UQ 2024 Creative Writing Fellowship

UQ’s Centre for Critical and Creative Writing (CCCW) in the School of Communication and Arts joins forces with the Fryer Library to offer the 2024 UQ Creative Writing Fellowship.

This Fellowship is an exceptional opportunity for an early career Australian author to develop and write a new creative work in your nominated field of expertise. You will draw on the special collections of UQ’s Fryer Library utilising rich primary sources as inspiration for your novel, play, collection of short stories or non-fiction essays, book of poems, or novella.

The Creative Writing Fellowship has been revamped to meet a pressing industry need, and in 2024 it is being offered to a writer who already has one or two significant debut publications under their belts (a professional play, a poetry or short story collection, or a book or novella with a recognised literary publisher) and is finding it difficult to make that leap to an ongoing writing career. We recognise that this step toward a sustainable professional career as a writer is often the most challenging and we are excited to be able to provide this opportunity for a research-based project to early career writers.

This Fellowship is offered with the support of the Copyright Agency Cultural Fund, an Australian not-for-profit organisation with an interest in supporting creativity, and library donors. 


Explore the Fryer Library Collections

To access Fryer Library material, book an appointment using the library’s online system. Items in the Fryer Library collection may not be borrowed but are available for use in the FW Robinson Reading Room. Some collections may have to be ordered from off-site locations.

There are many stories waiting to be told within the special collections of The University of Queensland Fryer Library. These stories are inspired by items of beauty, curiosity and cultural significance that connect us to our history and inspire our imagination.

The extensive collections of published and manuscript material in the Fryer Library focus on Australian literature, History, Art and Architecture. We encourage you to visit the Fryer Library and explore the collections before applying.



  • $20,000 to be awarded to one recipient.
  • Feedback and guidance on your project from your chosen mentor, a leading established Australian writer or dramaturg.
  • A feedback session with the editorial team of The University of Queensland Press (UQP). They will consider the final manuscript for possible publication.
  • To be immersed in a higher education setting and receive support from Library staff, the School of Communication and Arts, and UQP.

Terms and Conditions

The CCCW reserves the right to not award the fellowship if they receive no suitable applications.

As a winner of the fellowship you:

  • will be based at the St Lucia campus of The University of Queensland for a negotiated period, with a maximum of twelve months.
  • will be available to take up the appointment during the Fellowship year.
  • will receive 75% of the funds allocated once the offer of the Fellowship has been accepted in writing. The final 25% will be received once the project has been submitted.
  • will produce blog posts to be submitted through the CCCW’s website detailing the project and outcomes. 
  • will be asked to deliver a talk for students, staff and researchers on your project as part of the UQ School of Communication and Arts Seminar Series and/or Friends of the Library events program.
  • will submit a report (no more than 600 words) outlining the benefits of the Fellowship and providing feedback on the experience to the CCCW Chair upon completion of your project.
  • will provide the CCCW and Fryer Librarian with a digital copy of your completed project within a mutually agreed timeframe following the completion of your visit. This will be stored in the University’s online repository, UQ eSpace (with restricted access subject to publishing). 

View the full terms and conditions (PDF) (PDF, 205.4 KB)

Saffron Benner is a dramaturg who has worked with many award-winning writers including Stephen Carleton, Daniel Evans, Angela Betzien, Lewis Treston, Claire Christian, David Burton, Merlynn Tong, and Leah Shelton. Companies she has worked for include Queensland Theatre, La Boite, Tasmanian Theatre Company, Australian Theatre for Young People, The Good Room, Frankston Arts Centre, Playlab, and Backbone Youth Arts. She has dramaturged several Queensland Premiere’s Drama Award winners, mentored every Queensland ATYP Fresh Ink Program, and dramaturged the La Boite/Australian Plays Development Program 2022. She was the in-house dramaturg for La Boite’s Actor’s Company (2021-2022) and Executive Director of Playlab (2008 – 2010)

Matthew Condon has been a journalist for more than 30 years, and for almost a decade has been investigating crime and corruption in Queensland. He interviewed disgraced former Queensland Police Commissioner Terry Lewis for over three years and had exclusive access to Lewis’ private papers. That research became Condon’s bestselling true crime trilogy – Three Crooked Kings, Jacks and Jokers and All Fall Down. Most recently he has been investigating the fatal Whiskey Au Go Go nightclub firebombing in Brisbane in 1973. His book on the subject is The Night Dragon. In 2020 he released a podcast – Ghost Gate Road – on the subject. It went to #1 on both the Australian and New Zealand Apple podcast charts. His other podcasts include Dig – Sirens are Coming, and he has co-hosted others including The Teacher’s Trial. He is the author of several novels and short story collections. In 2019 he was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia for services to the community.

