An exciting initiative between Fremantle Press and four local writing centres aims to improve the chances of Western Australian writers getting published. The Emerging Writers Publishing Program is a series of workshops, mentorships and special events that provide opportunities for local writers to write, draft and prepare manuscripts ready for publication.
Over the next two years (until September 2020) Fremantle Press will work in collaboration with Katharine Susannah Prichard Writers’ Centre (KSP), the Fellowship of Australian Writers WA (FAWWA), WA Poets Inc (WAPI) and Peter Cowan Writers Centre (PCWC) to deliver the program. Overall, some 30 emerging Western Australian authors will develop their manuscripts while learning the ins and outs of the publishing process and the business of being a writer.
Fremantle Press CEO Jane Fraser said each of the centres had undertaken extensive research into what writers really wanted. ‘We have all been guided by this research in the hope that what we deliver is relevant and robust. Fremantle Press and all of the centres involved have long been in the business of working with emerging writers. When a debut writer is published it’s an opportunity for readers to experience a new story and get a new take on the world. We’re excited to see what these writers will produce and what stories we will all be exploring in two years’ time.’
In working with mentors and alongside their peers, writers will have an opportunity to meet others at a similar stage in their career, and receive encouragement and support for achieving their writing goals.
President of PCWC Keith Melrose said the centre’s research indicated that emerging writers wanted to learn the secrets of how to make their manuscript ‘stand out’. He said ‘the program would take a very hands-on approach that would provide writers with a good understanding of their chosen genre and the skills and confidence to approach publishers and agents.’
The centres also plan to use the program to reach more new writers looking to take the first step in their publishing adventure and to streamline their services to existing members.
KSP Writers’ Centre Director Shannon Coyle said ‘The road to publication is often an uphill climb, but with this investment, our groups will have the ability to make that destination more achievable.’
This comprehensive program will provide the nuts and bolts of publishing, from writing to submitting to contracting, publishing and beyond. Areas covered will include: the value of peer assessment and editorial input; how to know when a manuscript is ready to submit; what publishers are looking for and how to give it to them; contracts; the editorial process; marketing and publicity strategies; media training; tips on managing social media and author profile building.
The two-year pilot program is in response to the recent Writing Sector Review and is funded by the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries (the organisation the former Department of Culture and Arts has been integrated into) and Lotterywest.