Published? Can’t enter the Vogel’s unpub ms award?* Opportunities for ‘recently emerged’ writers

*It doesn’t feel like that long ago that I wrote a blog post on opportunities for emerging writers over the age of 35 (the cut-off age for eligibility in the Vogel Unpublished Manuscript Development Award) to gain a toehold for their writing in the publishing world.

But now I’m part of a new category and once again find myself ineligible for writing competitions and opportunities. I wanted to apply to the ASA Emerging Writers’ and Illustrators’ Mentorships, in dire need of a mentor to help steer my unwieldy ship of a manuscript onto a smoother course. The guidelines stipulate the entrant must be unpublished. Ok. A physical book with my name on it hasn’t been published and won’t be until 2018–do I still qualify? I emailed the ASA.

Nope. I’m ‘published’. Does this mean that I have ’emerged’ then, if I am no longer ’emerging’?

Not according to the Literature Board of the Australia Council for the Arts. Though there has been a shake-up of the grant funding programs and streamlining of eligibility criteria, an ’emerging’ writer is usually seen as someone with one published book.

So I am a ‘slightly more emerged than just emerging’ writer.

Are there still any opportunities I can enter with an unpublished manuscript?

There sure are. It’s a learning curve, but I thought I would begin to build a list of opps–mostly residencies and grants–that recently emerged writers can access.




  • Womentoring: free mentoring for women writers by women writers


Once that foot is in the door with the first published manuscript the focus shifts to sustaining a career through structured mentorships, residencies and retreats, and grant funding.

I will continue to add to this list as I discover new and exciting opportunities to support my current incarnation of ‘writer’.


2 thoughts on “Published? Can’t enter the Vogel’s unpub ms award?* Opportunities for ‘recently emerged’ writers

  1. Thanks for this info. We’re at similar stages, so it’s all very useful for me, too. Not that I could take off and leave the family for a month—not yet. In a couple of years though … 🙂


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