Stella Sector Consultation Summary
In line with our 10-year anniversary, Stella recently received Australia Council funding to consult with our sector, reflect on our impact to date, and inform our plans for the future.
More than 200 people from all over Australia had their say via our online survey and industry roundtables.
It was affirming to learn how much gender equity has improved across Australia’s literary sector over the last decade, and what respondents saw as Stella’s role in making that happen.
“It was heartening to see the commitment and energy brought to the roundtables by all attendees. There is clear and strong support for the Stella to continue to grow and change to fulfill its objectives, and a definite recognition of the impact the Stella has already had to date. To see representation from creators, publishers, agents and support organisations for writers, all sharing a sense of purpose to extend and develop the Stella for the future was simply wonderful.”– Zoya Patel, roundtable facilitator and former judge of The Stella Prize
While the overall situation may have improved, however, it was also clear that we now find ourselves in a more complex and contested landscape than the one Stella was originally set up to address.
Respondents identified a number of gaps, issues and opportunities, primarily in the areas of decolonisation, representation and intersectionality, but also advocacy and visibility, financial access, privilege and class, career stage and genre, book reviews, marketing and sales.
The sector’s understanding of gender diversity has increased dramatically, along with an understanding of the impact of intersectionality on representation and access – one that is disproportionately experienced by First Nations and People of Colour, Deaf and Disabled people, LGBTQIA, trans and non-binary people, people based outside of Sydney and Melbourne and in the regions.
While there is no single way to address this complexity, or indeed consensus, around who should take responsibility for doing so, it’s clear that the next ten years will require cross-sector collaboration and community-led solutions.
Thank you to everyone who participated through the survey and round-tables. We are grateful for the support, wisdom and candour of our literary community. Your thoughts, ideas and feedback will inform Stella’s future planning and partnerships, both in terms of the direct programs we provide and our broader advocacy role.