In the middle of 2012, we ran a comprehensive survey with South Australian emerging writers to identify their needs and wants in the industry so we could better provide for their professional development and foster their writing journey.
We received nearly a hundred responses and we celebrated the results at a well attended forum in July. The forum featured a panel of industry experts – Lisa Dempster (Director, Melbourne Writers Festival, former Director of EWF), Farrin Foster (Editor, Collect Mag), Emily Craven (YA author), Connor O’Brien (Founder, Tomely and Graphic Designer) – who discussed the issues, brought the survey results to light and which was an opportunity to discuss issues for emerging writers.
In a nutshell, it seems we (as emerging writers) want the following:
- Professional development
- Network building
Specifically, things like:
Publishing opportunities, freelance writing positions, work experience, professional connections, more funding, mentorships, access to ongoing professional development, more events, like minded support, vibrant networks and access to feedback and advice.
Some of the things that we’ve already implemented that has arisen from the survey and forum include:
- provided writers from overseas and interstate
- provided access to Adelaide Writers Week guests
- created work experience positions – such as workshop assistants, where emerging writers can get some on the job experience plus get workshops and masterclasses for free
- regular book fairs which offer writers a chance to promote and sell their self published books
- professional development opportunities in terms of workshop facilitation opportunities (with teenagers and adults) and to be part of panels and networking events
- Versify: regular spoken word hip hop events, featuring talented local and interstate artists
- celebrated local emerging writers in media
- Writer in Residence (emerging writer) program – we’re just about to embark on our sixth round!
We’ll keep you informed along the way as we implement new ideas and programs that are specifically catered for emerging writers in South Australia.