Each year, six fellowships, including accommodation, all meals, travel expenses and manuscript consultations, are awarded to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander writers from anywhere in Australia.

This fellowship program is open to writers of all genres of fiction, narrative non-fiction, poetry, children’s books, graphic novels, dramatic/screen writing, writing for radio, translation, YA, essays or short fiction. Submissions in language are welcomed.

The fellowship week includes a one-on-one mentoring session as well as group reading sessions.

First Nations Fellowships also include an optional publishing appraisal from Magabala Books, Australia’s leading Indigenous publisher, for any work that you complete as a result of this fellowship, available for up to 18 months following the period of your fellowship.

Dr Peter Minter, Senior Lecturer in the Department of English at the University of Sydney is our Copyright Agency First Nations Fellowships program consultant.

Key dates

The 2021 fellowship program will take place in the week beginning Monday June 21, 2021.

For 2021 fellowships, applications open mid-October 2020 and will close 10 December 2020.

What you need to send us

You will need to send us between 4,000 and 10,000 words from the beginning of your manuscript.
You can also submit your work in the form of recorded audio if you prefer. For poetry entries, please submit 10 poems.

What we’re looking for

Fellowships will be awarded based primarily on the merit of your writing. Selectors will also consider the potential role of your work in maintaining Indigenous culture, such as educating the community regarding Indigenous issues, providing an authentic voice in Australian writing, maintaining language, or recording community stories.


There is no application fee for this program, nor for the residency itself.


You’ll find answers to some common questions in our FAQ.
Please also feel free to get in touch by email or by phone 02 4782 5674. Should you have any difficulty completing the application, we will be very happy to assist you with completing your application over the phone. APPLY

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