2020

We're very excited to announce the third group of writers for The Next Chapter, our 2020 recipients. The writers include Sharlene Allsopp, Bigoa Chuol, Lujayn Hourani, Allanah Hunt, Angelina Hurley, Tim Loveday, Khin Myint, Mia Nie, Oliver Reeson and Jonathon Slottje.

L-R (Top): Sharlene Allsopp, Bigoa Chuol, Lujayn Hourani, Allanah Hunt, Angelina Hurley; L-R (Bottom): Tim Loveday, Khin Myint, Mia Nie, Oliver Reeson, Jonathon Slottje

Sharlene Allsopp (QLD)

Sharlene Allsopp was born and raised on Bundjalung Country and dreams of capturing that elusive perfect sentence – preferably liquored up in a champagne field in France. She studies Writing and Literature at the University of Queensland, was shortlisted for the 2019 Overland writing residency, and Highly Commended for the 2020 Boundless Indigenous Writer’s Mentorship. She co-founded a charity for domestic violence survivors, and manages a household full of sons, daughters, a husband, and the love of her life – a fluffy ball of puppy called Morty. 

Bigoa Chuol (VIC)

Bigoa Chuol is a South Sudanese from Nasir and Ulang. A poet, editor and curator living on the lands of the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. As an independent creative producer, is active in community engaged arts.

Bigoa is the founder and Creative Director of dichötomi mag, a digital art publication for Afro creatives settled in Australia and beyond.

Lujayn Hourani (VIC)

Lujayn Hourani is a Lebanese-Palestinian writer, editor, and arts worker currently living on unceded Wurundjeri Country. Born stateless, they emigrated to Naarm in 1997. Lujayn then spent the majority of their upbringing in the Gulf, forbidden from returning to Palestine. They moved back to Naarm in 2016 and completed an undergraduate degree in Creative Writing and Latin American Studies at the University of Melbourne.

After publishing their first piece in 2019, Lujayn began developing their experimental writing practice. This practice is characterised by space, identity, and the interactions between the two. Paper becomes land and taking it up is reclamation. Lujayn is implementing this practice into an experimental poetry book; inch by inch, language annexes, sprawls and addends, operating outside of conventional form to incrementally displace the reader.

Lujayn is Communications Director at Road to Refuge and has appeared in a number of refugee advocacy events. You can find their writing in Australian Poetry JournalMeanjinGoing Down SwingingThe Lifted Brow and Overland, among others.

Allanah Hunt (QLD)

Allanah Hunt is a Junior Editor in the black&write! team at the State Library of Queensland. She loves writing, reading, cats and Marvel, not necessarily in that order. She is a PhD student in creative writing at Anglia Ruskin University, England. Her PhD involves the production and analysis of fan fiction set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. 

Her previous writing has concentrated on realistic and literary fiction, exploring sensitive contemporary issues such as Aboriginal deaths in custody. She has had several short stories published and two of her novels placing Highly Commended in the black&write! Fellowship. She is a winner of the inaugural Boundless mentorship. She won the 2019 Nakata Brophy Fiction Prize and is one of the novella winners for Griffith Review as well as a Griffith Review Fellowship. 

Angelina Hurley (QLD)

Angelina Hurley is an Aboriginal writer from Brisbane, and from the Gooreng Gooreng, Mununjali, Birriah, Gamilaaray and Jagera nations. Her writing debut was her short film Aunty Maggie and the Womba Wakgun, 2009.

A Fulbright Indigenous Scholar in 2011, Angelina is undertaking a Doctoral study at Griffith University Film School, entitled Pointing the Funny Bone: Blak Comedy and Aboriginal Cultural Perspectives on Humour, and writing an Aboriginal comedy television series. To read more of her writing check out her blog Womba World.

Tim Loveday (VIC)

Tim Loveday is a poet, a writer, an editor and a clown-lark. As the recipient of a 2020 Next Chapter Wheeler Centre Fellowship and a 2021 Varuna Residential Fellowship, his creative work aims to challenge toxic masculinity in Australia. His poetry/prose have appeared in CorditeThe Big IssueMeniscusText JournalQuadrantThe Big Smoke and Brain drip, among others. A Neurodivergent dog parent, he is the content editor at Hyperviolet Designs and the verse editor for The Creative Hub of Extinction Rebellion. 

Originally from rural NSW, Tim currently resides in North Melbourne, traditional land of the Wurundjeri people, where he studies Professional Writing and Editing at RMIT. As an avid fan of the full stop, he’s afraid of sentences longer than six words; this bio is trying.

Khin Myint (WA)

Khin Myint grew up in Perth in the 90s. His father arrived in Australia from Burma in the 70s and his mother was a ten pound pom. Khin and his sister's childhoods were marred by the anti-Asian sentiment in their suburban surroundings.

Khin went on to teach refugees in Australia and on the Thai-Burma border. He is an award winning singer-songwriter, and in the 2010s he won the Perth Poetry Slam and began publishing on masculinity and race. 

