PF Rowland Memorial Fund

The PF Rowland Memorial Fund is auspices through the Foundation for Australian Literary Studies and in 2021 it has supported the Viva la Novella collaboration with Brio Books.

Viva-la-novella Award 2022

In 2021, FALS partnered with Brio Books to sponsor a prize in the Viva la Novella competition to encourage contributions from regional writers. In response, writers sent novella manuscripts from regional areas across all states and territories, a substantial increase in regional entries from previous years in the competition. Shortlisted writers were:

  • Christine Balint, Water Music
  • Kim Kelly, Rat Catcher
  • Andy Maconachie, Palm Cove
  • Eireann Nakivell, Blame

The winner for 2021, announced in September in an online reveal and attended by more than fifty writers, editors and readers from across Australia, was Christine Balint for Water Music.

FALS partnership with Brio Books and Viva la Novella also includes an opportunity for a JCU student to shadow the editing and production process with editor Alice Grundy. The student selected for this opportunity was Lianda Burrows, who is currently completing her PhD in Australian literary studies at JCU.

In 2022, FALS has partnered with Brio Books and Viva la Novella once again, and judging for the prize is currently underway, with a strong group of regional entries making the judges job a hard one. Another JCU student will also have the opportunity to shadow the editing and production process. The shortlist for 2022 will be published in March, and the winner announced later in the year.

Lianda Burrows (current JCU Postgraduate student) has been shadowing Alice Grundy with editing with David Henley (Brio Books) with production. Lianda’s preliminary report on her experience shadowing the editorial process for the Viva la Novella:

"The FALS Stepping Stone Program has given me a glimpse into literary publishing that is scarcely possible in regional areas, and hard to come by even in urban centres. It is a terrific opportunity to meet someone currently working in the industry - especially someone as highly regarded as Alice Grundy. Alice shadowed me through her first structural edit of the winning manuscript and has been incredibly receptive to my queries. From why particular manuscripts might win through to the kind of narrative continuity editors both look for and work to create, I've learnt a tremendous amount in only a few meetings. Even the differences between the kinds of edits publishers might do - from structural through to proofing - has been a learning experience. I would really recommend this program to any students eager to learn about publishing and improve their own writing, especially creative works."

More information

About Percy Fritz Rowland

PERCY FRITZ ROWLAND (1870-1945), headmaster of Townsville Grammar School from 1905 to 1938, was by any measure a remarkable man. Earning his way by scholarships and bursaries, rare in his day, he took Final Honours in Classics (Literae Humaniores) at Oxford in 1893. Undecided whether to enter journalism or education, he preferred the former but fell into the latter. After pursuing his calling as a schoolmaster in Ireland, England, New Zealand, and New South Wales—where he wrote one of the earliest books on the federation of the Australian colonies—he came to Queensland as Second Master at the Rockhampton Grammar School.

Rowland took up the herculean task of building up the Townsville Grammar School after the devastation of Cyclone Leonta. With his wife he struggled through years of challenge and hardship, never losing his faith in the future of North Queensland and making time to write scintillating articles and humorous sketches. That he succeeded is manifest in the men and women who went ahead to build useful and in some cases notable careers on the foundation he laid. The traditions which he established are still vital in the school which he built.

Read more about PF Rowland in this life summary by Anne McKay. The works formed part of Anne's fulfilment of the B.A. (Hons) degree requirements in 1972, it is a slight tribute to a man who bravely carried the torch of culture in North Queensland for a generation.