emerging writers

7 - Unnamed

Gertrude Contemporary is pleased to relaunch the Emerging Writers Program, an initiative focussed on facilitating professional development for early practice arts writers committed to pursuing a career in the arena of contemporary art and criticism. First initiated in 2005, the program has since this time connected 47 writers with 43 mentors towards the research, development and publication of new pieces of writing on artists’ practices, exhibitions and contemporary arts discourse in Australia. Over the past 15 years the cast of contributing mentors to the program represents many of the most important and influential figures of the Australian artworld, including prominent institutional directors and curators, philosophers, cultural critics, journal editors, and independent writers and curators.

For the 2020 program, emphasis will shift away from focussing on writing about individual artists and exhibitions, and instead cast broader speculative perspectives upon the repositioning and potential futures in light of the current pandemic and shifting global political landscape. Towards this, writers will be connected with individual mentors and embark on a process of researching and writing essays with the support, guidance and critical contributions of the invited 2020 mentors. Writers will be encouraged to develop new pieces of writing that reflect upon the current and future impacts of the evolving health pandemic and economic crisis on the realms of arts and culture. Essays might reflect upon the impacts and envisaged changes to how art is experienced and consumed, how and for whom it is produced, what physical contexts might remain for it, and how this situation might contribute to or amplify a shift away from experiencing art in real life.
Gertrude invites applications from writers based anywhere in Australia to express their interest in participating in the Emerging Writers Program 2020. There are four opportunities to be paired with and mentored by four leading thinkers and writers over the course of a three-month process toward the development of a long form essay that will upon completion be published by Gertrude and in partnership with progressive arts and cultural journals and magazines. First Nations writers are strongly encouraged to apply.
The four writers selected to participate in the program will each receive an honorarium of $750.

2020 Mentors
Tara McDowell, Associate Professor and Director of Curatorial Practice at Monash University Art Design and Architecture, Melbourne
Kimberley Moulton, Senior Curator of South Eastern Aboriginal Collections, Melbourne Museum
Lisa Radford, artist, lecturer and writer, The Saturday Paper
Natalie Thomas, artist and writer, nattysolo.com

Application Process
Applications should include the following as a single document saved in PDF format:

  • A cover letter discussing your interest in the program and indicating which mentor you’d like to me paired with (max 1 page)
  • A current CV (max 2 pages)
  • 2 examples of recent writing on art, contemporary culture, political analysis or philosophy (max 4 pages)

To submit your application please email the above material to apply@gertrude.org.au on or before 11:59pm on Sunday 28 June 2020.

If you have questions about the program or application process please email apply@gerturde.org.au before midday Friday 26 June.

The Gertrude Contemporary Emerging Writers Program is generously supported by the Copyright Agency through the Cultural Fund.




 Initiated in 2005, the Gertrude Contemporary Emerging Writers Program provides a unique opportunity for Australian emerging visual arts writers to develop their writing practice, publish their work and gain further insight into the field of contemporary art writing. 


The aim of the Emerging Writers Program is to professionally support emerging arts writers who are committed to a career in the arena of contemporary art and criticism. This program contributes to the growth of a rich and insightful critical culture around contemporary art, providing participants with professional development and mentorship. This is the longest-running program of its kind in Australia and offers unparalleled access to professional networks and the opportunity to publish in some of Australia's leading arts publications and organisations.


Gertrude Emerging Writers have been published in, Art Monthly Australia, eyelineunMagazineDiscipline, West Space JournalVaultDissect and Realtime.


From 2013–2016, The Copyright Agency Cultural Fund has been a major supporter of the Emerging Writers Program.