ABR Indigenous Fellowship - Frequently Asked Questions

What is Australian Book Review?

Australian Book Review (ABR) is one of Australia’s leading cultural magazines. Created in 1961, it lapsed in 1974 and was revived in 1978. ABR is a fully independent non-profit organisation. Its primary aims are several: to foster high critical standards; to provide an outlet for fine new writing; and to contribute to the preservation of literary values and a full appreciation of Australia’s literary heritage. 

ABR publishes reviews, essays, commentaries, interviews, and new creative writing. It is available in print and online. ABR’s diverse programs include three prestigious international prizes, writers’ fellowships, themed issues, national events, cultural tours, and paid editorial internships.

What is the ABR Fellowship program?

ABR Fellowships are intended to reward outstanding Australian writers, to enhance ABR through the publication of long-form journalism, and to advance the magazine’s commitment to ideas and critical debate. The Fellows work closely with ABR staff, especially the Editor, Peter Rose.

Who can apply for the 2019 ABR Indigenous Fellowship?

The Fellowship is open to emerging and established Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander writers: journalists, commentators, scholars, activists, and creative writers. ABR staff and Board members are ineligible.

Are the Fellowships themed?

Some are, some aren’t. This Fellowship – restricted to Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander writers – is intended to advance ABR’s Indigenous content.

Is this a purely academic Fellowship?

Not at all. We welcome applications from a broad range of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander writers: journalists, commentators, scholars, activists, creative writers, etc. ABR is not an academic journal. We seek engaging, creative non-fiction journalism of the kind you will find in The New Yorker or the London Review of Books. Links to essays by past Fellows can be found here.

Are you looking for finished articles from applicants?

No. In your application, we seek only cogent proposals for non-fiction articles which will be developed over the course of the Fellowship, in collaboration with the Editor. Unlike the Calibre Essay Prize, the submission for the Fellowship program is not for finished works.

How much are the Fellowships worth?

The Fellow will receive a total of $10,000, payable thus: $4,000 on announcement of the Fellowship; and two further payments of $3,000 on publication of the final two contributions to the magazine.

I don’t know anything about ABR. May I still apply?

Applicants must demonstrate familiarity with the magazine. Applicants who do not refer to the magazine in their applications, or who don’t demonstrate awareness of ABR’s needs and directions, are unlikely to be successful.

Is it possible to write the article with a friend or colleague?

No. Single-author works only.

How do I apply?

Applications must be emailed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by midnight on 1 October 2019. Applicants are encouraged to discuss their proposals with the Editor before submission. Contact him on (03) 9699 8822 or via email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Applicants must read the guidelines of the Fellowship for which they are interested in applying and send us a succinct but comprehensive proposal (three pages maximum), plus a CV of no more than three pages and two short writing samples. The proposal should cover the following: the likely nature/scope/genre of at least two of the three proposed articles; why they want to work with the magazine; and why they believe their contributions will enhance ABR and its readership. Applicants should also nominate two professional/literary referees.

There is no application fee.

Note that we are looking for proposals – not finished articles or chapters.

How are Fellows selected?

The ABR Indigenous Fellowship will be awarded by Australian Book Review on the advice of a panel including Noongar author Kim Scott; Director of the Monash Indigenous Studies Centre, Professor Lynette Russell; and ABR Editor, Peter Rose. Shortlisted applicants will attend an interview in person or via Skype. No correspondence will be entered into once the decision has been announced. ABR reserves the right not to award the Fellowship.

Are the ABR Fellows expected to complete their projects at the ABR office in Melbourne?

No. Most of the editorial contact is via email or the telephone. Some meetings may be desirable during the course of the Fellowship. These are important collaborative partnerships between the magazine and the Fellow.

What kind of editorial support do Fellows enjoy?

ABR Fellows enjoy a special status at the magazine – as our senior contributors. The Fellow will work with the Editor closely throughout the Fellowship. We edit promptly, closely, and respectfully. ABR is committed to presenting the Fellow’s work with the utmost finesse. The Editor is always available to discuss the project, to respond to ideas, and to read drafts. Peter Rose edits the articles in consultation with the Fellows, and each article is then proofread by at least three editors.

Where are the Fellowship articles published?

In the print and digital editions of ABR.

Would ABR Fellows be required to take part in the promotion of the published article?

Yes, but this may be able to be done remotely.

Syndication

If articles are syndicated in newspapers (with the Fellow’s permission), the Fellow and ABR will each receive 50%.

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