Introducing Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund, a major sponsor of the 2021 Independent Publishing Conference taking place from Thurs 25–Sat 27 November.
Copyright Agency is a non-for-profit organisation that supports over 38,000 members to ensure fair payment to creators over the reuse of copyright-protected work.
For over 40 years, the agency has served to connect their members to copyright user groups, facilitate bilateral agreements when Australian content is used overseas and influence copyright policy to maintain and protect the value of Australian creativity.
The Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund is the philanthropic wing of the organisation, aimed at supporting their members, writers, visual artists, publishers, journalists, teachers and key industry stakeholders to create, award, present, publish and promote work by Australian creators.
Cultural Fund supporting authors and publishers
With an annual budget of around $2 million, the Cultural Fund offers a variety of grants every year to writers, publishers, visual artists and key stakeholders.
For mid-career authors, there are two fellowships a year valued at $80,000 each: One is for Non-Fiction, while the Author Fellowship is for a dedicated work of fiction, poetry, children’s and young adult fiction or playscript. There are also several $10,000–20,000 Create grants available for writers and visual artists.
For publishers, grants are available for commissioning work as well as for professional career development. Re-opening in 2023, the Publishing Industry Career Development Grant supports publishers to attend international conferences and gain new skills and expertise.
Head of the Cultural Fund, Nicola Evans, said a highlight of her work at the Cultural Fund has been supporting mainstream media to publish more reviews of new Australian books, particularly The Guardian, who now publishes a weekly review.
‘What we’ve heard from publishers is that these reviews make a huge difference because it translates into book sales … it’s good for the publisher, it’s good for the bookseller and it’s also good for the writer,’ Evans said.
The fund also works closely with the trade associations to better support the industry and provides funding for many of the capital city writers’ festivals for discrete panel sessions to promote Australian writers and their work.
Another venture of the Cultural Fund is Reading Australia, a flagship portal that provides curriculum-mapped units of work for teachers, by teachers, to help introduce books from Australian writers into classrooms.
With over 240 resources published online to date, the Reading Australia portal works with teachers to create around 20 new resources a year.
‘The feedback from teachers is that it is just a terrific site, the resources are actually full units of work so it does help the teacher teach the book in the classroom,’ Evans said.
Committed to First Nations reconciliation
The Copyright Agency is highly committed to supporting the reconciliation of Australia’s First Nations people.
Copyright Agency Manager, Partnerships and Stakeholder Engagement, Rosanna Arciuli said getting the conversation started to focus the publishing industry on the shared goal of reconciliation is one of her main priorities.
Also the Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) officer, Ms Arciuli started an industry group called RAP Publishing Forum, to bring together professionals in the publishing industry and discuss furthering industry support of reconciliation in Australia.
‘Any publisher who is interested in that reconciliation journey, getting ideas, having conversations, or wants to share resources can come along to the virtual meeting, held every two months,’ Arciuli said.
Want to know more?
Becoming a member of the Copyright Agency is free through their website.
For more information on the Copyright Agency or the RAP Publishing Forum contact Rosanna Arciuli at firstname.lastname@example.org. To discuss Cultural Fund grant applications contact Nicola Evans at email@example.com.