Monday musings on Australian literature: New Territory 2018

New Territory LogoLast year, some of you will remember, I was a mentor for the ACT Writers’ Centre ACT Lit-bloggers of the future program. It was great fun, and I really enjoyed working with Angharad and Emma over the six-months the program lasted. I wrote a couple of posts about the program, but if you’d like to refresh yourself, this one soon after it started would be a good place to start.

Well, it’s on again this year, but newly branded as New Territory: Adventures in Arts Writing, and with the Street Theatre joining the ACT Writers Centre and the National Library of Australia as program partners. The program, as last year, provides for two emerging ACT-region writers to attend events at the National Library of Australia, the Street Theatre and, in fact, the Canberra Writers Festival, and post their responses on the Writers Centre’s Capital Letters blog.

The ACT Writers Centre’s advertising of the program described it as follows:

[It] is a program that is committed to developing a deeper conversation about the arts: why we make art, how do we engage in art, and to what end? We aim to develop the arts writers, thinkers and provocateurs of the future.

In other words, the writers are encouraged to explore the arts in Canberra – and particularly the events offered by the partner organisations, which they can attend at no charge.

The two writers were chosen in June, and the program is now officially under way, so I’d like to introduce this year’s bloggers to you:

  • Amy (armchaircriticoz): like last year’s Angharad, Amy has a full-time job, and is developing her blog and critical writing skills on the side. Currently her blog roams across film, television, exhibitions, books and other topics that grab her fancy. Do check it out.
  • Siv Parker (On Dusk): and like last year’s Emma, Siv has some writing credentials behind her. Indeed, she won the  David Unaipon Award in 2012, and, in fact, I mentioned her twitter fiction piece in my post on the Writing back anthology last year. She is keen to rekindle her writing career, particularly in this arts writing area, and wants to explore how social media can be harnessed to this purpose. Check out her blog too.

I have asked Siv and Amy whether they’d like to write a guest post here during the program, as Emma did last year, and both seemed keen so you will hopefully see them here sometime in the not too distant future.

I will report back mid-program and point you to some of the work Amy and Siv have been doing, but meanwhile please do check out their blogs and Capital Letters (links above).

Until then, thanks again to the ACT Writers Centre, the NLA and the Street Theatre for sponsoring this program – and a special thanks to author Nigel Featherstone for overseeing this program and gently, encouragingly, shepherding us all through it. I am thrilled to be involved again. I loved getting to know, and spending time with, Angharad and Emma, and look forward to developing a similar relationship with Amy and Siv. Writers – of all sorts – are such fun to be around.

We’d love to hear if you know of any similar programs in your neck of the woods.

12 thoughts on “Monday musings on Australian literature: New Territory 2018

  1. I’m very excited to see Siv Parker’s name here. In 2015 I reviewed a short story of hers for Indigenous Literature Week, and this is what I said:
    “Smart, funny, versatile and writing about the real world in a way that will make you sit up and take notice. Keep an eye out for this author. You heard it here first…”
    Her name has been lurking in the back of my mind ever since and I’d been worried that she’d published something and I’d missed it!

    • Yes, I remember that you’d liked her, Lisa, so thought you’d like to see her name here. Was that the piece in Review of Australian Fiction? (I should re-check your blog post.) I was intrigued by her twitter fiction – clever, creative.

  2. Do you think that blogging is/will become an artform in its own right. I think that it at least has the potential – I picture something involving fiction, commentary, photos, videos, drawings.

    • My sense is that it’s still finding its niche, but I think the people sponsoring this program feel it has the potential. I just don’t think it has quite got there yet, partly because I think we bloggers “mainly” talk to each other rather than reach out beyond?

  3. Very exciting news and congratulations to Amy and Siv! I’m sorry I never got around to doing a guest post for you Sue, but I’m very keen to see what Siv and Amy produce this year!

    • Thanks Angharad. I mentioned a catch up with you and Emma, and they seemed keen so will be in touch in a month or so. The guest post wasn’t a requirement so no worries. I know the end of the year went a bit AWOL for you. You are always welcome to do it (this year, next year, whenever) if you still want to explore that idea, but you may also just want to do it on your own blog.

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