In 2015, the Kurnai nation woman was awarded an annual fellowship, which is up for grabs again this year.
Emerging Indigenous writers have the chance to win $10,000 dollars and become published authors through a national initiative known as Black&write!
“It’s such a boost to your confidence, just being given a chance is really important and doesn’t come every day,” Jannali Jones said.
It’s part of the State Library of Queensland’s commitment to telling, sharing and documenting Aboriginal stories.
Each year, two Black&write! Fellowships are offered to published or unpublished authors across the nation.
It’s the only project of its kind in Australia, aimed at fostering a community of emerging Indigenous writers.
Miss Jones knows fist-hand how hard it can be to break into the mainstream media.
She says it’s difficult to find a publisher who is willing to market oral histories, and that’s why this fellowship is so highly coveted.
“Writing to get a novel published was the main draw for me ... It’s about creating awareness of what it is to be Aboriginal, it’s about celebrating culture but also promoting who we are.”
A POEM FROM JANNALI JONES
Heartprints: A series of portraits
You sit on straying lines,
Holding much and little,
Leaning on a shared load.
I watch your creation of landscape,
An artist’s roadmap in time,
And know your shadow’s by my side.
Too much shell, too little flesh.
You appeared in frozen sand dunes.
Drew me from my own egg
To turn my voice into another’s.
I’m waiting at the tide’s edge
As your figure disappears
Into the horizon.
You hold a tilted mirror
Within which blinks a phoenix
Singing louder than my taloned voice.
You raise me higher than my height
Even when it hurts my head.
I want to draw you a snowy sunrise
But my green eyes know your circle
Of hearts, hands and smiles.
An angelic breath
Gliding lighting across the earth.
Your radiance draws moths and dragonflies,
Wasps and butterflies.
I wave to you in a sea of faces,
My movements drowned by the mist,
And see now from afar
Your intangible, flawed perfection.
Man Of A Name:
Strength tempered by a heart
That softens our divide.
Your patience draws me up
A whispered reflection; intersecting;
Drawn to a shelter built,
An unnamed, tactile home.
I’m listening for Tea’s ticking
Against the maelstrom behind the glass
But your future memory haunts me
As if these moments have already passed.
Entries for the 2016 Black&write! Indigenous Writing Fellowships close on Friday, February 26.
To enter, go to http://www.slq.qld.gov.au/whats-on/awards/blackwrite/fellowships