Writers SA farewells Jessica Alice after five years as CEO

Today we say a heartfelt farewell to our brilliant CEO Jessica Alice, as we announce she is stepping down after five and a half wonderful years of leadership.

Jessica’s bold and inclusive vision, passion, tireless advocacy, and impactful programs have made a great difference to writers across the state—she will be greatly missed!

We wish Jessica all the very best as she begins an exciting new chapter.

“I am enormously proud of my time at Writers SA,” said Jessica Alice. “It has been a great privilege to work with the state’s many talented writers on so many impactful programs, to create new funding and creative opportunities to support their work, and to advocate on behalf of the literary community.”

“South Australian literature is the strongest it has ever been and I look forward to continuing to follow the careers and successes of Writers SA’s growing membership.”

“It has been my honour to work closely with Jessica, she brings an energy to the community that will be difficult to replace,” says Tanya Wilkins, Writers SA Chair. “On behalf of my fellow Board Members, I wish her every success in her next adventure.”

Jessica was appointed as CEO in July 2018. At Writers SA, Jessica initiated a new partnership with the City of Adelaide to create the annual Context Writers Festival in 2019, which over four festival programs has championed diverse emerging programmers, and First Nations, POC, queer and disabled writers among a lineup of predominantly local writers — a point of difference to Adelaide’s larger festivals.

Alongside group coordinator Edoardo Crismani, Jessica has been a close collaborator with the SA First Nations Writers Group, developing projects and programs including the First Words poetry event at Adelaide Writers Week curated by Dominic Guerrera, and 2023’s Tarnanthi Writers Commissions in partnership with the Art Gallery of South Australia.

During Jessica’s tenure, Writers SA expanded into regional South Australia with the appointment of three regional program coordinators as part of its No Limits program, which won Writers SA’s first Ruby Award from the South Australian Government.

In 2023, she introduced the SA Literary Fellowships program, a new suite of prizes to support emerging, mid-career and First Nations writers in partnership with the State Library of South Australia.

Jessica’s last day will be 7 February 2024. Writers SA has begun recruitment for a new CEO to be appointed in the new year.

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