The National Young Writers’ Festival (NYWF) is an annual gathering of young writers. A place to show work, share ideas, and learn. Our programs are free, and made by and for young writers who create across stage, page, web and beyond. NYWF is so-called Australia’s largest gathering of young writers, with artists bringing their craft from all around (cities, regional, rural and our beloved regular cohort from Aotearoa). We showcase work in both new and traditional forms including zines, comics, blogging, screenwriting, poetry, spoken word, hip hop, music, journalism, autobiography, comedy and prose. 

Since its creation in 1998, NYWF has presented ‘writing’ in its broadest sense through panels, discussions, workshops, launches, performances, readings, installations, and more. Our program combines practical skill-building sessions with social events, interactive projects, writing showcases and collaborations.

National Young Writers’ Festival takes place on the land of the Awabakal and Worimi peoples in Newcastle, NSW. We acknowledge and pay respect to the Awabakal and Worimi people on whose land our festival was born; and many, many other First Nations Peoples as the traditional custodians of the unceded lands on which the festival occurs this year. We pay respect to elders, past, present and emerging. We acknowledge the resilience of their continuing cultures. This always was, always is, always will be Aboriginal land.

 

 

2023 Staff (TBA)

 

 

Board

Mark Thomas

Chair

Mark is a consultant who works with businesses and individuals to help them to excel. Often working with arts companies, start-ups, and entities that have fallen on hard times, he guides them to rationalize their strategic objectives and he gives them focus on those priorities that will help them to achieve their goals. Before commencing his consulting business, Mark worked for 25 years in the Financial sector, with 10 years in senior management, and before entering finance he enjoyed a career in engineering. Mark sits on three not-for-profit boards and on the Regional Council for an Industry Body in the Finance Sector. In his spare time he blogs, and lectures at Western Sydney University and for a finance industry body. He is a competitive rower and runner, and often is confounded by his two teenage children.

 

Joanna Davison

Treasurer

Joanna is an investment professional who has worked in the investment and superannuation industry for over 30 years. With experience initially managing assets in London and then Sydney, her career has progressed to senior leadership roles providing strategic input to the development of a business. Joanna was formerly Regional Managing Director for Australia and New Zealand of Colonial First State Global Asset Management and earlier Director of Sales & Client Service at Russell Investments. She is also an Honorary Associate of UTS. With a detailed knowledge of the superannuation industry and an extensive network Joanna has a passion for helping others achieve dignity in retirement.

 

Grace Heifetz

Grace grew up between Sydney and the Blue Mountains and has lived in London and San Francisco. Grace returned to Australia in 2002 and began working at Curtis Brown where she worked in a number of roles until mid-2019. In July 2019 she joined forces with fellow literary agent, Gaby Naher, to create Left Bank Literary where she represents clients such as Mark Brandi, Chris Hammer, Bri Lee and Nakkiah Lui. Grace is also on the board of the Blue Mountains Writers’ Festival and the National Young Writers’ Festival.

 

Catherine Sullivan

Catherine is a senior manager and legal counsel at ASX with over 25+ years of extensive law firm and in-house corporate legal experience. With expertise in governance, managing financial markets, data, risk, and operational efficiency. She is also a non-executive director at a number of leading not for profits arts organisations and is forever grateful for all the artists that make the world a better place.

 

Rachel Toop

Rachel has a background in events, corporate sponsorship, philanthropy, arts management and public policy, having worked across government and for leading and grassroots arts organisations, festivals and tours across Australia. She currently works for MOD. – an Adelaide-based future-focussed museum which explores the intersection of art, science and technology. Here she leads the design, development and delivery of its public and education programs. Previously she has held leadership roles for organisations such as the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Melbourne Writers Festival, and Rundle Mall, and was previously the Festival Manager of National Young Writers’ Festival in 2014 and 2015. She has also held positions within the South Australian Government’s Arts SA and Adelaide Writers’ Week, and has worked as a book buyer and literary event producer.

 

Marika Webb-Pullman

Marika Webb-Pullman is a communications professional from Sydney, currently living in the Macedon Ranges, just outside Melbourne. She’s the associate publisher at Scribe Publications, one of Australia’s key independent publishing houses, where she’s building a list that includes literary fiction, narrative nonfiction, and projects in translation. Marika has been working in publishing and online media for more than a decade, across roles in marketing, editorial, and digital strategy. Before joining Scribe, she was the marketing and subscriptions manager at Crikey.