Welcome to First Word, The newsletter from the First Nations Australia Writers' Network.
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Edition 6 - February 2015

Message from the Chairperson

Welcome to 2015 and an exciting year ahead

Welcome to the first First Nations Australia Writers Network (FNAWN) newsletter for 2015. What a busy year we have ahead with many upcoming events around the country.

Each month our newsletter brings you updates from our members all over the country. If you have an event you would like to share with our network, please send it through. We are also continuing to seek contributions of Book Reviews for our website. Why not start practicing your article writing here.

Before I go, I'd like to send out a congratulations to Anita Heiss on her successful performance at the Sydney Festival with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra an most amazing event in the Domain. Anita read works by Kevin Gilbert, Romaine Moreton, Richard Frankland and Brenda Saunders to appreciative audiences. When asked about her experience Anita said,  "She felt very blessed by the experience and was honoured to share the stage with Uncle Max Eulo, William Barton, Mayrah Sonter and conductor Johannes Fritzsch. At Yabun this year, Anita with Terri Janke, held an in-conversation Writing Black.

Have a great writing month.

In Unity, Kerry Reed-Gilbert, Chairperson

Message from the Executive Director

Welcome to 2015

I'm looking forward to an exciting year at FNAWN. We have a lot of plans underway for events throughout the year. Already this year has seen us receive funding for the Victorian Indigenous Literacy Officer. It is a shared project between a number of key literary organisaitons in Victoria, including the Wheeler Centre, the Emerging Writers Festival, Writers Victoria, Australian Poetry and the Melbourne Writers' Festival. Thanks for all these organisations, as well as Vic Arts for supporting FNAWN creating this new project.

Don’t forget if you haven’t joined yet our membership contact us for a membership form to be sent to you.

If you have an event that you would like to share, please let us know.

Cheers, Cathy Craigie, Executive Director

News from the network

Yellamundie: National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Playwriting Festival 2015

Moogahlin Perfoming Arts with presenting partner Carriageworks, is delighted to announce the launch of Yellamundie: National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Playwriting Festival 2015.

Yellamundie [a Dharug word meaning storyteller] is a celebration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts and culture and is an initiative of the National Indigenous Theatre Forum held in Cairns, Queensland in 2010. Read more ...

A night of music and poetry in Sydney
Last month, Dr Anita Heiss with ARIA award-winning performer, composer and didgeridoo player William Barton joined the Sydney Symphony Orchestra to perform Peter Sculthorpe’s Beethoven Variations and Barton’s Birdsong at Dusk. These performances were highlighted with poetry and prose readings by Anita. Read more ...



FNAWN'S US Road Trip Report

In late August last year, the Executive Director, Cathy Craigie and FNAWN’s Tony Duke did a 10 day road trip in the USA. Here is Cathy’s Report: Read more ... 


Awards, Festival News and Book Launches

Adelaide Writers' Festival (2015)
The Adelaide Writers' Festival program has been launched. The festival will take place between 28th February and 5th March 2015.

Jared Thomas pictured at the program launch, will be part of a program that includes writers such as Robert Dessaix, Helen Garner, former Prime Minister Julia Gillard, Andy Griffiths, Omar Musa, Ellen van Neerven and Samuel Wagan Watson.

The Intervention: An Anthology
Due for release late March/ early April, The Intervention is an anthology of writings on the Northern Territory Intervention.

Edited by Rosie Scott and Anita Heiss, contributing authors include, Pat Anderson, Debra Adelaide, Larissa Behrendt, Ali Cobby Eckermann, Eva Cox, Brenda L. Croft, Lionel Fogerty, Raimond Gaita, Rodney Hall, Rosalie Kunoth-Monks, Melissa Lucashenko, Jeff McMullen, Pamela Newton, Christine Olsen, Kristine Olsson, Bruce Pascoe, Nicole Watson, Samuel Wagan Watson, Tara June Winch, Alexis Wright and Arnold Zable.



Do you want to become a member of FNAWN? It's easy.  You must be an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander writer or involved in the literary world. Our individual fees are affordable and you will receive a newsletter informing you of what's happening in the world of First Nations Australia writing, poetry and story-telling. You will have opportunities that are not offered to non-members such as specialised projects, like attending writers groups, festivals etc, and you will be invited to our 2015 Workshop in August in Melbourne.

There has been a bit of confusion in relations to member dates. We apologise for that. At the moment membership to FNAWN is free until July 1, 2015. If you haven't joined yet contact Kerry ( for a membership form to be sent to you.

Our fees (from the 1st of July 2015) will be:

Individual Under 18 - Free
Individual Over 18  - $25
Literary Organisations (not for profit) - $50
Other Organisations - $100

What is FNAWN?

If you haven't already heard about FNAWN, we are a new national writers and storytellers' advocacy, resource and support service. Here's what we do:
  • First Nations Australia Writers' Network is the national peak body supporting the development and promotion of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander literature and writers.
  • We enhance writers' skills and opportunities by fostering national networks and partnerships to develop projects and initiatives that will promote and present our literature to a wider audience.
  • We offer both emerging and established writers investment in their creative development and an opportunity to participate in professional advancement.
  • FNAWN will assist literary festivals and organisations to encourage Aboriginal participation by finding writers and developing programs.
  • We will represent and advocate on behalf of our membership, to policy making bodies and other relevant forums and agencies, to promote our writers, poets, and story-tellers' professional interests.
  • We will build strong relationships within the literary and arts industries to ensure our members' interests are included in any industry strategy, plan or policy
  • FNAWN will conduct and contribute research on issues concerning Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander literature and writing.
To find out more information on FNAWN and you can become involved please contact Cathy

Get published online

Share your news and contribute to our community

Writing across a range of genres provides opportunities for emerging writers to gain valuable experience, and for established writers to share their insight. The FNAWN website is a space to share news about what's happening in our community, as well as to provide a platform for First Nations writers to review works. If you have an article you would like to publish, we have created three types of posts. They include:

  • Booklub - a review on a published book by an Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander, or an international Indigenous person. 
  • What's On - this includes launches, upcoming programs, event summaries.
  • Professional articles - this includes useful hints and tips for writers, editors, and publishers.
Each post will be shared across all our social media channels, including Facebook, Twitter, and our monthly newsletter. For more information about the editorial schedule, please contact Cathy (
Copyright © 2015 First Nations Australia Writers' Network, All rights reserved.

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