Vale, Kerry Reed-Gilbert.
BlackWords pays our respect to Wiradjuri author, poet, elder and activist Kerry Reed-Gilbert who recently passed away, aged 62. The team feels deeply alongside Kerry's family in their sorry business and is grateful for the contributions she has made to Aboriginal literature in her lifetime. A teacher and advocate, she was also the co-founder and inaugural Chair of the First Nations Australian Writers Network.
You can find her words in interview with Anita Heiss here on 'In Conversation with BlackWords'.
We are looking for autobiographical accounts of growing up as an Aboriginal person in Australia that are unique, honest and reflective, for an online anthology. Your story can deal with any aspect of growing up as a Blackfella so long as they are striking and provide insights into the fascinating lives of Aboriginal people in Australia today. We are looking for voices that defy, question or shed light on the usual stereotypes.
Your stories will be edited and published in an online collection by BlackWords – the internationally recognised research and storytelling platform maintained by The University of Queensland.
Find Growing Up Indigenous here.
800-1500 words in length
Your story can be about yourself or a family member. We are seeking non-fictional pieces in any style of voice. If you include poetry please contextualise it.
Submit to: by 8 July 2019 for publication in November 2019.
Teaching and Learning with BlackWords – an AustLit professional development opportunity for school educators and librarians is coming to the State Library of Queensland in Brisbane. We are then heading to Thursday Island, Yarrabah, Woorabinda and, later in the year, Longreach.
Teachers and librarians from local and nearby communities are welcome to come and discover more about AustLit and to learn how to use BlackWords to help meet Australian Curriculum requirements.
Joining the convenors, Professor Anita Heiss (author and educator) and Director of AustLit, Kerry Kilner, is the well-known English Teacher Guru, Lindsay Williams. Writers from each location will join the team to give their perspectives on hearing Indigenous voices in the classroom. Catering is provided at each location. Our registration form provides an option to list dietary requirements.
Full price registration is $110.00 (inc. GST)
Student teacher registration is $75.00 (inc. GST)
Attendees will receive a complementary subscription to AustLit until the end of 2019.
Visit www.austlit.edu.au/BlackWordsOnTour for more details and registration.
Contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org | @AustLit | www.austlit.edu.au
Another stellar period of prizes for BlackWords writers -- and speaking of 'stellar', Stella-shortlisted novel Too Much Lip by Melissa Lucashenko racked up another award nomination, with a Miles Franklin longlisting.
After March's Australian Book Industry Award nominations, we were thrilled to see so many BlackWords texts carry on into the shortlist, including Welcome to Country, Too Much Lip (again!), Catching Teller Crow, Blakwork, Growing Up Aboriginal in Australia, Johnathan Thurston's autobiography, and Black Cockatoo.
Stories on stage also rampaged through the awards listing, with Sandy Greenwood's Matriarch and Nakkiah Lui's Blackie Blackie Brown both picking up Green Room Awards, while Lui won the Patrick White Playwrights Fellowship.
And in the art world, APY Lands artist Sylvia Ken won the Wynne Prize for her painting Seven Sisters. Read more about the work here.
Beginning on 29 April at the State Library of Queensland, Teaching and Learning with BlackWords (known to staff as BlackWords on Tour) began its first leg of a Queensland tour.
After an excellent day at SLQ with Professor Anita Heiss, teaching guru Lindsay Williams, and special guest Melissa Lucashenko, BlackWords (including Director Kerry Kilner and BlackWords Engagement Officer Emily McConochie) went out on a whirlwind tour of Thursday Island (with special guest Samantha Faulkner) and then Yarrabah Community.
Read more about this first leg of BlackWords on Tour at Professor Heiss's blog.
We can all echo her sentiment here: we love our jobs!
March was a particular spectacular month for BlackWords writers and awards!
Melissa Lucashenko's Too Much Lip was longlisted for the ABIA's literary fiction book of the year. Other nominations for ABIAs included Marcia Langton's Welcome to Country : A Travel Guide to Indigenous Australia, Johnathan Thurston's autobiography, Ambelin and Ezekiel Kwaymullina's Catching Teller Crow, Alison Whittaker's Blakwork, Anita Heiss's edited collection Growing Up Aboriginal in Australia, Carl Merrison and Hakea Hustler's Black Cockatoo, and Rachel Bin Salleh's Alfred's War.
Dunghutti film-maker Darlene Johnson was awarded the inaugural Australian International Screen Forum scholarship, including a three-month placement on a film shooting in New York. A documentarian, Johnson has been moving to narrative films. Read more.
Alison Whittaker's BlakWork and Charmaine Papertalk-Green's dual text False Claims of Colonial Thieves (with John Kinsella) were both longlisted for the ALS Gold Medal. This was the second award nomination for BlakWork in March 2019 alone.
The beginning of 2019 has seen over 120 new publications by BlackWords authors.
Nakkiah Lui’s year started with awards: Blackie Blackie Brown : The Traditional Owner of Death was shortlisted for a swathe of Sydney Theatre Awards, including Best New Australian Work, while Black Is the New White was nominated for the Helpmann Award for Best Play.
In film and television, Top End Wedding, by Miranda Tapsell and Joshua Taylor, and directed by Wayne Blair, was one of five Australian films to premiere January’s Sundance Film Festival in the United States. Rachel Perkins’ Mystery Road, meanwhile, won an AACTA Award for best drama series, while NITV’s Grace Beside Me narrowly missed out on best children’s program.
Magabala Books introduced Lucky and Spike by Norma MacDonald. A beautifully illustrated picture book about two spinifex hopping mice, fighting for survival against predators. Also realised by Magabala books in January is third and final installment of the Ubby's Underdogs graphic novel series. In Ubby's Underdogs : Return of the Dragons by Brenton E. McKenna, Ubby and mates try to find their missing friend Sai Fong, battling evil along the way. Magabala also Young Dark Emu - a shortened version of the significant work by Bruce Pascoe - Dark Emu.