creative work.

  • $76,460 to Visual Art

Artsource The Artists Foundation (WA) $34,800.00 (over 2 years)

Title: WA ArtsHouse Artists in Residence (2 years)

Artsource and Cyril Jackson Senior College (CJSC) are collaborating on a series of artist residencies based at CJSC ArtsHouse. Each residency will be for one school term (8 weeks) and the artist will create new work as well as working with students to provide hands on arts experiences.

Bus Projects (VIC) $19,260.00         

Title: Concentric Curriculum, connecting artists/writers

Concentric Curriculum is an interrelated program of workshops, performance-lectures and published writing that connects Australian artists and arts writers with local, national and international audiences. Built on Bus Projects’ 16-year history of interdisciplinary programming, Concentric Curriculum will result in new work and knowledge sharing with diverse participants.

KickArts Contemporary Arts (QLD) $20,000.00     

Title: Indigenous Residential Printmaking Program

The Indigenous Residential Printmaking Program will see 4 week long residential workshops facilitated by Dian Darmansjah from Firebox Print Studio North. Held in Cairns, up to 6 artists per workshop will develop skills in relief and intaglio printing in preparation for artwork publication through remote Far North Queensland Art Centres.

University of New South Wales (NSW) $25,000.00

Title: Support artists/writers, development for Beijing Media Arts Biennale exhibition (2 years)

Intra-actions is a program of Australian Design and Media-Art contributions to Beijing Media Arts Biennale (BMAB). Demonstrating Australia’s creative, economic and educational attributes and raises awareness of the quality and diversity of Australian artists while providing new cultural and educational opportunities for individual artists, authors and publishers.

  • $92,310 to Writers

Abbotsford Convent Foundation (ACF) (VIC) $6,000.00

Title: Convent Children’s Program, Summer 2017/18 & Kids’ Own Publishing Project

The Convent Children’s Program is the ACF’s new creative program targeted at children and families, which will be presented over Spring/Summer 2017/18. Encompassing different modes of creative engagement, the program provides young audiences and their families with an introduction to learning through play, collaboration, and a literacy-rich life.

Aboriginal History Incorporated (ACT) $15,000.00

Title: Celebrating and supporting Indigenous-authored history

On our 40th anniversary, this project will provide an integrated program of mentoring and support for upcoming Indigenous scholars to gain knowledge about writing for publication, to create new works, and to reach broader audiences through open access, online publication.

Djilpin Arts Aboriginal Corporation (NT) $17,310.00

Title: Jaowyn Country Writers Workshops

The Workshop provides training opportunities for emerging and experienced storytellers and writers to further understand and experience the process of translating their voice and stories for web, print and screen outcomes, cultivating a sense of ownership and increasing networks with the view that they may increase awareness of work opportunities.

NSW Writers’ Centre (NSW) $10,000.00

Title: Boundless: Showcasing Culturally Diverse Writers

The Boundless project will showcase Indigenous and culturally diverse writers through a mix of live events and digital experiences, enriching Australian cultural life and ensuring these important – but often neglected – voices are heard. The project will also include opportunities for professional development, audience building, and access to industry.

The Eleanor Dark Foundation Ltd (NSW) $30,000.00 (over 3 years)

Title: Copyright Agency Fellowships for Indigenous Writers (3 years)

Four residential fellowships a year, over three years, for Indigenous writers across all genres to spend a week at Varuna. Selected writers will be mentored during their stay and any completed work will be assessed for publication by a leading Indigenous publisher.

WestWords Ltd (NSW) $60,000.00 (over 3 years)

Title: Western Sydney Emerging Writers’ Fellowships (3 years)

The Western Sydney Emerging Writers’ Fellowships support writers at a critical juncture in their development. Through tailored program of mentorships with established writers, income relief, residential opportunities and professional skills development, fellows work on bringing major works to the point of submission for publication.

Wiradjuri Condobolin Corporation (NSW) $14,000.00

Title: Wiradjuri Skywriters Pilot Project

A pilot project to place a professional author in our remote rural community to train and nurture new indigenous writers; open pathways to publication and employment; facilitate sharing of cultural knowledge; enhance cultural awareness, self-esteem and confidence; and oversee the production of new indigenous works for local and global audiences.


Find out more here. Applications close 5pm on Monday 9 October, 2017.

Successful applicants will be notified approximately eight weeks after the advertised deadline.

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