The Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund Awards Funding to Better Reading

The Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund Awards Funding to Better Reading

The Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund has announced $818,917 in funding for 25 new projects in support of authors, visual artists and industry stakeholders as Australia continues to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. Better Reading is thrilled to be the recipient of another grant to help support debut and emerging authors.

Other recipients include Sydney Story Factory’s Year of Poetry ($90,000); Westwords for Writers in Schools in Western Sydney ($60,000); Magabala Books’ Daisy Utemorrah Award ($60,000); The Age Book of the Year ($60,000); and the Belvoir Street’s Commissioning Series: Investing in Australian Stories ($96,000), all of which are being funded as three-year projects.

Copyright Agency CEO Adam Suckling says: “This round attracted some impressive applications. We are proud to be providing support for Australian artists and authors at various career stages and from diverse backgrounds via significant exhibitions, commissions for writers, national literary awards, and ongoing opportunities such as book reviews, writing initiatives and ongoing fellowships.”

The Cultural Fund is the philanthropic arm of the Copyright Agency and is dedicated to funding projects that deliver opportunities for Australian writers, journalists, editors, English and literary teachers, visual artists and key industry stakeholders in the writing, publishing, education and visual arts sectors. The not-for-profit Copyright Agency connects users and creators of content, providing licences for the use of copyright material such as text, images and art.

“The Cultural Fund provides approximately $2 million a year in grants. We regularly refresh and update our support to ensure it is appropriate, effective and meets the needs of Australian creators. We look to form new partnerships with the sector and other bodies to amplify our support, with the aim of increasing audiences for both Australian writing and visual arts as well as contributing to key sector and educational engagement and development. This ensures Australian creators can continue to tell our uniquely Australian stories,” Mr Suckling says.

See below for the books we promoted with the support of the previous grant in 2019 – 2020.

2021 – 2022

Our 2022 titles are:

This All Come Back Now: An anthology of First Nations speculative fiction by Mykaela Saunders (ed)

The first-ever anthology of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander speculative fiction – written, curated, edited and designed by blackfellas, for blackfellas and about blackfellas. In these stories, ‘this all come back’: all those things that have been taken from us, that we collectively mourn the loss of, or attempt to recover and revive, as well as those that we thought we’d gotten rid of, that are always returning to haunt and hound us.

Some writers summon ancestral spirits from the past, while others look straight down the barrel of potential futures, which always end up curving back around to hold us from behind. Dazzling, imaginative and unsettling, This All Come Back Now centres and celebrates communities and culture. It’s a love letter to kin and country, to memory and future-thinking.

University of Queensland Press

ISBN: 9780702265662

The Signal Line by Brendan Colley

Brothers Geo and Wes are testing their relationship now that their parents have passed away. Geo and Wes rarely agree on anything, especially not the sale of the Hobart family home. Geo needs the money to finance his musical career in Italy.  For Wes the house represents the memory of their father, and what it means to live an honest, working life. But then a ghost train appears in Hobart, often on the tram tracks that once existed, along with the Swedish man who has been pursuing it for 40 years.

The Signal Line is a warm-hearted, unforgettable novel about what we are all searching for, even when our personal dreams and aspirations have collapsed: love and acceptance.

Transit Lounge

ISBN: 978-1-925760-94-1

Unknown: A Refugee’s Story by Akuch Anyieth

A moving, confronting and ultimately uplifting story about a young girl’s escape, with her family, from war-torn South Sudan to Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya, and then to Australia. Akuch Kuol Anyieth’s Unknown is a remarkable memoir. It’s a homage to the strength of her mother in protecting her family against all the odds, a story of sadness, anger, humour, determination, survival and love.

Text Publishing

ISBN: 9781922458476

The River Mouth by Karen Herbert

Fifteen-year-old Darren Davies is found facedown in the Weymouth River with a gunshot wound to his chest. The killer is never found. Ten years later, his mother receives a visit from the local police. Sandra’s best friend has been found dead on a remote Pilbara road, and Barbara’s DNA matches the DNA found under Darren’s fingernails. When the investigation into her son’s murder is reopened, Sandra begins to question what she knew about her best friend. As she digs, she discovers that there are many secrets in her small town, and that her murdered son had secrets too.

Fremantle Press

ISBN: 9781760990466

Permafrost by SJ Norman

This brilliant collection of short fiction explores the shifting spaces of desire, loss and longing. Inverting and queering the gothic and romantic traditions, each story represents a different take on the concept of a haunting or the haunted. Though it ranges across themes and locations – from small-town Australia to Hokkaido to rural England – Permafrost is united by the power of the narratorial voice, with its auto-fictional resonances, dark wit and swagger.

University of Queensland Press

ISBN: 9780702263422

Titles we promoted in 2019 – 2020

Over the past year, with the help of our 2020 Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund grant, Better Reading was able to support the following authors and their books:

The Night Whistler by Greg Woodland

Nostalgic yet clear-eyed, simmering with small-town menace, Greg Woodland’s wildly impressive debut populates the rural Australia of the 1960s with memorable characters and almost unbearable tension.

The Fogging by Luke Horton

Told with equal parts compassion and irony, and brimming with observations that charm, illuminate, and devastate, The Fogging dives deep into what it means to be strong when your foundation is built on sand.

The History of Mischief by Rebecca Higgie

Following the death of their parents, Jessie and her older sister Kay move to their grandmother’s abandoned house. One night they discover The History of Mischief hidden beneath the floor: it is like no book they have ever seen.

A Room Called Earth by Madeleine Ryan

A brilliant debut from a neurodiverse author that explores a young woman’s magical, sensitive, and passionate inner world.

Born Into This by Adam Thompson

Engaging, thought-provoking stories from a Tasmanian Aboriginal author who addresses universal themes—identity, racism, heritage destruction—from a wholly original perspective.

Debesa by Dr Cindy Solonec

Debesa is a sweeping social history of one family’s struggles and triumphs set against the backdrop of the beauty of the West Kimberley.

Good Indian Daughter by Ruhi Lee

Good Indian Daughter is a brutally honest yet brilliantly funny memoir for anyone who’s ever felt like a let-down.

We are looking forward to another year supporting debut and emerging authors and sharing these wonderful stories with our readers.

Acknowledgment of Cultural Fund support

Better Reading acknowledges the support provided by Copyright Agency.

Better Reading also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians on whose land our office stands: the Gadigal people of the Eora nation, and their Elders past, present and emerging.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *