The National Young Writers’ Festival (NYWF) is looking for up to two creative and energetic individuals to co-direct 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


Position: Festival Co-Director (up to two positions available)
Tenure 24 months, commencing December 2020/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 and availability required between June and September.

Hours can be self-delegated. Most work however will be done remotely, however evening and weekend work may be required. If restrictions allow and it is deemed safe, occasional weekend/one-day trips to attend meetings, strategic planning or programming sessions may also be required.

The Festival Co-Directors will be expected to attend quarterly Board meetings (conducted via Skype/Zoom), as well as regular phone/email contact with board members.

Assuming an in-person festival can occur safely, candidates must be available to be in Newcastle for around 10 days in late September / early October to deliver the Festival. In the case of an online festival, we would still advise candidates have a clear schedule for this period.

Key Relationships: The Festival Co-Directors are expected to operate as a dynamic, collaborative team in conjunction with two Festival Co-Managers and a team of Festival Coordinators covering Production; Marketing & Publicity; Volunteer; Zine Fair; Younger Young Writers Program.

All staff are accountable to the NYWF Association and Co-Directors report to the NYWF Board, particularly the Board’s Artistic Subcommittee. Each staff-member is individually supported by a mentor on the Board.

Fee, allowances: This is a voluntary role. You will receive a fee of $2,500 per annum, plus per diem allowances. Approved travel, accommodation and other expenses are met by the organisation.


Selection Criteria

The ideal NYWF Co-director will have:

  • – Artistic vision: the desire to curate and deliver a program that supports the NYWF’s strategic vision and is relevant to the target audience, including to create events from the ground-up using artist applications;
  • – Strong connection with Australia’s writing communities; an understanding of the issues facing emerging and early-career writers, editors, publishers and performers;
  • – The ability to effectively network and communicate with a large number of people who have different levels of experience and confidence;
  • – 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.

The following will also be viewed favourably:

  • – Awareness of or direct experience with the NYWF;
  • – Experience curating and managing artistic projects and events;
  • – Connections with Newcastle’s artistic community, venues and cultural organisations.

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.

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.

You do not have to be based in Newcastle to direct the Festival – NYWF is a national organisation and we want nation-wide involvement. However, the Festival Co-Directors must be ready to work closely with the NYWF team, including regular Zoom and potentially face-to-face meetings in Newcastle and Sydney.


How to apply – closing date FRIDAY 27TH NOVEMBER, 5PM AEDT

Read through the information above or download the word doc version.

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

Shortlisted applicants will be interviewed in early December by Zoom or equivalent.