About us

Every writer knows that the story is only the beginning; that original storytelling needs time, support and a space in which to thrive.

Presented by the Wheeler Centre, with support from the Aesop Foundation, The Next Chapter is here to elevate the Australian stories that aren’t being published – and to nurture a new generation of writers, from all sorts of backgrounds, to tell them.

Each year, we pick ten outstanding writers and give them $15,000 each to develop their work. We match them with a mentor and work closely with them on bringing their writing to life, connecting them with peers, publishers and readers.

The Next Chapter is setup with the specific aim of supporting a new wave of writers to develop their skills and work from the ground up. It’s about celebrating writers who reflect the diversity of Australian identities and experiences, and offering opportunities to writers from marginalised communities. 

Across the country – in our regions, in our suburbs, in our cities – we know there are aspiring writers with stories to tell. So let’s hear them.

The Wheeler Centre wishes to acknowledge the invaluable advice and support contributed by the following individuals and organisations during the Next Chapter’s creation: 

Access Arts
ACT Writers Centre
Australian Poetry
Diversity Arts Australia
Emerging Writers’ Festival
Express Media
First Nations Australia Writers Network
Footscray Community Arts Centre
Jane Harrison
Magabala Books
Melbourne Writers Festival
NT Writers’ Centre
OutStanding Short Story Competition
Paola Balla
PEN Melbourne
Queensland Writers Centre
Sam Cooney 
Schiff & Company Lawyers
SPUN: True Stories Told in the Territory
State Library of Queensland
Sweatshop Western Sydney Literacy Movement
The Small Press Network
The Tasmanian Writers’ Centre
UWA Publishing
Wenona Byrne, Australia Council Director of Literature
Writers Victoria
Writers SA
Writing NSW