Wiradjuri writer and filmmaker Edoardo Crismani wins the 2023 Boundless Mentorship, to be mentored by Tara June Winch.
Edoardo Crismani has been awarded the 2023 Boundless Indigenous Writer’s Mentorship for Finding Billy Brown, a fast-paced story about an AFL player who is hit by a car, only to wake up in the 1930s, where he meets his boxer great-grandfather.
Crismani, who was shortlisted for the 2022 David Unaipon Award, has previously published short stories and poetry. A filmmaker, he was nominated for an Australian Writers’ Guild Award for a documentary called The Panther Within, about his grandfather, champion boxer Joe Murray.
Jane Harrison, acclaimed author and the judge of this year’s mentorship, says: ‘I can see this manuscript being published and contributing to a growing body of texts that tell First Nations stories in a bold, uncompromising and engaging style.’
The Boundless Mentorship is presented by Text Publishing and Writing NSW, with the support of the First Nations Australia Writers Network (FNAWN) and Booktopia. It is awarded annually to an emerging Indigenous writer who has made substantial progress on a fiction or non-fiction writing project. The winner is paired with a senior Indigenous writer for a structured year-long mentorship as they develop their manuscript.
Crismani will be mentored by Wiradjuri writer Tara June Winch, the Miles Franklin Literary Award–winning author of The Yield.
Writing NSW CEO Jane McCredie says: ’The Boundless Mentorship has achieved great things in supporting new First Nations writers to develop their craft and achieve publication of stories that might not otherwise have seen the light of day. We’re delighted to see Edoardo as the latest in a distinguished series of winners of this important prize.’
Text Publisher Michael Heyward says: ‘Text remains committed to the Boundless Mentorship in partnership with Writing NSW. It has already provided paths to publication for emerging Indigenous Australian writers. We are honoured by our association with it, and look forward to working with the 2023 winner, Edoardo Crismani.’
Two previous winners of the prize have signed publishing contracts with Text: John Morrissey’s debut short story collection Firelight will be published in August 2023 and Lenora Thaker’s historical novel The Pearl of Shantytown is slated for publication in 2024.
Edoardo Crismani says: ‘When I found out I was being awarded the Boundless Indigenous Writers Mentorship for my novel Finding Billy Brown, I was excited for the opportunity to work with a mentor to polish the mechanics of the story, and also daunted to receive feedback from a publisher, but I can't wait to get started and see what the process brings! Thanks to Writing NSW and Text for making it happen!’
For more information about the Boundless Mentorship, visit writingnsw.org.au
South Australian First Nations writer and director Edoardo Crismani is a proud Wiradjuri man and a filmmaker of eight national broadcast films and over thirty corporate/community films. He was nominated for an Australian Writers’ Guild Award for a documentary, The Panther Within, about his grandfather, champion boxer Joe Murray. His short stories and poetry have been published in journals and anthologies in Australia and internationally. Edoardo is the coordinator for the South Australia First Nations Writers Group and was shortlisted for the 2022 David Unaipon Award for an Emerging Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Writer.
Tara June Winch is a Wiradjuri writer based in Australia and France. Her first novel Swallow the Air (UQP, 2006) was critically acclaimed. In 2008, she was mentored by Nobel Prize winner Wole Soyinka as part of the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative. Her short-story collection After the Carnage (UQP) was published in 2016 also to critical acclaim. In 2018 she wrote the script for the Indigenous dance documentary Carriberrie. Her latest novel The Yield (Penguin, 2019) won the 2020 Miles Franklin Literary Award and has been translated into five languages. She is currently working in film writing and on her fourth book, In the Event of My Death.
Jane Harrison is descended from the Muruwari people of NSW and is an award-winning playwright and author. Her play The Visitors premiered at Sydney Festival in 2020 in a sold-out season and won the 2022 Sydney Critics Award for Best New Australian Work. Her first play Stolen played across Australia and internationally for seven years, touring again in 2018. Rainbow’s End was first produced in 2005, then again in 2009, 2011 and 2019. It was on the NSW English curriculum from 2016 to 2021 and won the 2012 Drover Award. Jane’s novel Becoming Kirrali Lewis won the 2014 Black & Write! Prize and was shortlisted for the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards and the Victorian Premier’s Awards. Jane is artistic director of the Blak & Bright First Nations Literary Festival 2016, 2019 and 2022.