Laura Jean McKay is the author of The Animals in That Country (Scribe 2020) - winner of the prestigious Arthur C Clarke Award, The Victorian Prize for Literature, the ABIA Small Publishers Adult Book of the Year and co-winner of the Aurealis Award for Best Science Fiction Novel 2021. The Animals in That Country has been shortlisted for The Kitschies, The Stella Prize, The Readings Prize and the ASL Gold Medal and longlisted for the Miles Franklin Award. Laura is also the author of Holiday in Cambodia (Black Inc., 2013) and an Adjunct Lecturer in Creative Writing at Massey University. She was awarded the NZSA Waitangi Day Literary Honours in 2022. Her latest collection is Gunflower (Scribe 2023)

Ellen van Neerven is an award-winning writer of Mununjali and Dutch heritage. Ellen has authored two poetry collections, Comfort Food and Throat, one work of fiction, Heat and Light, and a non-fiction title Personal Score: Sport, Culture, IdentityIn 2019 Van Neerven won the Queensland Premier's Young Publishers and Writers Award. Their second collection of poetry, Throat (2020), won three awards at the 2021 New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards, including Book of the Year.

Mirandi Riwoe is the author of Stone Sky Gold Mountain, which won the 2020 Queensland Literary Award – Fiction Book Award and the inaugural ARA Historical Novel Prize, and was shortlisted for the 2021 Stella Prize and longlisted for the 2021 Miles Franklin Literary Award. Her short story collection, The Burnished Sun, includes the novella, The Fish Girl, which won Seizure Viva la Novella and was shortlisted for the Stella Prize. Her work has appeared in Best Australian StoriesMeanjinReview of Australian FictionGriffith Review and Best Summer Stories. Mirandi has a PhD in Creative Writing and Literary Studies and lives in Brisbane.

Applicant eligibility

To be eligible for the award:

  • submit the application by Monday 13 November 2023 (5pm)
  • be an Australian citizen or permanent resident.
  • you must have commercially published a full-length, single-authored print publication in any genre or had a full length play professionally produced. Self-published works or amateur stage productions do not constitute commercial publication or professional production for the terms of this award.
  • demonstrate the relevance of your creative writing project to primary source materials held in the Fryer Library.

Who can't apply?

  • Previously unpublished or unproduced authors.
  • Previous UQ Creative Fellowship recipients.
  • Established authors with more than two commercially published full-length, single-authored print publications in any genre or full length plays professionally produced.
  • People who reside outside of Australia
  • Projects that are a component of post graduate studies or that have been contracted with a publisher other than UQP are not eligible.
  • Current University of Queensland or UQP employees and students, and board members are ineligible to apply. This does not include those employed with UQ as casuals. 

Supporting documents

  • An outline of the proposed creative writing project and its relevance to the collections that will be accessed at the Centre for Critical and Creative Writing, including a timeline for your project (no more than 1000 words).
  • A sample of writing (no more than five pages) from your published/programmed work.
  • A letter of support from a referee that demonstrates your commitment to creative writing.
  • A copy of your curriculum vitae.

Selection of award

For the selection of the recipient, the Centre for Critical and Creative Writing will establish a Selection Committee comprising:

  • The Chair of the CCCW, who will act as Chair of the Committee; and
  • The CCCW Director or other staff member in the School of Communication and Arts; and
  • A Fryer Librarian or nominee; and
  • A member of the publishing team from UQP.


All applicants will be notified via email once the decision has been made by the selection committee.




General Enquiries

CCCW Chair

Associate Professor Stephen Carleton 

Email: cccw@uq.edu.au

Fryer Collection Enquiries

Fryer Librarian

Mr Simon Farley

Email: s.farley@uq.edu.au.  

Please ensure you upload the supporting documents listed below.

We look forward to reviewing your application. 

Supporting documents

  • An outline of the proposed creative writing project and its relevance to the collections that will be accessed at the Centre for Critical and Creative Writing, including a timeline for your project (no more than 1000 words).
  • A sample of writing (no more than five pages) from your published/programmed work.
  • A letter of support from a referee that demonstrates your commitment to creative writing.
  • A copy of your curriculum vitae.

Apply Now