The flagship initiative of the ACT Writers Centre, funded by the Australia Council, and delivered between 2014 and 2019, HARDCOPY was a highly regarded development program for emerging Australian writers.

HARDCOPY offered significant development opportunities for 150 emerging writers from all states and territories. 

The program focused on:

  • manuscript development;
  • increasing industry knowledge;
  • facilitating relationships between emerging writers and agents/publishers; and
  • breaking down the barriers of location and geography.

Underpinned by the principle of pragmatic optimism – being aware of the challenges but also being positive about the future – HARDCOPY did not specifically aim to have its participants achieve publication. However, it is pleasing to note a wide range of publishing outcomes.

A list of HARDCOPY alumnus will appear on this page shortly.

Agents and publishers who participated in the program included Affirm Press, Allen & Unwin, Black Inc., Blemish Books, Echo Publishing, Editia, Finlay Lloyd, Hachette Australia, HarperCollins, New South, Penguin Random House, Scribe, Text Publishing, Thames & Hudson, Transit Lounge, UQP, UWAP, and Xoum.

Agents included Jenny Darling, Jacinta Di Mase, Grace Hefeitz, Fiona Inglis, Gaby Naher, Pippa Masson, Benython Oldfield, Jane Novak and Benjamin Stevenson.

The ACT Writers Centre is grateful for the contributions made by the above industry leaders. The Centre also wishes to acknowledge the significant contributions of freelance editors Mary Cunnane and Nadine Davidoff.

In 2020 HARDCOPY is being rested. The ACT Writers Centre is currently exploring ways to build on the experience and success of the program, so watch this space.

If you would like to get a flavour of the HARDCOPY experience, please watch the following video.



The ACT Writers Centre acknowledges the Australia Council, whose funding and support was essential in being able to deliver HARDCOPY. The Centre also gratefully acknowledges the following key collaborators: the First Nations Australia Writers’ Network, the National Library of Australia, and Ainslie + Gorman Arts Centres.