The Queensland Literary Awards Regain Funding
Madeleine Dale | On 23, May 2015
The Queensland Literary Awards are back, and this year so is their funding! After several long years in the wilderness, the stateâ€™s major literature prize is finally seeing some cold, hard cash from the people in powerâ€”and if youâ€™re a writer with a published or unpublished manuscript, that is a welcome sight indeed.
The Queensland Premierâ€™s Literary Awards were infamously stripped of their funding when Campbell Newman took office in 2012, and have been running on a heady mix of people power, high profile volunteers and external sponsorship ever since. Last year, a government supported fellowship program (accompanied by a slightly bewildered Minister for the Arts) was added to the mix.
This year, however, the newly instated Labor government have recommitted to the Queensland Arts sector, with Premier Annastacia Palaszczukâ€™s announcing that the Queensland Government will match sponsor and partnership funding for the Awards up to $125,000. This brings the total (potential) prize pool to a very serious $300,000 annually.
There was some talk of whether the newly instated Labor Government would actually re-fund the Awards, or if they would quietly take the LNP created â€˜savingsâ€™, but the Arts appear have won out in the end. This new funding is still predicated on the Awards gaining their own sponsorship, but theyâ€™re certainly good at that, and itâ€™s a great deal better than no funding at all.
Additionally, Palaszczuk has announced the inauguration of two new awards, to the value of $12,500 eachâ€”The Queensland Premierâ€™s Young Publishers and Writers Awards, for writers aged 18 â€“30. The Government will also continue to sponsor the three the Queensland Writers Fellowships, each to the value of $20,000.
The Queensland Literary Awards are now open for entries, from both published and emerging authors across ten categories, so if you think youâ€™ve got a winning manuscript on your hands, or youâ€™re a published author (particularly a young published author!) who would like to get on in this rarity of government funded arts, you have until the 19th of June to make a submission.
And even if youâ€™ve never picked up a pen, renewed support for the Awards should be a heartening sight. Not only does it paint a rosier future for literature in our state, it demonstrates that (despite what the other capitals might say) there is a creative community of serious significance and pull in Queensland, and itâ€™s doing great work.
For more information head to the QLA website here.
Image Credits: Queensland Literary Awards Official Facebook