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The Sydney Review of Books invites applications for the 2017 CA-SRB Emerging Critics Fellowships.

Applications close on 25 July 2017.

 At the Sydney Review of Books we publish the best critics in the country; our writers move freely between genres and across national boundaries and as they do so, they map the changing terrain of Australian and international literature. We are always looking to extend the range of the essayists who contribute to the critical landscape. That’s why, with the support of the Copyright Agency's Cultural Fund, we established a fellowship program in 2016 to foster diverse, provocative and original critical voices.

We are offering three fellowships to emerging Australian critics: each fellow will have the opportunity to write three long essays for publication on the Sydney Review of Books website in 2017-18. Fellows will receive editorial support and mentorship as they write these essays, as well as each being paid $3000. You can read the essays by the 2016 fellowship recipients, Ali Jane Smith, Ben Brooker and James Halford, here

The judging panel for the 2017 CA-Emerging Critics Fellowships is: Ben Etherington, Michelle Cahill and Shannon Burns.

SRB editor Catriona Menzies-Pike will lead a free workshop on pitching review essays to editors on Friday 7 July at the Writing and Society Research Centre at the Bankstown campus of Western Sydney University. This workshop may help candidates develop their applications but it is by no means obligatory. More information and RSVP here

Who can apply?
We strongly encourage critics from diverse backgrounds to apply for this fellowship. Applications are open to Australian residents and Australians abroad. Each of the three fellowships will be awarded to an applicant from a different state or territory.

Am I an emerging critic?
There are no age or experience limits to applying for this fellowship. That said, we are looking for applicants who are seeking opportunities to be mentored by experienced critics and the chance to develop their critical approach. You may wish to detail in your cover letter the ways in which you envisage this fellowship will extend your critical practice.

How do I apply?
Send us a one-page cover letter and three 300w pitches for prospective critical essays suitable for publication in the Sydney Review of Books. At least one of these essays must deal with Australian literature. If you’d like to include a brief CV with links to previously published work, please do so. 

The deadline for applications is 25 July 2017.

What can I write about?
We expect at least one of your pitches to deal with Australian literature. As the essays will be published on the Sydney Review of Books, the essays that are archived on the site are the best guide to the range of our interests. We would prefer not to publish essays on books that have already been the subject of substantial critical discussion on the SRB. 

Otherwise, we’re open to broad-ranging discussions of Australian and international literatures and literary cultures: poetry, non-fiction, fiction, works in translation, scholarly works, works for the stage, new media, experimental literature, avant-gardes, reception, single authors, groups of authors, literary history, the archive, libraries, the publishing industry, prize culture. We will consider review essays devoted to single books or to groups of books, feature-style essays, as well as polemics, excurses on literary culture, and essays on historical themes. Your pitches should establish the significance of your subject and give us an indication of how you will approach it. 

At the Sydney Review of Books we encourage the kind of critical writing that has all but disappeared from the mainstream media. Applicants may hold to traditional models for their essays or to work to extend the range and flexibility of the essay form.

How will the process work?

Applications close on 25 July 2017.

A shortlist of commended applicants will be announced on 3 August 2017.

The names of the three fellowship recipients will be announced on 15 August 2017.

The three Sydney Review of Books Fellows will workshop their initial pitches with the SRB editor and mentors before finalising three essay topics. Fellows won’t be bound to adhere to the letter of their pitches, and it is expected that essay topics will develop and change through this process. We may propose new publications for you to review. Based on the outcome of these discussions, fellows will research and draft three critical essays of increasing length (roughly 1500, 2500 and 4000w). A hands-on editorial process will allow fellows to develop and extend their critical reach throughout the project. Successful applicants will be expected to work on their fellowship essays in consultation with the SRB editor and mentors in the final months of 2017, with a view to publication of their essays from November 2017 onwards..

Who will judge the fellowship applications?

The judging panel for the 2017 CA-Emerging Critics Fellowships is: Ben Etherington, Michelle Cahill and Shannon Burns.

In sum:

Please send us a one-page cover letter and three 300w pitches for prospective critical essays suitable for publication in the Sydney Review of Books. At least one of these essays must deal with works of Australian literature. If you’d like to include a brief CV with links to previously published work, please do so. Do not send complete essays – we will not read them.

The deadline for applications is 25 July 2017.

Applicants are welcome to attend a workshop on pitching reviews to editors at the Writing and Society Research Centre in Bankstown on 7 July 2017. Details here

Questions?

Please direct any queries to SRB editor Catriona Menzies-Pike on editor [at] sydneyreviewofbooks.com.

We are grateful for the support of the Copyright Agency's Cultural Fund in establishing the Emerging Critics Fellowship.

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