Indigenous writing project celebrates 10 years

Museum showcases a decade of the black&write! project.

First Nations storytelling is being celebrated with a new showcase at State Library of Queensland.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of State Library’s black&write! project, an initiative that helps address the underrepresentation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander voices in literature and support the rise in reader demand for First Nations books and perspectives.  

Each year black&write! offers two fellowships for unpublished manuscripts by Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander writers.

The winners work with black&write! editors to develop their manuscripts for publication.

The Sovereign stories: 10 years of black&write! showcase will map the history of the project and track the careers of fellowship winners and editors, with many going on to win accolades and awards.

The program was the first of its kind in Australia and plays an important role in bringing the talents of Aboriginal and Torres Strait writers into the spotlight, from children’s books and poetry to science fiction.

Curator Grace Lucas-Pennington said the showcase celebrated the authors and editors that have been part of the project over the past decade.

“Sovereign stories: 10 years of black&write! highlights the strength of First Nations people reclaiming their narratives as well as showcasing the diversity of contemporary First Nations storytelling,” Ms Lucas-Pennington said.

State Librarian and CEO Vicki McDonald said State Library was proud to support the work of emerging Indigenous writers and editors.

She said their “unique voices and perspectives had long been excluded from the national literary canon”.   

“First Nations stories and truth-telling are crucial to understanding who we are as Australians and their voices need to be heard,” Ms Lucas-Pennington said.

Sovereign stories: 10 years of black&write! runs until 15 May 2022 and entry is free daily from 10am-5pm.