5 Questions: The Next Chapter
The Next Chapter, an unprecedented new way of supporting writers.
Friday, 13 July 2018
"We want to give writers the support and space that they need to develop their storytelling. "
No. 1 —
What can winners expect from The Next Chapter?
It’s really hard to carve out the time to write, let alone break into the publishing scene. We want to give writers the support and space that they need to develop their storytelling. Each year, we’ll pick ten writers and give them $15,000 each to develop their work – to experiment, take risks, polish and hone their craft. We’ll match them with a mentor, and work closely with them on bringing their writing to life, connecting them with other writers, publishers, booksellers and readers – and guiding and training them through that experience. And we’ll follow and support them and their work through their career, with initiatives that’ll help publishers, booksellers and readers alike to join us in supporting these Australian stories.
No. 2 —
Who are the judges for The Next Chapter?
We have four outstanding Australian writers who work across genres and know what it means to try to break into the publishing scene. Collectively Ellen Van Neervan (Heat and Light, Comfort Food), Maxine Beneba Clarke (Foreign Soil, The Hate Race, Carrying The World, The Patchwork Bike), Benjamin Law (The Family Law, Gaysia: Adventures in the Queer East, Shit Asian Mothers Say, Law School, and the Quarterly Essay, 'Moral Panic 101') and Christos Tsiolkas (Loaded, The Jesus Man, Dead Europe, The Slap, Barracuda, Merciless Gods) cut across poetry, fiction, non fiction, screenwriting, criticism, children’s books and spoken word and are also experienced judges, mentors and advocates for writers. The Next Chapter is so lucky to boast such an amazing combination of brains to bring their skills, expertise and experience to the judging process.
"The Next Chapter is here to elevate the Australian stories that aren’t being published, and to nurture a new generation of writers, from all sorts of backgrounds to tell them.."
No. 3 —
What are the judges looking for?
First and foremost, they’ll be looking at the quality of the writing. The judging process will also include considering the potential impact that the scheme could have on the applicant’s writing practice and career (this includes considering ways in which the publishing industry was previously inaccessible to the applicant.) They’ll be weighing the applicant’s potential success as a professional writer in future, plus their suitability for the scheme (mainly, their commitment to completing the project within the year) and lastly, the potential significance of their work, which considers the impact that their writing might have in the wider community.
No. 4 —
The Next Chapter asks, 'how do we make sure the industry has the tools to build inclusive networks and support writers from marginalized communities?’ and at Liminal we’re really excited about a prize that supports such writers. How will The Next Chapter ensure this?
The Next Chapter is here to elevate the Australian stories that aren’t being published, and to nurture a new generation of writers, from all sorts of backgrounds to tell them. Firstly, the onus is on us to get out and talk to people, to urge those who wouldn’t normally be inclined to put themselves forward to apply, and to make the application process as simple as possible so that people can just get on with their writing. Secondly, the mentorship we build for each participant will be specifically tailored to their needs as a writer and their circumstances. We’ve travelled all around the country speaking to writers groups, community centres, arts organisations, councils, education centres and more to get advice about how we can make these mentorships as valuable and meaningful as possible. There are all sorts of extra travel opportunities and workshops included as part of the year long mentorship, but equally, if for whatever reason a participant can’t take part in that stuff, that doesn’t preclude them from being chosen as a participant. We will tailor a mentorship that best helps each writer produce their best work, whatever those needs may be.
"We’ve travelled all around the country speaking to writers groups, community centres, arts organisations, councils, education centres and more to get advice about how we can make these mentorships as valuable and meaningful as possible."
No. 5 —
When is the final day for submission?
Friday July 13 – so get cracking! Although keep in mind that this scheme will be rolling out next year too, so if for whatever reason you decide not to apply this year, you can start preparing for 2019.