The National Young Writers’ Festival (NYWF) is an annual gathering of young writers. It’s 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 the country’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. We pay respect to Elders past and present and we acknowledge the resilience of their continuing cultures. This always was, always is, always will be Aboriginal land.

In 2024, we’ll be putting a pause on our annual programming to plan, reassess and re-design the festival. We look forward to seeing you again in 2025.




Matthew Tomich (General Manager)

Matthew Tomich is a writer, broadcaster and musician based in Boorloo (Perth), Western Australia. His writing has been published in Voiceworks, Noisey, The West Australian and in various street press publications, including Beat, The Brag, X-Press and The Music. He was an artist at the Emerging Writers’ Festival and NYWF in 2014.

Matthew has worked in strategic communications and programming roles across the arts and community sectors for over eight years, serving in positions at RTRFM, Regional Arts WA and the Youth Affairs Council of Western Australia (YACWA). He is a volunteer grant assessor at the Community Broadcasting Foundation, a former board member of Youth Work WA, and was recently elected to as a Board Director of Propel Youth Arts WA, Western Australia’s peak body for youth arts.



NYWF Board


Jessica Alice (Chair)

Jessica Alice is a poet, writer and arts advocate. She is Chief Executive Officer of Writers SA, the peak organisation for writing and literature in South Australia, and Chair of the Arts Industry Council of South Australia, the state’s independent, sector-wide representative arts body. She holds a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Cultural Leadership from the National Institute of Dramatic Art. Jessica was formerly Program Manager of Melbourne Writers Festival, a member of the executive leadership team at Regional Arts Victoria as Marketing & Publicity Manager, and she served as the inaugural chair of the Kat Muscat Fellowship for young writers and editors where she remains a custodial committee member. Her poetry and essays are published in Meanjin, Overland, Cordite Poetry Review, Australian Poetry Journal, Guardian Australia, Metro Magazine, and in several anthologies. Jessica was Co-Director of the National Young Writers’ Festival from 2014–15.


Michael Daley (Treasurer)

Michael Daley is an experienced and creative corporate leader currently specialising in financial markets and services, with a longstanding career at Macquarie Group covering a wide variety of roles in global markets. An influential collaborator with a history of motivational leadership championing diversity and inclusion, Michael is a patron of the Australian arts sector and passionate about supporting young writers to connect and collaborate to create the next generation of Australian writers.


Lex Hirst

Lex Hirst is the Publishing Director at Sydney-based independent publishing house, Pantera Press. A publisher of socially driven, culturally vital books, she is always on the lookout for big ideas, new voices and brilliant storytelling. Lex is also Deputy Chair of the National Young Writers’ Festival Board, having been a previous Co-Director in 2014-15, and an occasional literary event programmer.


Lefa Singleton Norton

Lefa is a disabled freelance writer and creative producer from Melbourne. Currently she works as a Creative Producer for Arts Access Victoria. Most recently she was a contributor to We’ve Got This: Stories by Disabled Parents (Black Inc., 2022) where she wrote about how her feminism and disability politics have shaped her parenting. Lefa’s freelance writing has been featured in publications such as The Age, ABC Everyday, SBS Online, Overland, Junkee and The Big Issue. She has been heard on radio stations including Radio National, Triple RRR, SYN FM and 3CR delivering book reviews and discussing issues including feminism, disability and gender discrimination. As a producer she has designed and delivered literary events within festivals, libraries and arts organisations such as Express Media. More broadly she has produced award winning comedy shows, feminist parenting salons and industry events including the Independent Publishing Conference and Meeting Place (a national forum about access, arts and disability).


Andia Petropoulos

Andia Petropoulos is an experienced professional and lawyer specialising in financial markets, fintech, and law reform. Andia has a broad career encompassing experience working at a global law firm, UN system, stock exchange and the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC). Demonstrating genuine interest in promoting diversity and inclusion in the workplace, Andia was chair of ASX’s Women’s Network and founding member of ASX’s Culture & Heritage Committee. She is currently a member of ASIC’s Women in ASIC Leadership Team. Andia also engages in the not-for-profit community, having previously participated in The Observership Program and held the position of Board Observer with the Sydney Theatre Company in 2020. Andia is an admitted solicitor of the Supreme Court of New South Wales and Federal Court of Australia.


Laurie May