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Writing Fellowships awarded to Melbourne’s emerging writers

15 Jan 2016

Melbourne Polytechnic is very pleased to announce the winners of the inaugural 2016 Melbourne Polytechnic Fellowship for Writers, based at our Fairfield campus in Yarra Bend Road.

The quality of the applications for the fellowship was so good, the Bachelor of Writing and Publishing program has decided to award the residential fellowship to three Melbourne writers: Mark Brandi, Emma Viskic, and Nicole Hayes.

The three writers will have twelve week residencies at the beautiful, heritage-listed campus between February and May 2016, where they will have a secure workspace to support the development of their major writing project.  

Mark Brandi (pictured above) is pleased to have been selected, as residential writing fellowships are few and far between in Victoria.

‘I am just thrilled to have won a Fellowship alongside such talented writers,’ he said. ‘It will allow me time and space to focus on my writing without distractions – I can't wait!’

Dr Alice Robinson, Lecturer in the Bachelor of Writing and Publishing program, said they were very pleased at the quality of the applicants, and that the final choice of the shortlist was a very difficult one. The longlisted writers were Mark Brandi, Alexandra Heller-Nichols, Emma Viskic, Nicole Hayes, Roz Bellamy, Stephen Orr and Georgina Luck.

About the winners:

Mark Brandi was born in Italy and then spent his childhood in a country Victorian pub. He now lives in Melbourne, where he writes fiction. He has been the recipient of many writing awards and residencies, including Varuna Residential Fellowships in 2015 and 2016, and is now represented by Curtis Brown.


Emma Viskic is the author of the critically acclaimed crime novel, Resurrection Bay (Echo Publishing, 2015). She has won both the Ned Kelly Award, and the New England Thunderbolt Prize for her short form fiction, and has been published in Award Winning Australian Writing 2014 and 2015. A classical musician by training, Emma lives in Northcote, and divides her time between performing, writing and teaching.


Nicole Hayes is an author and writing teacher based in Melbourne. Her debut novel, The Whole of My World (Random House 2013), about family, friendship and football, was longlisted for the 2014 Gold Inky Award, and shortlisted for the 2014 Young Australians’ Best Book Award (YABBA). Her second novel, One True Thing, (Random House, May 2015), is a tale of music, politics, and secrets, and was recently awarded the Children’s Peace Literature Award (2015). 

Nicole has an MA in Creative Writing and has taught fiction and screenwriting for more than five years at University of Melbourne. She is currently co-editing (with Alicia Sometimes) an anthology of Australian writers for Black Inc, due for publication in April 2016, and is working on the first draft of her new Young Adult novel, tentatively scheduled for publication with Random House in 2017.


Media enquiries should be directed to Melbourne Polytechnic Media Officer, Anita Coia, on 03 9269 1251 or ua.ud1569003252e.cin1569003252hcety1569003252lopen1569003252ruobl1569003252em@ai1569003252deM1569003252.

Melbourne Polytechnic operates across six campuses and five specialist training centres throughout Melbourne. The institute delivers high quality vocational education in industry-standard facilities.