For the first time, SA Writers Centre and major publisher, Hachette, have teamed up to introduce a unique mentoring opportunity for South Australian writers. Submissions were sought from fiction, non fiction and young adult writers across the state earlier this year.
The decision process proved to become difficult when it was clear that there was such a deep pool of talent in South Australia and many strong entries to choose from. It’s with great excitement that we announce that Hachette ended up choosing two winners to receive the mentorship!
The winners are Rose Hartley and Liana Skrzypczak!
‘There was so much talent in the submissions that it was very difficult to make a decision – and, in the end, I couldn’t. So I’m very pleased to have the opportunity to work with two wonderful and very different writers in Rose Hartley and Liana Skrzypczak,’ states Sophie Hamley, Hachette.
Both Rose and Liana have been awarded a professional mentorship with Sophie Hamley, Publisher with Hachette Australia and former President of the Australian Literary Agents’ Association. Hachette publishes the likes of Michael Robotham, Geraldine Brooks, Lian Hearn and so many more brilliant household names.
But it seems to be a rosy few years for some as Rose’s success has snowballed since becoming involved with the SA Writers Centre as a writer in residence in mid 2014, during which she managed to win a poetry prize.
‘After I won a poetry prize last year I got chatting to a prominent author at the SA Writers Centre event TWELVE, who told me to go to Conflux while I was in Canberra as part of the prize, and then he put me on to another writer who introduced me to Margo Lanagan, and then I met another Clarion graduate who inspired me to apply in which I was accepted. It just keeps getting better!’ said Rose Hartley.
‘I’ve been developing my writing skills on my own for the last ten years with small successes along the way, but the leap from decent writer to published author is pretty big. I could have started submitting my manuscript to publishing houses where it would have gone straight onto the slush pile, but I wanted the perspective of an experienced outsider first. Having a mentor will help me see what I need to work on to make the novel as good as I want it to be.
The SA Writers Centre/Hachette mentorship program isn’t just a way to avoid the slush pile. Sophie has many years of experience in the publishing industry, and I anticipate learning a lot about what makes a good novel, which I can apply to future projects,’ said Rose.
‘When I found out I’d be commencing a mentorship with Sophie Hamley from Hachette, I spent a good hour just hyperventilating from excitement. It was clear that this could be the most important learning opportunity in my writing journey so far. This opportunity will give me the clarity and confidence to take my writing to a new level and bring me one step closer to my goal of sharing my stories real-life readers,’ said Liana.
‘We’re not shocked that there was two winners for this outstanding professional opportunity. We’re already aware of the established and burgeoning talent that this state continuously produces when it comes to writing and the creative arts,’ Sarah Tooth, Director, SA Writers Centre.
ABOUT THE WINNERS
Rose Hartley is a freelance copywriter and an emerging creative writer from the Adelaide Hills. After moving to Melbourne in 2003 to complete her undergraduate degree in Creative Arts (creative writing major) at the University of Melbourne, she worked first as a feature writer for trade magazines and later as a copywriter for World Vision Australia, travelling to remote areas of Kenya, Tanzania, Bolivia and Ecuador to interview subjects and create fundraising campaigns. In mid-2013 Rose returned to Adelaide to focus on creative writing.
About Rose’s project:
The Caravan is a work of contemporary fiction about Maggie, a hard-drinking 29-year-old student whose main aims in life are staying out of the workforce as long as possible and having as much sex as she can while living off Centrelink benefits and her mother’s wallet. When she cheats on yet another boyfriend in a public bathroom and is subsequently kicked out of home, her mother gives her $1,200 and an ultimatum: get a full-time job or live on the streets. So Maggie buys a caravan.
Liana Skrzypczak is an emerging fantasy and science fiction writer whose first novel was shortlisted for the Impress Prize UK and optioned for a two-book contract with Harlequin’s ‘Digital Series First’ scheme before the imprint was closed down in late 2013. Her writing has featured in publications such as Mint Magazine, Dubnium and Empire Times and her poetry was recognised in the Imprints Booksellers Prize.
About Liana’s project:
Gold is a work of speculative fiction for young adults about a 20-year-old university student named Declan, who lives in a dystopian Australia that has made a radical decision to split society into two: ‘Daylighters,’ who live and function during the day, and ‘Nocturnals,’ who do so at night. While productivity is doubled, traffic is dispersed evenly over twenty-four hours, and resources are exploited to their fullest potential, it is a graveyard transition into a world eclipsed of hope for those who must live the rest of their lives in darkness. For Dec, it means leaving his first love behind and uncovering a family secret that could spark an energy revolution.