Khin started working on a memoir after his sister euthanised herself in 2013, following a protracted illness. His sister's diagnosis polarised medical institutions and communities.

Khin explores identity formation, and how the boundaries drawn in race, gender and illness echo through life. His writing uses personal events to traverse polarised territories, without offering easy answers.

Mia Nie (VIC)

Mia Nie is a Chinese-Australian comic artist, zine-maker, and award-nominated ex-poet. She has been published in Pencilled InThe Suburban ReviewComic Sans JournalStrange Horizons and Castles in the Sky.

Her work explores the complexities, contradictions, and deeply felt desires of transgender subjectivity. She is passionate about understanding queer history and imagining queer futures. Mia is currently working on her first graphic novel.  

Oliver Reeson (VIC)

Oliver Reeson is an essayist and screenwriter. In 2019, their essay about Kylie Minogue and Death, ‘Body Language’ was runner-up in The Lifted Brow’s Prize for Experimental Non-Fiction. In 2018 they co-created and wrote the SBS On Demand web series, Homecoming Queens

Jonathon Slottje (QLD)

I was born at the Brisbane Women’s Hospital in 1947 to Cecile Walker who lived in Wolvi, in Queensland. Cecile’s mother (my grandmother) was Eleanor Ryan, daughter of Gubbi Gubbi midwife Christina Copson and Irishman Michael Ryan. Due to severe abuse at the hands of my Russian stepfather Walter Lucas, I was taken in and raised by my grandmother Eleanor and her partner Frank Wild in Redcliffe. 

The effects of the abuse I was subjected to, along with the racism rife in Australian society at the time, led to many stints of incarceration from the late 1960s until the late 1980s. I married in the 1970s and with my wife moved to New Zealand where my four sons were born in a country I believed my children would be at less risk of the racism I had experienced in my country of birth. However, ghosts of the past caught up with me and I was deported back to Australia where I served more time, while my marriage broke up and I lost contact with my children. I met my current wife Elizabeth in Brisbane in 1992, and we began the business that we still conduct today.


Highly commended

In addition to the ten successful recipients, the Judges identified five highly-commended entries to The Next Chapter.

Frances An

Frances An is a Vietnamese-Australian writer interested in the literatures of communism, overlaps between literature and psychology, and Nhạc Vàng ('Yellow/Gold Music'). She has performed/published in Australian and international literary platforms including Sydney Review Of BooksSeizure OnlineCincinnati Review, Sydney Writers Festival, Panoplyzine, Journal and Star 82. She received a Create NSW 2018 Early Career Writers Grant and Inner City Residency 2020 (Perth, WA, Australia). She is completing a PhD in Psychology at the University Of Western Australia on corporate misconduct.

Theo Anderson

Theo Anderson spends his days working as a speech pathologist and his weekends writing. He loves reading and writing LGBTQIA+ fiction and non-fiction. Theo lives with his partner and two dogs on Turrbal and Yuggera land and is currently working on his first novel. 

Sianlee Harris

Sianlee Harris is a Kurnu Paakantyi Nhuungku from Wilcannia, NSW. She has been working in the public education sector for the majority of her adult life, and has a specific interest in recording and teaching Indigenous languages and histories. She enjoys creating work that celebrates Blak women.

Her body of work comes from the worldview of a Kurnu Paakantyi Nhuungku. The pieces are at once personal and political, in keeping with Sian’s stance that her presence, as a self-presenting Blak Woman, in systems and structures built to exclude her, is a radical act. 

Her work focuses on Paakantyi Spirituality; Aboriginal resistance; and representations of womanhood. She is a storyteller. Her writing is unapologetically Aboriginal and asserts that her people have many stories to tell. It asserts that Aboriginal writing can, and should, explore the gamut of human experience, thus stepping away from ‘approved’ versions voice and truth. It acknowledges the existence of women like her.

Tais Rose

Tais Rose is an Aboriginal writer and weaver living on Bundjalung country. With a complex displaced cultural identification developed through ongoing colonisation, her poetry seeks to highlight the significance of decolonisation work while celebrating a resilient connection to Aboriginal culture and Country as it is inevitably passed on through blood.

Aubert Ruzigandekwe

My name is Aubert Ruzigandekwe, I was born in the country of thousand hills, Rwanda, and I came to live in the lucky country, Australia, in 2004. I live in Hobart with my wife, and we are lucky to have 4 biological children and three adopted children.

I’m a survivor of the Rwandan Tutsis’ genocide of 1994, where the drive to write my story comes from.

I’m employed by Services Australia in its international branch.

I have always been in love with the world game, I played semi-professional football, and I’m a social player now. I also have been a community soccer coach for over 15 years. I started a couple of social soccer clubs in Rwanda, and in Europe for the Rwandan community. I’m also involved in a number of charities that support the survivors of the Tutsi genocide.