Sunday, 31 August 2014

Playwrights need not apply

The Queensland Literary Awards deadline is fast approaching, but if you are a playwright, this year you need not apply. When the current Queensland Premier, Campbell Newman, decided that the established practice of Premiers awarding outstanding Australian writers was a waste of money, an assortment of literature advocates formed a not-for-profit association that would carry on this tradition. The efforts and passion of these volunteers in the face of cultural barbarism is nothing short of admirable. However, in the reshuffle, the Play Award has disappeared. Why have playwrights been left out of the new mix? Is it an oversight? A failure to find a sponsor for the award? An admission that the award can no longer come with a production? An indication that some hold the view that plays generally are not outstanding? Either way, the loss of an honoured award is yet another blow for our already beleaguered profession.

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