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National Help for Writers

6 January, 2011

Does Australia need a national writers’ structure?

Australia has long-established state and territory writers’ centres.  Now five of these centres are being brought together under a new national federated structure, called Writing Australia. This new entity will have a national director and will be funded by the Australia Council Literature Board.

The news release states why Writing Australia is needed. It will:

  • work at the national level to provide activities for writers, such as residencies, overseas links, more promotional opportunities, and online workshops.
  • enable new writing-based organisations to have a crack at government funding.
  • undertake work now duplicated by the state and territory centres, such providing general writing advice and a nation-wide list of writing competitions.

It will be interesting to see if adding another level of management helps or hinders support for writers.


Corrections: A big thank you to the two readers who advised about some errors in my original post. I have deleted the inaccurate material and am posting the corrections.

  • I located a blog called Writing Australia and assumed it was a product of the new government entity, Writing Australia. It is not.
  • I misunderstood information, found on a website, about two writing centres. Neither the Queensland Writers’ Centre (QWC) nor the Northern Territory (NT) Writers’ Centre are changing their names. The QWC has established a project called The Institute for the Future of the Book (if:book), which functions somewhat like an e-book branch of the QWC. The NT Writers’ Centre also has a project, to become a centre of excellence in Indigenous writing.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Maggie permalink
    7 January, 2011 10:40 am

    Hi, Marsha.
    QLD Writers Centre isn’t renaming. The Institute for the Future of the Book (if:book) is a project it has recently launched. QWC is still a writers’ centre and if:book is kind of like the e-book branch of QWC.

    Writing Australia hasn’t really launched yet, but I’d be interested to see how it will operate given 3 states aren’t involved and it will be directly competing with the writers’ centres.
    Interesting times ahead me thinks!


    • 7 January, 2011 10:56 am

      Hi Maggie,
      Ah, I see I misread becoming ‘a centre’ for renaming the centre. Sorry for the confusion and will correct. I’m with you in being curious about how Writing Australia will work, especially given that some states are not involved. Adding another management layer seems odd, given that the value of state-based centres is their ability to actively support local and regional writers.


  2. Penny permalink
    7 January, 2011 9:40 am

    No, that is the wrong website, it is not the government one.


    • 7 January, 2011 10:57 am

      Thanks for this correction, Penny. I’ll revise the original.


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