This paper has been prepared by the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries (DLGSC) to make final recommendations following a review of the writing sector in Western Australia. These recommendations should be read in conjunction
with the consultant’s report ‘WA Writing Sector Review Final Report and Conclusions’ by Positive Solutions and ‘Writing Sector Review Reference Group Recommendations’ released by the Writing Sector Review Reference Group.
Both documents are available on request from DLGSC.
The DLGSC is committed to appropriate investment in the Western Australian writing sector that will:
The Writing Sector Review examined the challenges, strengths, opportunities, potential strategies and future directions for the writing sector in Western Australia. The consultant’s report ‘WA Writing Sector Review Final Report and
Conclusions’ and the Writing Sector Review Reference Group paper ‘Writing Sector Reference Group Recommendations’ were made available for public comment.
Individuals from the writing sector and the broader community were invited to provide feedback about the proposed recommendations of the Writing Sector Reference Group through an online survey questionnaire that closed on the 14 August 2017. Further
detailed consultation was undertaken with four writers’ centres with additional information received on 9 October 2017.
DLGSC recommends that current levels of State Government expenditure on writing should be maintained as a basis for building on the success of the writing sector in Western Australia to date.
The State Library of Western Australia’s (SLWA) role in supporting reading and literacy, and its location in the Perth Cultural Centre precinct, provides a great opportunity for co-location of a writing and creative thinking hub. In partnership
with other organisations, the SLWA could become a centre for the promotion and support of writing and literature with a focus on Western Australian writers and their works. Future revitalisation of the SLWA building could incorporate the provision
of co-located working spaces for writers and industry; a technology-driven centre for the sourcing and creation of new works; and act as a magnet for the development of creative ideas. This would:
A writing hub would provide an overall focus for creative thinking and expression that helps to connect creators with their local, national and international audiences.
The Western Australian Premier’s Book Awards is recommended to be an annual event. It is also recommended that further consideration is given to how this distinctive award could be positioned to increase its profile and that of Western Australian
writers, and differentiate it from other State and national awards.
To this end, it is recommended that the option of delivering the Western Australian Premier’s Book Award through the Perth Festival Writers Week be examined.
It is recommended that this can be achieved by:
Funding assistance to libraries for writers’ talks, reading events and micro-festivals.
Navigating this mix of converging and emerging opportunities to enable writers to increase their incomes, improve employment opportunities, and participate in the creation of new artistic and cultural outputs, will require ongoing professional
It is recommended that professional support services are developed within the sector to enable writers to understand, negotiate, and protect their rights in this new environment in order to create new employment and income opportunities. Such
services could be developed in partnership with other art forms to help facilitate dialogue across the arts and creative industries.
It is recommended that a pilot emerging writers’ publishing program is scoped with Fremantle Press working in partnership with the four writers’ centres — the Katherine Susannah Pritchard Writers’ Centre; the
Fellowship of Australian Writers WA, Peter Cowan Writers’ Centre and WA Poets Inc.— that will complement the T.A.G. Hungerford awards. The pilot program should aim to create an environment where more members of the writers’
centres are published.
In order to ensure that young writers are developing the skills required to eventually be published, it is recommended that funding be provided to the Fremantle Literature Centre to continue to expand its current programs.
For playwriting, it is recommended that DLGSC establish a playwriting development fund accessible by Western Australian theatre companies to grow opportunities for playwrights’ work to be commissioned for the stage. The fund should
be competitive and established to leverage dollar-for-dollar matched funding from the Western Australian theatre companies.
This new initiative should aim to enhance people’s understanding of why heritage is important, how it enables us to explore our identity and our place in the world, and ultimately contribute to a sense of wellbeing in society.
A focus area which will enable this ambition is to activate the National Trust’s assets through storytelling, engagement, participation and interpretation.
Having a writer respond to a heritage place will provide substantial benefits in illuminating the value of heritage and will assist people to see the stories of place through a new and creative lens. National Trust places are richly layered
with Aboriginal and post-settlement stories, as well as representing the rare remains of the beginnings of modern community in our State.
There are other suggestions for concepts and activities in the consultant’s review which would further stimulate the Western Australian writing sector and which ought to be explored further. However, the emphasis in this DLGSC response
is on targeted, readily implementable and cost-effective recommendations that provide a foundation for future policy initiatives.
Do not submit enquiries with this form.