Message from the Yvette Holt, Chairperson:
Greetings and welcome to the summer edition fnawnee-news. Well, what a year 2021 has proven to be, a year like none other in modern memory. Lockdowns, border closures, endless cancellations, social isolation, working from home, enforced travel restrictions. With the COVID pandemic reigning down upon all of us, one of the few cost-free simple pleasures which kept me sanely buoyant throughout those COVID seasons was personal time and commitment toward WRW; walking, reading, writing. I appreciate that not everyone was able to get out and walk, but during national lockdowns I was typing poetry and prose life and love on a borrowed red-ribboned 1976 Olivetti out in the desert and all I could do to keep motivated was to walk from one great ancient storytelling mountain to the other with sheets of crumpled A4 in my pockets for every now and then self-edification. The things we do when no one is watching?
Suffice to say that 2021 for First Nations Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander authors and illustrators was a year that witnessed many of our writers continuing to soar with state, territory, and national awards, packed-out online webinar and Zoom attendances, as well as First Nations story, poetry, audiobooks being recorded and published at record industry rates and showing no signs of receding. This is of course incredibly fabulous news for all lovers of great literature – reading and sharing our stories, via traditional publishing, illustrations, and listening to our authors delivering their stories audiobooks and podcast – just brilliant.
Speaking of storybooks and reading – over the month of November FNAWN are teaming up with our good friends at Booktopia to bring our members an e-gift certificate valued at $50 (exclusively to FNAWN members) as a heartfelt thank you and that we are all thinking of you, from Australia’s leading First Nations peak-industry literary organisation. Be sure to grab your e-gift certificate from Karen Wyld firstname.lastname@example.org
We cannot wait to shake off the lockdowns and cancellation cobwebs of 2021, as collectively we look forward to gathering for the FNAWN National Summit 2022, formally known as the IVNFW Fourth National FNAWN Workshop – a late April or early May date is to be confirmed. Your host city will be Adelaide. Sponsored and proudly partnered with the Office of Indigenous Strategy and Engagement, Flinders University.
As the borders now open-up around Australia, international travel reignites, and literary festivals illuminate across the states and territories FNAWN are working behind the scenes and hand-in-glove alongside our emerging, established and multi-published authors to bring our members front and centre at major literary festivals, regional arts, and with outreach to remote communities and the Torres Strait Islands throughout 2022.
As the much-anticipated FN COVID Anthology (AP Australia Poetry) launches over late summer, we will then turn our writings to the next chapter in FNAWN/AP’s partnership with the #BLM Anthology for 2022-2023 publication.