Announcing the SA Literary Fellowships recipients!

SA Literary Fellowship, State Library of South Australia © Sia Duff 2023
State Library of South Australia Director Geoff Strempel, Katerina Bryant, Sarah Pearce, Gemma Parker, Walter Marsh, Karen Wyld and Writers SA CEO Jessica Alice

We are absolutely thrilled to announce the winning recipients of the inaugural SA Literary Fellowships!

Writers SA and State Library of South Australia have partnered to offer a new fellowship program to support emerging, mid-career, and First Nations writers living in South Australia.

We couldn’t be more excited for the five recipients to take up the residencies, using the Library’s spaces and collections to develop their literary works. The five annual fellowships provide a cash prize (2 x $10,000 Mid-Career; 1 x $10,000 First Nations; 2 x $3,000 Emerging), up to three months’ residency with a desk in the State Library, access to the Library’s collections and more.

Our warmest congratulations to the five recipients, selected from a fantastic shortlist of South Australian writers:

First Nations Fellowship
Karen Wyld

Mid-Career Fellowship
Katerina Bryant
Walter Marsh

Emerging Fellowship
Gemma Parker
Sarah Pearce

Writers SA CEO Jessica Alice said, “We are delighted to offer this fantastic new opportunity, encouraging the original and imaginative use of the Library’s spaces and collections to develop their literary works.

“We have no doubt this talented group of writers will produce the next great books from South Australia and build on the tremendous legacy of the state.”

State Library of South Australia Director Geoff Strempel said, “As the largest public research library in the state, we look forward to welcoming the five outstanding writers to the State Library of South Australia to develop new literary works and access our diverse collections.

“We wish to thank all those who submitted their work to the program this year. The quality of writing, and breadth of ideas submitted was of an extremely high standard.”

Arts Minister Andrea Michaels said, “Congratulations to the five talented South Australian writers selected for the SA Literary Fellowships. Literature plays a significant role in culture and the creative industries, and we look forward to reading your brilliant books in the years to come.”

The successful fellowship recipients will commence their fellowship at the State Library of South Australia in 2024.

Fellowship recipients’ intended literary works:

First Nations Fellowship – Karen Wyld
Award-winning author Karen Wyld will draw on inspiration from South Australian coastal locations and personal memories to develop a collection of short story, narrative non-fiction and poetry that explores the relationship with local beaches and seas. Karen will access the State Library’s Maritime collection – using diaries, maps, photographs and paintings as part of her research.

Mid-Career Fellowship – Walter Marsh
Journalist Walter Marsh will be working on the untitled follow-up to his 2023 debut Young Rupert: the making of the Murdoch empire. A work of narrative non-fiction combining history and contemporary reportage, it will draw heavily on the State Library’s reference, newspaper, and archival collections.

Mid-Career Fellowship – Katerina Byrant
Writer Katerina Byrant’s narrative non-fiction manuscript Queen Pawn follows her personal journey of being a chess champion and explores women in chess with a particular focus on the first South Australian Woman Chess Champion Evelyn Koshnitsky. Katerina will utilise the Koshnitsky Chess Collection at the State Library to influence her literary works.

Emerging Fellowship – Gemma Parker
Poet and essayist Gemma Parker will create a fragmentary narrative around the topic of Spider Mother – drawing on the State Library’s archival collections that best resonates with and enhances her primary themes, from biographical details to family history and newspaper articles.

Emerging Fellowship – Sarah Pearce
Poet and researcher Sarah Pearce will draw on the State Library’s rich resources and use established techniques of found poetry to produce a new collection of ecopoetry.

Presented by Writers SA and State Library of South Australia. This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through Creative Australia, its principal arts investment and advisory body, Arts South Australia, and the Libraries Board of South Australia.

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