The ASA has called for a coordinated funding framework and more direct investment in writers and illustrators in a submission to the NSW Arts, Culture and Creative Industries Policy consultation.
The consultation for the new Arts policy opened in July this year, and seeks to use the Federal Government’s National Cultural Policy, Revive, as a starting point to build a vision for the arts in NSW. ASA is delighted that the NSW Government will deliver a policy that aligns with Revive, which has laid plans for a new approach to investment in literature.
There is a vibrant literary culture emerging in NSW, with popular regional festivals, supportive writing organisations across the state, and a growing cultural hub in Western Sydney thanks to literary organisations such as Sweatshop, WestWords and Bankstown Poetry Slam supporting local writers. Yet, these successes have largely been achieved without a strategic literary policy from the NSW Government. There is an opportunity for Create NSW to seize on this momentum and commit to the state’s unrealised potential as a creative literary hub.
In the submission to Create NSW ASA called for:
- A coordinated funding framework: Alignment between the soon-to-be-established Writers Australia and Create NSW to coordinate funding between levels of Government to optimise support for our sector. This must include a significant boost in funding for individual authors and a commitment to the state’s potential as a leading creative economy.
- Direct investment in writers and illustrators: As the most vulnerable and underpaid individuals in the entire supply chain, we must prioritise direct investment in local authors and illustrators, upon whom the entire literary ecosystem depends. This investment ought to include grants for emerging and established authors and illustrators as well as dedicated investment in First Nations creators.
- Affirmation of minimum rates of pay: Public funding should be contingent on paying authors and illustrators at or above ASA minimum rates of pay.
- A minimum threshold of Australian-authored content in schools: A minimum could be mandated for the NSW Curriculum, which would both increase the sales and profile of Australian authors and illustrators, as well as enrich pride in our unique local culture.
- Establish an authors-in-schools program: The benefits of authors-in-schools programs have been clearly demonstrated; schemes that enable author visits to primary and secondary schools increase income for authors, and deliver students inspiration, writing, critical thinking and comprehension skills, and a deeper connection with books and writing. The NSW Government could establish an authors-in-schools program, and, in particular, enable access for poorly resourced and regional public schools who cannot afford to budget for author visits.
The consultation process for the NSW Arts, Culture and Creative Industries Policy has been extended to 8 September 2023. Create NSW plans to launch the new Arts Policy in December this year.
ASA thanks the NSW Government for the opportunity to consult on the policy. The submission will be available to read in full upon its publication on the Create NSW website. The ASA also joined the Australian Publishers Association, BookPeople and the Australian Library and Information Association in a joint submission from the Books Create Australia alliance.
The ASA will make a submission to the consultation for a 10 Year Vision for Culture and the Arts in Western Australia and continue to take opportunities to advocate for authors and illustrators around the country on a state level.