The black&write! project offers internships to aspiring Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander editors who want to work with Indigenous literature. In 2019 black&write! was able to offer two internships, to Allanah Hunt and Jasmin McGaughey. Over the course of ten months the interns will be able to gain valuable career pathways and develop editing skills while working with new Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander writing.
I am a Barkindji woman, originally raised near the Darling and Murray Rivers. I loved reading and writing from a very early age. After my family moved to Brisbane, I began studying Creative Writing and Literary & Cultural Studies at CQ University, going on to do my Honours there, examining Aboriginal deaths in custody. I was accepted onto the Aurora Indigenous Scholars International Study Tour and started my PhD in Creative Writing through Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge, UK. I hope to finish this year! I am very thankful to have been given these opportunities, in many thanks to the sacrifices my parents made, and to get to work in a field that I love.
My name is Jasmin McGaughey and I grew up in Cairns, Far North Queensland. I am a Torres Strait Islander from the Kulkalgal Nation and, on my father’s side, African American. In 2016 I completed my undergraduate degree in Psychology and Justice at the Queensland University of Technology. From there, I realised I wanted to study writing, and so completed a Graduate Certificate in Professional and Creative Writing at Griffith. Now, I am currently in my final semester of a Masters of Writing, Editing and Publishing through the University of Queensland. My passions have always been writing and reading and I am proud to be able to work and learn in this field with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander writers.
What we are working on
As editor interns, we get the opportunity to read manuscripts from emerging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander writers from all over Australia for the black&write! Fellowships. We see such a diverse range and much talent from authors of all walks of life. It is exciting to be able to see the expanding canon of Indigenous literature, from picture books and YA to adult fiction and poetry. Under the guidance of our head editor, Grace Lucas-Pennington, we work with the two winners of the black&write! Fellowships to help them with the development of their stories and hopefully see the manuscripts to publication with Hachette Australia. We feel very honoured to be a part of this process.
What we want to learn
Over the course of our ten-month internship we aim to fully immerse ourselves in the editing and publishing industry, particularly regarding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander literature. We are eager to learn how the publishing industry works in Australia and how Indigenous writing impacts readers and writers. With hands on editing experience, and time working with Indigenous authors, we hope to expand our editing and interpersonal skills. As well as expanding our reading lists to include authors we have not heard of, we also aim to gain insight into various forms of writing that neither of us have been involved with before (for example, knowledge on how to analyse poetry). So far, this experience has been giving us a wealth of knowledge and we are excited to learn more!
Jasmin and Allanah’s Top Book List
- The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje
- Terra Nullius by Claire G Coleman
- The Farseer Trilogy by Robin Hobb
- Grace Beside Me by Sue McPherson