Publishing Industry Career Development Grants

Opens Closes Notified
Publishing Industry Career Development Grants November 2020 closed 22 March 2021 early May 2021


The Copyright Agency’s Publishing Industry Career Development Grants support individuals working in the Australian publishing industry with grants for professional development, skills development, leadership, and career enhancing opportunities.

These grants are aimed at mid-career publishing individuals in trade and educational publishing; Australian literary agents; freelance editors; and editors working at literary magazines and journals in Australia.

The Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund will support opportunities for individual career development. The length of the project can vary, depending on the individual project, and should be completed by 31 July 2022.

Potential projects could include:

  • Industry research into issues such as leadership in publishing, diversity, developing editorial/sales/marketing skills, etc;
  • Mentorships with other publishers to gain new skills and insights;
  • International market exploratory visits;
  • Sales/marketing intensives;
  • Upskilling in online publishing and accessible publishing models;
  • Attendance at a significant international leadership program;
  • Digital transformation/new models and upskilling;
  • Any research project which will have an impact on career development opportunities.

As these grants are intended for individual professional and skills development, projects which are aimed primarily at business development will not be eligible for support.

The grants are not intended for academic study/purposes and cannot be used towards a degree or tertiary qualification.

Successful recipients will be required to write a report of up to 5,000 words on the completion of their project. If appropriate, the report may be shared with industry peers.

These grants will support projects that start after 1 July 2021.

Amount of grant: $5,000

The grant may be used for living expenses, travel and accommodation costs, and for payments to mentors or for professional development workshop costs.

Applications are assessed by a panel of independent peers from the publishing industry.

Up to four grants will be awarded each year.

Who can apply

  • Individuals working in trade and educational publishing companies, literary magazines and journals, and literary agencies in Australia may apply.
  • Applicants must have a minimum of five years’ experience working in-house or freelance for a publishing company or the equivalent at an Australian literary agency.
  • Freelancers with a minimum of five years’ publishing experience may apply.
  • Applicants must be Australian citizens or permanent residents.
  • Applicants must have acquitted any overdue Cultural Fund grants to be eligible to apply for further funding.

How to apply

  • You must apply via the SmartyGrants online grants platform.
  • Applications must be submitted by the closing date via the online system.
  • Applicants may submit only one application per round to the Cultural Fund.
  • Late applications will not be accepted.
  • Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Your application

All applicants must provide a clear outline of their intended project. Your application must include a project description and how the intended activities will contribute to your professional development, dates of the proposed activity, biographical information on mentors (where relevant), some brief biographical information on the applicant and an itemised budget.


If you are unsure how to complete the budget see our sample budget. 

Support Material

You must submit the following support material with your application as a PDF via the online system:

  • A letter of support from your employer (if you are applying from a publishing house).
  • One page CV outlining your experience in publishing roles or as a literary agent.
  • Draft program of intended activities including:

draft itinerary; or

confirmation of your mentorship activities; If applying for a leadership course, please include information on the proposed course along with a confirmed letter of invitation or placement to attend the course.


Successful applicants must submit an online acquittal report on their funded activities within eight weeks of the completion of the project. This report should include a description of the funded activities and detail the success or otherwise of the activity.

Applicants who have not acquitted any outstanding completed grants cannot apply until they have successfully acquitted their previous grant.


Past projects supported

The Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund has supported many publishers with grants for professional development and career development opportunities. Below are links to some recent projects:

2019 Justin Ractliffe Publisher Fellow report

2018 Bronwyn Mehan (report) and Nathan Hollier (report), Publisher Fellows

2016 Louise Cornege Publisher Fellow report

More information and contact

Visit our activities supported page for a full list of what the Cultural Fund will and won’t support.

For further information, please contact the Cultural Fund via email

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