While the budget battleaxe continues its reign of terror on Queenslanders with the most recent victim being the shameful cancelling of Fanfare – the state-wide festival of bands for school children – it’s onward and upward for the CanDo Government’s first budget sacrifice: the Queensland Premier’s Literary Award.
The popular event has been picked up from the ashes and dusted off by its new caretakers.
Renamed the Queensland Literary Awards (dumping the Premier as he did them), the new QLA committee has managed to keep all fourteen awards in place and they attribute this to the support received from the Brisbane community; The University of Queensland Press has maintained its sponsorship and the Copyright Agency Cultural Fund has also chipped in twenty thousand dollars funding that will be used towards organisational expenses of the awards and ceremony.
The committee recently focussed its efforts on the raising of prize money by embarking on an online campaign at Pozzible (www.pozzible.com) where the general public can donate as little as one dollar toward the prize pool. The ambitious aim was to raise twenty thousand dollars (or nothing) with most of the funds going toward prize money and impressively that target has already been reached.
Running the campaign in her spare time, committee member Claire Booth was moved when they raised six thousand in the first 48 hours.
‘You have to have a strategy to make it work,” she says, and that strategy started with an “aggressive” Facebook campaign to rally community support and ensure everyone knew what was needed to get the 2012 award on its feet.
There’s no hiding that the award money is significantly smaller than the Government funded awards of yesteryear (fourteen thousand as opposed to two hundred and thirty thousand) but the entry numbers are only marginally lower than previous years proving that money is not the only draw card.
Committee member Krissy Kneen of Avid Reader says it is the new writers that are her greatest concern, “There is the prize of getting published, which is the ultimate prize for any emerging writer, but publication usually comes with a little bit of an advance … and we’d like to cover the cost of that.”
Shortlists of all award categories will be announced on August 20 with the winners announced on September 4. The shortlist for the brand new Courier Mail People’s Choice Queensland Book of the Year (there are six in total) can be viewed and voted for online now.
See queenslandliteraryawards.com for more details.
If you want to help make dreams a pozzibility, get behind the awards by making a donation at their pozible.com page