ABR Fellowships - Frequently Asked Questions

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.

Who can apply for a Fellowship?
Published authors who are Australian citizens or have permanent resident status in Australia. Any writer with a publication record (books, creative writing, essays or journalism) is eligible. ABR staff and Board members are ineligible. Contributors to the magazine are encouraged to apply.

How much are the Fellowships worth?
The Fellow will receive $7,500, divided thus – $3,000 on commencement of the Fellowship and $4,500 on publication. The Fellow will receive one economy return airfare to Melbourne (if necessary). No contribution to accommodation costs is possible. The Fellow will work closely with the Editor of ABR.

I don’t know anything about ABR. May I still apply?
Applicants must demonstrate real familiarity with the magazine and convince the panel that their article would complement other writings in ABR and win us new readers. Applications that do not refer to the magazine, or demonstrate any awareness of ABR’s own needs and directions, are unlikely to be successful.

Are the Fellowships themed?
Some of the ABR Fellowships are themed but others are not, and writers can propose any kind of non-fiction subject. Please read the guidelines for individual Fellowships before applying.

Is it possible to write the article with a friend or colleague?
No. Single-authors works only.

Is ABR looking for academic papers?
No. ABR is not an academic journal. We seek engaging literary 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. We seek cogent, compelling proposals for articles to be developed over the course of the Fellowship, in collaboration with the Editor. Unlike the Calibre Essay Prize, the Fellowship program is not for finished works.

How do I apply?
Applicants must read the guidelines of the Fellowship for which they are interested in applying and send us a succinct but comprehensive proposal (2–3 pages maximum), plus a CV of no more than two pages. Note that we are looking for proposals – not finished articles or chapters. Applications must be received by the closing date of the relevant Fellowship. There is no application fee. Applicants are strongly encouraged to discuss their proposals with the Editor before submitting them: (03) 9699 8822 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

How are Fellows selected?
The Fellowship will be awarded by Australian Book Review on the advice of a committee including the Editor of ABR. No correspondence will be entered into once the decision has been announced. ABR reserves the right not to award a Fellowship during a particular round.

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 Fellows.

What kind of editorial support do Fellows enjoy?
Fellowships are major investments and undertakings for ABR as well as for the Fellow. The Editor is always available to discuss the project, to help in the shaping of the article, and to read drafts. The finished articles are closely edited and proof-read, in consultation with the Fellows, before publication.

Are there opportunities for discussions with other writers or experts in the field?
We encourage Fellows to lead roundtable discussions with colleagues and specialists at a formative stage in the Fellowship. These can be held at the ABR office or elsewhere. ABR assists with the organisation of these roundtables. Fellows usually chair these gatherings, which have been most fruitful in the past.

Where are the Fellowship articles published?
In the print and digital editions of ABR.

How long do Fellows have to complete their articles?
This is negotiable, but we always hope to publish the article within six months of the appointment.

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