Announcing Create Grants for 2020

October 28, 2020

Four authors and two visual artists have been awarded a total of $95,000 from the Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund through its Create Grants program. This grant recognises the important work of mid-career and established creators by providing them with vital funds to develop new work for publication or exhibition.

Copyright Agency CEO Adam Suckling says, “Given the devastating impact of COVID-19 on the Australian creative industry, the Create Grants are providing critical support in these challenging times as they afford the winning authors and visuals artists time and space to create, which otherwise may not have been possible.

“The applications we received were exceptional, and showcase the diverse and incredible creative talent we have here in Australia. More than 168 eligible applications were received; of these, 118 applications were from writers and 50 were from visual artists, making it an extremely competitive round. In assessing the applications, the panel noted the overall strong field of applicants and the impressive range of creative projects, evidence of the dedication and resilience of the Australian creative industry.”

In determining the successful applicants, the judging panel considered the impact of the funding on each applicant’s creative practice and the opportunity for publication, performance, exhibition or public outcome. Given the level of competition for these grants and the limited budget to support such artistic endeavour, the panel supported ambitious projects that were clearly articulated and accompanied by excellent support material.

The successful applicants who will receive funding include:

  • Sydney-based young adult author Felicity Castagna, who will use the grant to develop her project The Faraway Highway. Written in a surrealist style, The Faraway Highway will explore our new reality, following the journey of children who move from the country to a futurist Parramatta, which has been overdeveloped and abandoned during a time when a pandemic made living in overcrowded cities a health hazard.
  • NSW-based author Bernard Cohen. His project What was Normality? will be a collection of short stories that draws on the COVID-19 crisis to explore the responses of individuals to major disruptions and traumas, and how these responses illuminate an understanding of normality and patterns of life.
  • Victoria-based author Mandy Ord will create a collection of original autobiographical comic stories that explore the power of this genre.
  • Victoria-based author Ellena Savage is an exciting, cutting-edge writer. Her manuscript A Place to Live will be a long-form work of hybrid and experimental nonfiction that blends various genres including lecture, essay and drama, to think through theories of place, property and belonging.
  • Victoria-based visual artist Nicholas Mangan. His project Core-Coralations will involve a year-long artistic research enquiry to elicit material testimonies contained within Antarctic ice bubbles and bleached coral samples from Far North Queensland to postulate effects of global climate change on ecological health.
  • Northern Territory-based visual artist Doris Thomas will create a stop-motion animation about the events of Titjikala Pension Day. The animation aims to illustrate what life is like in Titjikala, and many other remote communities across Central Australia.

“The panel of judges noted their excitement to see the works once they have been completed, as all successful applicants aim to tell a story that is relevant and relatable to key aspects of life. The applicants are a true testament to the calibre of creativity in this country,” adds Mr Suckling.

This year’s Create Grants were assessed by the following peers: Thuy On, literary journalist and critic, and books editor of The Big Issue; Fiona McGregor, author; and Jarrod Rawlins, senior curator, Museum of Old and New Art.

For more details and a full list of funded projects, head to our Cultural Fund page.

Media enquiries

Jane Morey | morey media | m: 0416 097 678 | e:

Ella Harris | morey media | m: 0403 090 898 | e:

About the Copyright Agency

The not-for-profit Copyright Agency connects users and creators of content, providing licences for the use of copyright material such as text, images, art and survey plans. We manage the educational and government licenses for the use of text and images, as well as the resale royalty scheme for artists (by Government appointment). Our members include writers, artists, surveyors and publishers. Membership is free.

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