Australian Literary Agents' Association

Reading Australia

Copyright Agency has launched an exciting new venture, Reading Australia. An initiative of Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund, Reading Australia is intended ‘to benefit readers both in Australia and across the world, along with providing direct benefit to Australia’s authors and publishers who have created the diverse and significant works that tell our nation’s story.’

Reading Australia aims to make it easier and more appealing for Australian texts to be taught in schools and universities, offering teaching materials and essays written by contemporary authors, for the titles which appear on the website. Those titles – 200 to begin with – were selected by the Australian Society of Authors’ Council.

To explore the list, and see the materials on offer, visit


Mary Cunnane – new endeavour

Mary Cunnane has closed her eponymous literary agency and has started a new endeavour, offering her considerable skills as an editor and consultant for authors and publishers.

We wish Mary all the best in her new business. Her presence at ALAA meetings and as an agent in the industry shall be missed.

Mary’s new online home is at


Short Story Competition for Rural Women

This year, the Queensland Rural, Regional and Remote Women’s Network (QRRRWN) celebrates its twentieth birthday.  In celebration QRRRWN, together with writers’ web, is launching a short story competition open to all Australian women, 16 years and over, who live in rural, regional and remote areas. The theme for the competition is ‘Looking Forward, Looking Back’, based on the twentieth year of the Network.

Entries are open in either fiction and non-fiction. Judges will select one short story as the ‘Most Inspirational’ which will be published as the lead story in the eBook and possibly in a print version of the collection.

The stories will be judged by a distinguished panel of remarkable Australian women writers: Terry Underwood, Jane Grieve, Alice Greenup and Carmel Rowley.

The long-list – the best 10 entries from each category – will be announced at the QRRRWN conference in Blackall 9-11 September.  The ‘Most Inspirational’ will be announced and the collection launched on World Rural Women’s Day is 15 October 2013.

Submissions are to be no longer than 2,500 words and entry forms are available for download from

The competition  closes at midnight on 30 July 2013.

New England Thunderbolt Prize for Crime Writing

New England Writers Centre has announced an exciting new national literary award, the New England Thunderbolt Prize for Crime Writing.

The prize is for unpublished short-form crime writing in three categories: fiction, non-fiction and poetry. It has been inspired not only by New England’s traditional association with the legendary bushranger Captain Thunderbolt, but also because of the region’s many associations with crime writing.

For instance, Rolf Bolderwood, author of the classic 19th century novel Robbery Under Arms was a magistrate in Armidale for some years; Tom Keneally’s The Chant of Jimmy Blacksmith was partly filmed at Saumarez Homestead; and best-selling crime novelist Gabrielle Lord is a graduate of the University of New England. Also, current and former residents have been successful with cross-genre crime, mystery and suspense novels, including Wendy and Rebecca James, Bronwyn Parry, and NEWC Chair Sophie Masson, whose book The Hunt for Ned Kelly won the children’s category in the 2011 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards.

Strong local support has made possible the following generous awards:

The New England Thunderbolt Prize for Crime Fiction: First Prize: $500, for a story of up to 2,500 words. Sponsored by the School of Arts, University of New England.

The New England Thunderbolt Prize for Crime Non-Fiction: First Prize: $500 for an article of up to 2,500 words. Sponsored by The Armidale Express.

The New England Thunderbolt Prize for Crime Poetry: First Prize: $500 for a poem of up to 60 lines. Sponsored by Collins Booksellers (Armidale and Tamworth), Dymocks Bookshop (Armidale) Chaucer on Bridge Street Gallery (Uralla), and the Armidale Dumaresq Memorial Library.

There will also be an extra prize of $200 for the best entry by a writer resident in New England, sponsored by the New England Writers’ Centre.

All winning entries will be published in the Armidale Express.

Open to writers all over Australia, whether published or unpublished.

The three judges, all residents of New England, have a national and international profile and high reputation in their various fields. Fiction judge is Bronwyn Parry, best-selling author of three mystery novels, As Darkness Falls, Dark Country and Dead Heat, published in Australia and overseas; poetry judge is Michael Sharkey, eminent poet with more than twenty books to his name, who has also taught literature in universities in Australia, New Zealand and China, run his own poetry press and taught writing to prisoners; and non-fiction judge is Dr Xanthe Mallett, criminologist, forensic anthropologist and presenter of TV shows including BBC 2′s History Cold Case and the US-based series The Decrypters. She is currently filming series 1 of Coast Australia.

Closing date: 30 September 2013

For more information and entry forms, please visit

KSP Writers’ Centre 2013/14 Residency Program

The Katherine Susannah Prichard Writers’ Centre in Western Australia is offering several positions for writers in residence.

- 2013 Young Writers-in-Residence – three positions available – applications close 26 July 2013.

- 2014 Established Writer-in-Residence – one position available – applications close 14 July 2013.

- 2014 Emerging Writer-in-Residence – three positions available – applications close 30 August 2013.


For guidelines and application forms, please visit their website:



Qantas Spirit of Youth Awards

The Qantas Spirit of Youth Awards Written Word category is currently open for entries.

The Award is open to writers aged between 18 and 30.

The winner receives $5000 worth of air travel, $5000 cash and a 12-month mentorship with  Lisa Dempster, the Director of the Melbourne Writers’ Festival.

Entries close at 2 p.m. AEST on Tuesday 7 May and the competition is open to writers in all styles.

Last year’s winner was poet Andrew Bifield, who was mentored by Marcus Zusak. Andrew recently wrote about his experience winning SOYA Written Word on the SOYA blog.

For more details about SOYA and the competition, please visit

Don’t pop a pill, read a book

‘Experts believe reading can transform lives, helping people deal with a variety of psychological and emotional problems, from stress and anxiety to grief and depression.’

Read more:

‘Capitalism kills culture’

This fascinating article on looks at the Penguin Random House merger and its implications, as well as the role of the editor, the future of small presses and the need for a national cultural policy in the US.

(Thanks to Jacinta di Mase for the link.)


‘Book publishing crisis: Capitalism kills culture’ by Scott Timberg

ALRC Inquiry into Copyright

Submissions to the Australian Law Reform Commission’s Inquiry into Copyright and the Digital Economy are due on Friday 16th November – for more information you can read this post on Collaboration, the Book Industry Collaborative Council blog, or visit



The 2013 Text Prize for Young Adult and Children’s Writing

Text Publishing is searching for talented writers of young adult and children’s books. Every year the Text Prize attracts hundreds of great manuscripts from across Australia and NZ. The prize is open to established authors as well as unpublished.

One winner receives $10,000 and is published by Text. Submissions must be over 20,000 words, and can be fiction or non-fiction.

Entrants must be residents of Australia or NZ.

For full competition details or to download the entry form, visit

Entries for the prize will be accepted between 4 and 29 March 2013.


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