Poet Caitlin Maling awarded the inaugural McAuley Fellowship; Fremantle Press picture books make the grade on award shortlists

Fremantle Press poet Caitlin Maling, who is on the cusp of releasing Spore or Seed (July 2023), has been awarded the inaugural creative McAuley Fellowship at the University of Tasmania worth $10,000. Caitlin will spend two weeks in Hobart writing and presenting a masterclass for students and an event for the general public.

The fellowship is named after one of Australia’s most distinguished poets and Professor of English at the university from 1961 until his death in 1976. In a media release about the fellowship, Caitlin said she would retrace McAuley’s steps to write in the places his poems are set during her stay in Tasmania. She said, ‘As any creative will tell you, it’s thrilling to have time, space and resources provided to do your work, and I’m very grateful to the University of Tasmania and the James McAuley Memorial Fund.’

In other news, Ninni Yabini was shortlisted for the 2023 Karajia Award for Children’s Literature. Launched in 2022, the Karajia Award for Children’s Literature celebrates excellence in children’s literature by Aboriginal or Torres Strait Island authors and/or illustrators, who honour Connection to Country and tell stories exploring land, community, culture and language.

Responding to the shortlisting, Cheryl Kickett-Tucker said, ‘I am a river girl. I love the river and the peacefulness it brings to my koordoormitj (soul). It refreshes my well-being. Importantly, the river reminds us to restfully journey with the currents of life by breathing the surrounding beauty. I am quietly reminded of my life journey and the people before me who shared their stories of life and living. We must continually honour our parents, Elders and ancestors. Ninni Yabini is a loving tribute to my mother, Wadjuk Elder Shirley Dawn.’

Illustrator Tyrown Waigana said, ‘Storytelling is important because it shares lessons which shouldn’t be forgotten. These teachings help people understand themselves, others, the world arounds us and many things that hover in an in-between space.’

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Congratulations also to Kyle Hughes-Odgers whose board book Everything You Want to See has been shortlisted for a 2023 Speech Pathology Australia Book of the Year Award in the birth to three age category. From a tiger in a car to an electric guitar, from a horse to a monster (of course!), Kyle’s dynamic board book shows a whole range of fun things that kids love to look at and talk about. It’s no wonder then that when Speech Pathology Australia conducts its annual Book of the Year Awards to recognise and celebrate Australia’s best books for children’s language and literacy development, they singled out Kyle’s work.

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