Inspiring writing talent

This is the third blog in the series about the writers recognised in the this year’s black&write! Indigenous Writing Fellowship competition.

Four talented writers with very different stories have been recognised through the 2016 black&write! Indigenous Writing Fellowships.

While Claire Coleman and Dylan Coleman were announced as the fellowship winners last month the judges decided to also award four Highly Commendeds; these outstanding entries demonstrate the breath of Indigenous writing talent nationwide.

Accomplished Wiradjuri author Jeanine Leane took out one of the Highly Commended places, while Ashleigh, Boyd and Waverley are all first-time writers!

Ashleigh

‘descend’ Ashleigh Kira Johnstone, NSW

Ashleigh Johnstone is a Dunghutti woman, PhD student at the University of Wollongong, and closet poet. Her creative writing is an exploration of identity, lust, and loss. You can read about Ashleigh’s passion for learning here.

‘Descend’ is a passionate suite of poems, described by the judges as having a ‘performative, musical quality’.

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‘The Song of Jessica Perkins’ Boyd Quakawoot, QLD

Boyd Quakawoot identifies with the Yawibara people of Mackay, North Queensland. ‘The Song of Jessica Perkins’ is his first written work, and follows a web of intriguing characters whose lives interlace at the Paul Rydell Mental Health Facility. Boyd also writes poetry and horror short stories. Boyd is a qualified chef and currently works as a Resource Officer with Central Queensland University in Mackay.

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‘The Adventures of Waverley Stanley Jnr’s Life from Ages 17-20’ Waverley Stanley Jnr, QLD

Waverley Stanley Jnr is a poet from Cherbourg, Queensland. His autobiographical verse collection ‘The Adventures of Waverley Stanley Jnr’s Life from Ages 17-20’ has been praised as one of the most original works uncovered in the Fellowships to date.

The judges described his work as a ‘beautifully structured and insightfully rendered story about hitting rock bottom and finding hope through the journey to recovery.’

 

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‘Piece of Australia’ Jeanine Leane, ACT

Jeanine Leane is an award-winning Wiradjuri writer: her first volume of poetry, Dark Secrets After Dreaming: AD 1887-1961 (2010) won the Scanlon Prize for Indigenous Poetry, and her fiction manuscript, Purple Threads won the David Unaipon Award at the 2010 Queensland Premier’s Literary Awards and, once published, was shortlisted for the 2012 Commonwealth Book Prize and the 2012 Victorian Premier’s Award for Indigenous Writing. Read some of Jeanine’s latest poetry here.

‘Piece of Australia’ was praised by the judges as ‘a stand-out collection by a skilful and experienced poet which conveys multiple identities within the pages’. The collection explores issues from colonialism to motherhood with insight and an eye for compelling imagery.

black&write! would like to congratulate all entrants! Keep writing!

ENTRIES FOR THE 2017 FELLOWSHIPS OPEN LATER THIS YEAR