Aspiring writers with disability are being encouraged to share stories of their childhood and adolescence in a new anthology series called Growing Up Disabled in Australia.
The collection, launched by Black Inc Books is now open for submissions from all writers in Australia who identify as disabled.
Writer of forthcoming memoir, Say Hello and disability advocate, Carly Findlay will edit the collection, which will comprise of non fiction pieces written in first person, capturing lived experience.
“I want young people to read this anthology and know what’s possible for them, to see that other disabled people have had similar experiences and to feel the impact of visibility and positive representation.”
Ms Findlay admits reading the experience of others allowed her to identify as having a disability.
“While I have had a lifelong chronic illness, I first identified as chronically ill and disabled when I heard other chronically ill and disabled people’s stories,” she says.
A portion of the proceeds generated by the anthology will be donated to Children and Young People with Disability Australia (CYDA) to continue their valued work.
Chief Executive Officer of CYDA Stephanie Gotlib says reading the experience of people with disability will help pave the way for better attitudes and understanding towards disability.
“Poor attitudes and understanding of disability are sadly very common in Australia. The most important and powerful way of changing the discourse and community understandings is to learn from the lived experience of people with disability,” she says.
“I am very excited about this anthology as I believe it will be a powerful way to gain an understanding of the lived experience of disability including the significant barriers children and young people with disability contend with and the great importance of progressing a strength based understanding of disability.”
She is encouraging children and young people with disability to share their experience in the Growing Up Disabled in Australia collection.
“Young people with disability have unique experience and perspective to voice.”
Ms Gotlib says 100 percent of the proceeds will help continue CYDA’s advocacy work.
“CYDA is positive that enough funds will be available to significantly contribute to the establishment of the CYDA Knowledge Youth Hub.”
Submissions between 1000-4000 words will be accepted until 5pm 31 May 2019 for publication in 2020.
Stories can be submitted as Word documents or audio files to [email protected]