The Copyright Agency’s annual $80,000 Author Fellowship for mid-to-late career authors – one of Australia’s richest – is now accepting applications.

The Fellowship was established for the first time in 2015, with author Mark Henshaw (The Snow Kimono) being the first recipient for his new work The Missing and Indigenous author Melissa Lucashenko (Mullumbimby) named as the Fellow in 2016 for her new work Too Much Lip.

Copyright Agency CEO, Adam Suckling, says, “This is now the flagship fellowship for mid-to-late career authors, providing valuable financing so they can develop their next work.

“As we know, Australian readers love Australian stories, but many would be surprised to learn the average annual income of an author in Australia is $13,000 – an almost 50 per cent decline since 2001.

“In 2016, we doubled the Fellowship’s value in recognition of the time and effort that is required by authors to produce high-quality Australian stories that touch us deeply.”

Mr Suckling says, “Authors are the engine room of this nation’s cultural and creative industries and copyright is fundamental to encouraging and rewarding Australian creativity.”

The Author Fellowships are open for entry until 5pm Monday 25 September, 2017. To apply, authors must have at least five substantial published works (two can be self-published) and a publishing contract in place.

The Copyright Agency pays more than $100 million in copyright licence fees to publishers, writers, visual artists and surveyors every year. This is for the use over 1.2 billion pages of copyright content for Australia’s 3.75 million school students, one million university students and their staff, as well other education providers and governments all over Australia.