Do you have a story to tell?

In 2020 we are excited to offer two writing programs for First Nations people. You can either work on scriptwriting with Nathan Maynard & Alexis West or you can develop your skills writing poetry and short stories with Ali Cobby Eckermann and Mandy Brown. Both programs will be offering online mentoring opportunities for writers

The two mentoring opportunities will be run separately and take a different shape:

  • The poetry and short stories program is open to beginning and emerging writers and will be run weekly for 6 weeks in individual online sessions.
  • The scriptwriting retreat is for people who have scripts well into development or have even completed a first draft. Each of the participants will have 6 online private mentoring sessions with one of the facilitators, tailored to the needs and availability of each individual.

Interested in one of these opportunities? Click the relevant tab just under the image above to find out more.

All First Nations people of Australia are invited to apply to be part of this program and priority will be given to regional participants.

Photo by Charlie Furr

Congratulations. You have made it past the most difficult step for a writer – you have put pen to paper and have completed a draft script, but you feel it needs further development. Perhaps you just can’t get that character to speak to you on paper as you imagined. Or maybe the plot points need further development? What’s the next step?

Country Arts SA is offering emerging First Nations writers online mentoring sessions with acclaimed writers Nathan Maynard and Alexis West. If you have written a story you want to tell but need some dramaturgical guidance to help with writing techniques, characterisation, dialogue, plot development etc, then Nathan and Alexis can help.

We are seeking emerging writers who have a new work in development. This unique opportunity offers the successful participants 6 online private mentoring sessions with one of the facilitators, tailored to the needs and availability of each individual. There are no fees to take part in this program and you will have access to Country Arts SA’s grants program if you require additional technical equipment to take part.

If you’ve got any enquiries please contact [email protected]

Writers are invited to complete the application form below by June 30. All applications must include a first draft which will be handled in the strictest of confidence and all information will remain the intellectual property of the applicant.

The online mentoring will commence from 13 July and will involve spending an hour a week for 6 weeks online with either of the mentors. To gain the most from this opportunity, you should also allow at least 2 hours a week to work on your draft between mentoring sessions. There are no fees to take part in this program and you will have access to Country Arts SA’s grants program if you require additional technical equipment to take part.

If you would like to further develop your passion for writing, please complete the application form below by June 30.For any enquiries please contact [email protected]

Nathan Maynard
Country Arts SA was honoured to tour Nathan’s award-winning production, The Season, in 2018 and he is offering a unique opportunity for emerging writers to develop and share their own stories. Nathan Maynard is a descendant of the chief of the Trawlwoolway Clan and of the whole of the North East Tasmanian Indigenous peoples. 

The Season is a loving portrait of a Tasmanian Aboriginal family who return each year to Dog Island in the Bass Strait for Mutton Bird Season, a tradition that endures and thrives despite two centuries of colonisation. Nathan is eager to share his experience and knowledge from his 17 years’ experience as a dancer, performer and writer. He was the recipient of the Tasmanian Aboriginal Artist of the Year Award in 2006 and 2013, and recently won the Green Room Award for Best New Writing for The Season, his first full-length play.

Alexis West
Alexis West has worked as a dancer, choreographer, performer, writer, theatre­maker and filmmaker over the past 20 years. As a Birri Gubba, Wakka Wakka South Sea Islander and Caucasian woman, Alexis is passionate about First Nation people’s voices as well as the stories of people with disability and people from diverse backgrounds.

She has worked as an artistic director, writer, and facilitator for organisations including the Karrikarrinya Theatre Collective, SA Writers Centre, Spirit Festival, Our Mob, Art Gallery SA, and Adelaide Fringe. Alexis has devised and directed new works for No Strings Attached Theatre of Disability since 2008, and worked as AD, co­-writer and performer for State Theatre Company SA. She was Co­-Curator of the 2017 Australian Theatre Forum, with colleague Steve Mayhew. Worked with ActNow Theatre and been the artist in residence at Vitalstatistix. Most recently Alexis worked as an actor in BUKAL the story of Aunty Henrietta Fourmile-Marrie written and developed by Andrea James and Henrietta which toured remote communities in Far North Queensland.

Mandy Brown
Mandy is a Peramangk/Ngarrindjeri senior woman who has been involved in poetry and short story writing since a child.

Her involvement within the ATSI literary community is respected and although largely unpublished her works are in high demand for events around NAIDOC and Reconciliation week particularly in schools and community events as a preferred way of communicating and educating the wider community.

She is a valued member of the ATSI SA writers group since its inception in 1997 after attending in Queensland,1996 the inaugural ATSI writers conference for all written form (previously this had only catered for playwrights) and she has attended other conferences since gaining valuable networking and workshop skills.

Mandy has also been involved in short storytelling with TENX Adelaide since its inception in 2018

Currently working on playwriting and an anthology for publication.

Ali Cobby Eckermann
Ali Cobby Eckermann’s first collection little bit long time was written in the desert and launched her literary career in 2009. In 2013 Ali toured Ireland as Aust. Poetry Ambassador and won the Kenneth Slessor Prize for Poetry and Book Of The Year (NSW) for Ruby Moonlight, a massacre verse novel. In 2014 Ali was the inaugural recipient of the Tungkunungka Pintyanthi Fellowship at Adelaide Writers Week, and the first Aboriginal Australian writer to attend the International Writing Program at University of Iowa.

In 2017 Ali received a Windham Campbell Award for Poetry from Yale University USA and was awarded a Literature Fellowship by the Australian Council for the Arts in 2018. Ali was granted a Civitella Ranieri Fellowship in Italy in 2019, and is currently an Adjunct Professor at RMIT Melbourne.

First Nations Writers Retreat Online 2020 is supported by

Robyn Stacey: Ray of Light
  • Visual Arts

Robyn Stacey: Ray of Light

8th August 2020 — 14th November 2020

First shown at the 2016 Adelaide Biennale of Australian Art: Magic Object, Sydney-based photographer Robyn Stacey used camera obscura to depict the city of Adelaide as it has never been seen before.

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Trolls World Tour
  • Film

Trolls World Tour

24th September 2020 — 7th October 2020

Very mild themes, crude humour and coarse language

Presented by Country Arts SA

The Happiest Movie Ever Made

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Paw Patrol: Jet To The Rescue
  • Film

Paw Patrol: Jet To The Rescue

24th September 2020 — 30th September 2020

Very mild themes

Presented by Country Arts SA

Get Ready to zoom back to Barkingburg with the pups in this all-new movie!

View event