It is an exciting time to be a writer living in Queensland. Arts QLD are currently undertaking a number of consultation sessions with writing communities all over our vast state, with a view to developing a clear(er) map of the writing sector and to reshape how they currently support writers and writing. With our chief government funding body showing such a strong committment to engaging with authors, agents, publishers, editors and other creatives, it is vital that people lend their voice to the discussion.
In their initial document: Map of the QLD Writers Sector, Arts QLD have set out seven questions for people to respond to. The questions are:
1. What will success for the writing sector in QLD look like in five to ten years?
2. What kinds of products and services will writers be creating and providing in the next five to ten years?
3. How can the sector capitalise on the opportunities digital technologies are bringing about?
4. Can QLD provide leadership for the writing sector nationally and internationally?
5. What kind of investments in the writing sector will make the most difference in the next five to ten years?
6. What roles do individuals, organisations, businesses and government potentially have in leading development of the sector locally and beyond?
7. What can be achieved by the QLD writing sector working more collaboratively to leverage current and future investments?
And the discussion is already bubbling… Chris Meade, founder of if:Book UK, has lead the first round of consultations in Brisbane and Bundaberg and has posted a series of thought provoking blogs. Some of the ideas of how Arts QLD can better support writers that have already been discussed include: the establishment of a writers retreat similar to Varuna (in the Blue Mountains), setting up mentorships for emerging writers, and establishing a new McSweeney’s-esque journal in QLD.
And to continue the conversation in the regions, I will be heading off to Cairns, Townsville and Roma in the new year to meet with their writing communities. So don’t let this opportunity to be part of the discussion pass you by… you don’t have to be at one of the meetings to be involved. You can respond to the questions in the comments box below and I will be sure to collate them and forward them to Arts QLD so that your voice is heard. It would be great to hear from many of you.