With grant support from the James and Diana Ramsay Foundation, Raising Literacy Australia is managing an exciting mentoring program for emerging writers and illustrators living in South Australia.

The grant enables four unpublished artists to undertake professional mentoring to enhance their manuscripts and illustrations, plus hands-on access to publishing practices such as editing, graphic design, and pre-press production.

Over two years, the artists are mentored in all facets of children’s book production. They will also see their stories and illustrations come to life by local, award-winning publisher Little Book Press (the publishing arm of Raising Literacy Australia).

The project’s key objectives are to provide professional development and employment opportunities for emerging picture book authors and illustrators, support emerging artists to develop their artistic practices, and create new audiences for their work. Additionally, it provides employment opportunities for established authors and illustrators in a mentoring role.

The first collaboration under this new mentoring program is a delightful story called Molly Moores has a House Like Yours by emerging writer Kaliah Tsakalidis and illustrator Ross Morgan. It was included in our 2021 Preschool Book Gifting pack.

The second title created through the initiative, Tilly’s First Day Twist, written by Kylie Covark and illustrated by Robin Tatlow-Lord, was included in our 2022 Preschool Book Gifting pack.

Both titles are also available for purchase through Little Book Press. www.littlebookpress.com.au

Emerging Indigenous Writer and Illustrator Project

In 2011, Raising Literacy Australia received funding from the Australia Council for the Arts to manage the Emerging Indigenous Writer and Illustrator Project in partnership with Allen & Unwin.

The main objectives of the project were to create professional development opportunities for emerging Indigenous children’s authors and illustrators, provide appropriate and enjoyable books for young children and increase the availability of books by Indigenous authors and illustrators.

Six Indigenous artists including Leann J Edwards (VIC), Rhoda Lalara (NT), Alfred Lalara (NT), Paul Seden (NT), Marika Williams (SA) and Karen Briggs (SA) were mentored by industry professionals and had their first picture book published by Allen & Unwin in 2014.