ASA Seeks Meeting with Queensland Premier Over Sudden Axing of Literary Awards
The ASA is shocked and disappointed to learn of the decision of the new Queensland State Government to axe the State's long-established and well-respected Premier's Literary Awards.
These awards (which in 2011 totalled $230,000 across 14 categories) have showcased the work of Australian writers across all fields, as well as provided much-needed financial encouragement to those creators. As authorship is mostly low-paid work, this is a heavy blow to our authors, who typically rely on a number of sources, including awards and prizes, to make up a basic income each year.
Over the years the Queensland Premier's Literary Awards have come to be valued by readers and supporters of all political persuasions. We urge the Queensland Government to reconsider this regrettable decision, which will save only a little money at the cost of destroying an important tool in positioning Queensland on the national and international cultural map.
The decision appears to have been arrived at with no consultation with the numerous industry sectors who support books and literacy - agents, booksellers, publishers, editors, online and print media and others - all of whom see this kind of government recognition as a vital cultural and economic input.
The ASA hopes to meet with the Queensland Premier to learn more about this decision and to put the case for their reinstatement or reconfiguration.
We urge other State Governments, including that of NSW, where the Awards have been under review, to continue supporting these premier literary events which have done so much for the nation's literary culture and creative economy.