The National Young Writers’ Festival (NYWF) is looking for an emerging arts manager to manage the 2021 and 2022 Festivals, as part of a larger team of Festival staff.




About the National Young Writers’ Festival

NYWF is Australia’s premier gathering for young writers, publishers, performers and troublemakers. Every year, NYWF brings together the country’s most challenging and original young minds for a four-day creative bender. The festival is usually held in Newcastle over the October long weekend. In 2020 it was held online due to COVID-19. We are anticipating an in-person festival in 2021, subject to restrictions closer to the time.

The program includes a range of events: from panels, workshops and roundtables to performances, readings, installations, launches and the infamous NYWF Ball. It is a joyful, radical and transformative bootcamp for writers to develop their creative and career skills. For many writers, NYWF is the first chance to have their voice heard on a public stage.

Working at NYWF is a significant professional development experience. Previous NYWF staff have gone on to professional success in writing, publishing, journalism, programming and arts management.

This role is ideal for emerging arts professionals who would love to get their hands on an exciting national festival, give it their own flavour, and take it to the next level.


About the Role

The NYWF is seeking a Festival Co-Manager for the 2021 and 2022 Festivals.

Reasons to take on this role:

  • – You love Australia’s young and emergent writing communities;
  • – This is an invaluable opportunity to gain experience in arts management and festival operations; to receive direct mentoring and support from a dedicated board; to develop professionally and advance your career;
  • – This role gives you an unparalleled chance to develop your contacts and networks in the Australian arts communities; and
  • – You can get your hands on a vibrant, exciting national festival, give it your own flavour, and take it to another level.

You do not have to be based in Newcastle to manage the Festival.  NYWF is a national organisation and we want nation-wide involvement. However, the Festival Co-Managers must be ready to work closely with the NYWF team, the Octopod Association and the co-presenting festivals, including regular Skype and face-to-face meetings in Newcastle and Sydney.


Position: Festival Co-Manager
Tenure: 24 months, commencing January 2021
Details: This is a voluntary role, with allowances. Applicants can be based anywhere in Australia. We encourage applications from people from the Hunter region.
Time commitment:






Approximately 1.5 days per week year-round, with increased hours between June and September and around key milestones.  (It does get busy from June until the festival in late September / early October). Hours can be self-delegated to fit on around your schedule.  Evening and weekend work will often be required. Occasional weekend/one-day trips to Newcastle, or for Board, NYWF staff or TiNA meetings may also be required. The Festival Co-Manager will be expected to attend quarterly Board meetings (conducted via Skype). Candidates must be available to be in Newcastle for around 10 days in late September / early October to deliver the Festival.
Key Relationships:











Internal relationships

The Festival Co-Managers work closely with the Festival Co-Directors and are expected to help nurture a dynamic and collaborative team environment.

In consultation with the Co-Directors, the Co-Managers will engage and manage a creative team of Festival Coordinators (covering Production; Marketing & Publicity; Volunteer; Zine Fair; Younger Young Writers Program).

All staff are accountable to the NYWF Association and the Festival Co-Managers report to the NYWF Board, particularly the Chair. Each staff-member is individually supported by a mentor on the Board.

External relationships

The Festival Co-Managers are the primary contact for NYWF’s funders, which include state and federal government funding bodies. They will also work with Octopod Association, and other partner Festivals that are part of the TiNA program.

Fee, allowances:



This is a voluntary role. Staff receive a nominal fee of $2,500 per annum, plus per diem allowances. Approved travel, accommodation and other expenses are met by the organisation. NYWF will provide considerable professional development, networking and artistic opportunities for staff.


Selection Criteria
  • – Demonstrated desire to develop professionally in arts administration and project management;
  • – Professionalism and interpersonal skill: the ability to build and sustain professional relationships;
  • – Experience and interest in managing schedules, budgets, systems and operational workflow;
  • – Terrific team-work skills; and a sincere desire to work collaboratively;
  • – Demonstrated proactivity and initiative; great time management and organisational skills, and the ability to manage, and respond to, large volumes of correspondence.


  • – Awareness of or direct experience with NYWF;
  • – Experience coordinating events;
  • – Experience applying for or acquitting grants.

NYWF wants to put together a team with diverse skill sets and experience, drawn from around Australia. So be yourself, be aware, and be upfront about what you can bring to the Festival. We are interested in your commitment and vision, and in how this opportunity would contribute to your professional development.

Donʼt feel daunted by the selection criteria, and please feel free to get in touch with any questions. Successful candidates may not meet all selection criteria, and that is why we have a team. This is an opportunity to bring your skills and knowledge to the table, and to learn on the job.


How to apply – closing date FRIDAY 8th JANUARY, 5PM AEDT

Download the full position description.

Please send a CV and a cover letter addressing the selection criteria in one document to Joanna Davison, NYWF Board, at with “NYWF Co-Manager 2021-22” in the subject header.

Shortlisted applicants will be interviewed in January by Zoom or equivalent.