Ellen van Neerven, image from Readings.

“In 2011 I started the inaugural Indigenous Editing Internship program at the black&write! at the State Library of Queensland, alongside Linda McBride-Yuke, and I have experienced the wonderful things that come with working with writers who have important stories — those writers that are making an impact.

Now, in 2014, I have been trusted to train and bring more Indigenous editors through the same program, in what is a testament to a project that maintains a cultural thread from manuscript to book. The program is hugely important, especially in a time where, in all the creative industries, we have no shortage of Indigenous artists but a gap of those working in technical roles (producers, etc). An industry full of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island editors, publishers, agents, book cover designers and reviewers is within reach.

In 2015-2016 black&write! is expanding, and as such we are looking for two recruits to join the editing team. The two chosen interns will each receive $20,000 per year for two years, and will be mentored to develop high level skills in editing writing, specifically fiction.

Recruiting nationally, we want to find those aspiring Aboriginal or Torres Strait Island editors who share our passion for about Indigenous Australian fiction, and want to learn more about editing.“

— Ellen van Neerven

Applications close November 7th. Internships are open nationally and include a workspace and all necessary equipment, plus relocation support for successful interstate applicants.


The Lifted Brow is hugely keen to see Indigenous writing appear in more publications and publishing lists, both in Australia and overseas, edited and published by Indigenous persons.

If you’d like a taste of the quality of work that comes from this black&write! program, read (for free!) the digital anthology Writing Black: New Indigenous Writing from Australia, which was developed by Ellen van Neerven as part of the Indigenous writing and editing project. It features new writing from the likes of Bruce Pascoe, Tony Birch and Tara June Winch and photography by Jo-Anne Driessens. The strong voices of seminal poets Lionel Fogarty, Kerry Reed-Gilbert and Steven Oliver are pronounced through video and text, and an audio-visual immersion of the Torres Strait is delivered in Sylvia Nakachi’s story of home. There are many other surprises in store, with Siv Parker’s ground-breaking Twitter fiction storytelling, and salty black humour from Marie Munkara.