Sovereign Stories

State Library of Queensland

The rise of First Nations storytelling is celebrated with Sovereign Stories, a new showcase at State Library of Queensland from 23 October until 15 May, 2022.

This year marks the tenth anniversary of State Library’s black&write! project, an initiative that is helping to address the underrepresentation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander voices in literature and support the rise in reader demand for First Nations books and perspectives.  

Sovereign Stories SLQ

Each year black&write! offers two fellowships for unpublished manuscripts by Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander writers. The winning fellows work closely with black&write! editors to develop their manuscripts for publication.

The Sovereign stories: 10 years of black&write! showcase will map the history of the project and track the careers of fellowship winners and editors; with many going on to win accolades and awards.

Sovereign Stories SLQ

The program was the first of its kind in Australia and plays an important role in bringing the talents of Aboriginal and Torres Strait writers into the spotlight. From children’s books and poetry to science fiction, these are great reads that illustrate the dynamic storytelling within contemporary First Nations literature.

Research in 2016 by Macquarie University and the Australia Council for the Arts found that 63 per cent of Australians think books written by Indigenous Australians are important for Australian culture, and 59 per cent agree that First Nations publishers are important for books about Indigenous Australian cultures.

Sovereign Stories SLQ

Curator Grace Lucas-Pennington says, “Sovereign stories: 10 years of black&write! highlights the strength of First Nations people reclaiming their narratives as well as showcasing the diversity of contemporary First Nations storytelling.”

State Library State Librarian and CEO Vicki McDonald says, “First Nations stories and truth-telling are crucial to understanding who we are as Australians and their voices need to be heard.”

Sovereign Stories SLQ

“Over its first decade, black&write! has been a real game changer in the national literary landscape,” says Leanne Enoch, Minister for the Arts. 

“The program has helped a wide community of First Nations writers to establish professional careers and tell their stories of heritage, history, country and culture."

black&write! is supported by the Australian Government, through the Australia Council for the Arts, publishing partner Hachette Australia, the Copyright Agency Cultural Fund, The Lionel & Yvonne Spencer Trust and the Brian J Sutton Charitable Trust.

State Library of Queensland is a valued partner of Must Do

Image Credits - Top to bottom:

1. black&write! titles. Photo by Joe Ruckli.

2, 4 & 5. black&write! team. Photo by Joe Ruckli.

3. Ali Cobby-Eckermann, author, 2011 black&write! Fellow. Photo by Nharla Photography


Sovereign Stories

kuril dhagan, Level 1

State Library of Queensland 

Stanley Place 

South Brisbane

Oct 23- May 15

Free entry

Book now for An American in Paris