Stephanie Eslake (TAS) is the winner of Kill Your Darlings inaugural New Critic Award. The award includes the publication of up to eight works of original criticism, a $4000 cash prize and a mentorship with senior KYD editorial staff.
Based in Hobart, Stephanie is an arts journalist and trained classical saxophonist. In 2014, she founded CutCommon, Australia’s only online magazine for the young classical musician, and her writing has previously appeared in Limelight Magazine and The Mercury. She has also hosted features on Edge Radio 99.3, ABC Classic FM, and written program notes for the Queensland and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestras. In 2016, she was named a semi-finalist in the Tasmanian Young Achiever of the Year Awards and won the City of Hobart Australia Day 2017 Young Citizen of the Year Award for her contributions to the arts.
On her win, Stephanie says:
I see the KYD New Critic Award as an invaluable opportunity to develop as a young writer. Since graduating from university I have enjoyed building my portfolio, but have also learned that when entering the media industry there are fewer opportunities to reflect and receive guidance on our early-career writing. I am thrilled to be named in this award, but most excited to receive mentorship with KYD’s leaders in quality arts journalism.
As KYD’s New Critic, Stephanie will write about music in Tasmania. Publishing director and editor-in-chief Rebecca Starford says of Stephanie’s award:
Stephanie brings fascinating insight and perspective to her role as KYD’s New Critic: she is both a music writer and practitioner. We see this frequently in literature, but it’s rare to have these contributions in other art forms, and this combination opens up all kinds of fascinating pathways for insight and engagement with music criticism.
To think critically about art and performance outside of the traditional precincts (Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane) is also really exciting for the magazine and our readers. We look forward to reporting on upcoming cultural events in Tasmania and finding new audiences there.
The KYD New Critic Award had nearly 100 entries from emerging writers from all over Australia. Entries for the 2018 KYD New Critic Award will open later this year.