The annual Hazel Rowley Literary Fellowship commemorates the work of Hazel Rowley
Hazel benefited in her early career from such a fellowship. When researching the Richard Wright biography, Hazel won a fellowship grant that enabled her to travel to the USA to access the Wright papers at the University Library in Austin, Texas. The Fellowship offers an emerging or established writer a similar opportunity to enable them to research or progress their writing.
Through her work Hazel Rowley explored the lives of courageous people who all, in some way, felt ‘outsiders’ in society and were willing to lead unconventional lives. They were all passionate people, risk-takers, who cared about the world and felt angry about injustice. Hazel saw her books as ‘voyages of discovery’ and aimed to inspire and enrich her readers.
“My books are about people who had the courage to break out of their confined world and help others to do the same.”
Hazel herself was a risk-taker. She was ambitious in her choice of subject matter for her biographies and threw herself into their worlds, be it Australia, France or America.
“I moved to Paris, rented a fifth-floor walk-up, filled it with my books, and went out to talk to those who remained from Beauvoir and Sartre’s intimate circle.”
In an article in The Age on 16 October 2016 journalist Jane Sullivan acknowledged the positive impact the Hazel Rowley Fellowship has had on promoting and supporting the writing of Australian biography.