Parramatta’s story captured in literature

The hunt is on for a new Laureate in Literature to help bring to life the vision for the future of Parramatta as it cements its position as the true heart of global Sydney.

The City of Parramatta has partnered with literary journal, the Sydney Review of Books and Western Sydney University’s Writing and Society Research Centre to select a highly regarded writer who is making an outstanding contribution to literature – and, ideally, has connections to the Parramatta region – to take up the role of capturing and sharing the City’s story.

Director of the Writing and Society Research Centre, Dr Kate Fagan, said the City was fundamentally searching for a great storyteller.

“Literature makes a vital contribution to telling stories, remembering histories and shaping a vision for our future. The inaugural Parramatta Laureate in Literature will help to illuminate and share storying as a continuing life force in this region,” said Dr Fagan. “Western Sydney University is proud to support this vital work.”

“We’re absolutely delighted to be part of a project that will shine a spotlight on the artistic dynamism of a region with such a rich cultural heritage,” said Dr James Jiang, Editor of the Sydney Review of Books.

Parramatta’s Laureate in Literature will be paid $50,000 and will be selected by an expert panel drawn from the Sydney Review of Books, Writing and Society Research Centre, City of Parramatta and the local arts sector.

Dolla Merrillees, Director of Western Sydney Creative at Western Sydney University, said: “This project will create a once in a lifetime opportunity for one of our most talented writers and storytellers to engage with our community and inspire future generations, by celebrating what our City and region have achieved and the pivotal role they will play in Australia’s future.”

The City’s Laureate in Literature will spend the next year producing new work of scale inspired by the City’s aspirations for its future and outlined in four new strategies, as well as running writing workshops with the community.

Expressions of interest close on 20 October 2023 with the successful Laureate to be announced later this year.

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18 September 2023

Media Unit