ABR Rising Stars

2020, Vic.

Declan Fry ABR is delighted to name its third Rising Star, Declan Fry. The Rising Stars program is intended to encourage younger writers and critics whose early contributions to ABR have made an impression. We work closely with the Rising Stars, commissioning them often and helping them to enhance their critical work and to advance their careers.

On becoming our latest Rising Star, Declan Fry commented:

We live in a continent rich with stories. Many of these are still being told, and deserve to be widely heard. One of my earliest memories of writing publications was seeing ABR down at the local library. In a difficult environment for the arts, ABR’s support for new and emerging talent is vital. To be able to connect with ABR having never published or worked with literary journals before speaks volumes, especially during the isolation of this pandemic. Opportunities like the Rising Stars initiative are a great privilege – a place to hone your writing practice, and to develop a long-term investment in the work. It gives me a real sense of hope knowing that there is a space for considered, thoughtful analysis. This opportunity would mean nothing without those who have paved the way – our ancestors, Elders, family, mentors, and teachers. They are the original critics and storytellers. We owe them so much. I can’t wait to get started! Much love and stay deadly, ABR.

About Declan Fry

Declan Fry is an essayist, critic, and proud descendant of the Yorta Yorta. Born on Wongatha country in Kalgoorlie, in 2009 he received the Tom Collins Prize in Australian Literature, and, as joint winner, the Todhunter Literary Award in 2013. He currently lives on unceded Wurundjeri and Boon Wurrung land and is a board member of Books ‘n’ Boots, an organisation which distributes football boots and books to remote and regional Aboriginal communities. He first published in ABR in June 2020.


Recent writing for ABR:

Review of After Australia edited by Michael Mohammed Ahmad
Review of Fire Front: First Nations poetry and power today edited by Alison Whittaker
Review of Elephants with Headlights by Bem Le Hunte

Previous Rising Stars


2019, NSW

Alex Tighe

Alex TigheAlex Tighe is a writer and editor, and the winner of the University of Sydney’s 2018 Wentworth Medal essay prize. He is the ABC / Kidney Health Australia’s inaugural Mark Colvin Scholar. 

Recent writing for ABR:

Review of Stop Being Reasonable by Eleanor Gordon-Smith
Review of Delayed Response by Jason Farman
Review of Net Loss by Sebastian Smee


2019, Vic.

Sarah Walker 

Sarah Walker Sarah Walker is a Melbourne-based writer, photographer, and fine artist. In 2017 she won the Sydney Road Writer’s Cup and the Sydney Road Storytelling Prize, and was a runner-up in the Darebin Mayor’s Writing Award. She was runner-up in the 2019 Calibre Essay Prize.  

Recent writing for ABR:

Review of Sky Swimming: Reflection on auto/biography, people and place by Sylvia Martin
'Contested breath: The ethics of assembly in an age of absurdity' by Sarah Walker
2019 Calibre Essay Prize (runner-up): 'Floundering' by Sarah Walker

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