Flinders MP Greg Hunt is thrilled to announce that local author and renowned writer Garry Disher has received an Australia Council for the Arts grant of more than $31,000 to assist him to write a novel for young adults.
Garry Disher is well-known for many of the award-winning works he has written for children and young adults including The Bamboo Flute, Ratface, Maddie Finn, Blame the Wind, Eva’s Angel and The Divine Wind, several of which have appeared on school book lists and been studied by countless students.
His adult fiction includes crime novels Whispering Death, The Dragon Man, Blood Moon and others set in fictional towns based on real life townships on the Mornington Peninsula, as well as the Wyatt thrillers and general novels such as Past the Headlands and The Sunken Road.
Mr Hunt said it was fantastic to be able to support local talent and hopefully inspire another generation of writers.
“I congratulate Garry on receiving this grant and thank him for the enormous contribution he has made to children’s literature,” Mr Hunt said.
“Inspiring children to read from a young age sets them on a good path for their academic life and beyond.”
“These grants give our local artists opportunities to develop their professional skills and create works that will entertain and inspire Australian and international audiences.”
Disher said he would use the grant to write a young adult novel set in rural Victoria before and soon after the First World War.
“It has been a while since I have written for teenagers and young children but I’ve always received a warm reception for my young adult novels so I am looking forward to returning to this genre,” Disher said.
“Writers need to keep themselves fresh, either by trying new approaches or having a break from old ones. A young adult novel will give me a break from writing a string of adult crime novels.”
Much of Disher’s inspiration comes from stories that have been passed down through his family and incorporate his interest in Australian History, for which he has a Master’s Degree.
“This book is loosely based on a story my grandfather told me about burying two sisters during the 1919 influenza epidemic. I’ve had the idea in my head for years but only recently known how I might use it creatively.”
“I hope my books entertain children, while also teaching them a little about Australian history,” Disher said.
The Australia Council’s core grants program supports the creation and presentation of new artistic work across Australia with the intention of building the profile of Australian arts and culture both nationally and internationally.
For more information on the Australia Council for the Arts or to apply for a grant visit www.australiacouncil.gov.au Applications for the latest grant round close February 2, 2016.