The National Young Writers’ Festival (NYWF) occurs annually in the city of Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia, over the New South Wales’ Labour Day Holiday Weekend in late September. The 2018 festival will take place between September 27–30.
NYWF is the country’s largest gathering of young and innovative writers working in both new and traditional forms including zines, comics, blogging, screenwriting, poetry, spoken word, hip hop music, journalism, autobiography, comedy, songwriting and prose. The festival presents ‘writing’ in its broadest sense through panels, discussions, workshops, launches, performances, readings, installations, and more.
NYWF gives young writers a place to present their work and share ideas, to learn about the industry in which they write and to meet with like-minded people in a friendly festival atmosphere. NYWF is a co-presenter of This is Not Art. If you’d like to know more about the festival, check out the frequently asked questions or contact a staff member.
Raelee Lancaster is a Brisbane-based writer, research assistant and budding Arts and GLAM (galleries, libraries, archives and museums) professional. In 2018, her poetry won the Nakata Brophy Prize for Young Indigenous Writers and featured in the EX-EMBASSY exhibition and text series in Berlin. Raelee wants to empower young creatives and provide space for Indigenous knowledges and expertise.
Jesse Oliver is a Perth based performance poet and 2017 Australian Poetry Slam Champion. In 2018, he toured both nationally and internationally at destinations such as the Byron Bay Writers Festival, the Ubud Readers & Writers Festival, and the Hong Kong International Literary Festival. Now, Jesse has turned his attention to empowering others, building an army of young writers, helping the world grow and getting around to finishing his book.
Bonnie Stevens is a Melbourne-based writer, editor and publisher. She is the founding editor and publisher of arts and culture publication Mous Magazine and the founder and host of monthly panel discussions series INFORM. Her work has appeared in publications such as SBS Sexuality, Archer, GOAT, Global Hobo, Inside Out Magazine and Mous. In 2017 she was shortlisted for the Queensland Premier’s Young Publishers and Writers Award and in 2018 she was nominated for a Journalism and Media award at the Australian Adult Industry Awards.
Ellen is a writer, editor, and arts manager. She has experience as an editor of a nationally-distributed magazine, director of an arts organisation, marketing and events coordinator of a writers festival, community manager, and regional liaison for writing programs. Ellen has worked with the ACT Writers Centre, the Canberra Writers Festival, Ainslie and Gorman Arts Centres, Penguin Books, Random House Australia, Universal Magazines, National Novel Writing Month, and Dymocks Booksellers. Ellen is passionate about engaging with readers, writers, and artists, while also supporting the next generation of young creatives. Currently, Ellen is writing her third (unpublished) novel.
Deanne works by day at Writers Victoria, where she’s involved in various areas of arts administration and programming. By night, she freelances as an editor and writer, and she’s worked on projects across fiction, non-fiction, and academia. She has degrees in literature and publishing from The University of Queensland, worked for several years in bookselling, and is the former Reviews Editor of speculative fiction magazine Aurealis. Deanne drinks far too much tea, loves reading new fantasy, and will happily ramble about textual analysis for hours if you get her started.
Younger Young Writers' Program Producer
Jess works in book publishing and is a Senior Publicist (Children’s & Young Adult) at Allen & Unwin in Sydney. Prior to that, she worked at HarperCollins and was an editor for a self-publishing company in QLD. She is the co-creator of The Regal Fox, a website that showcases fiction and non-fiction from writers all around the world.
Shona is CEO of Melbourne Writers Festival, and was MWF’s General Manager for 5 years. She is an arts manager with over 15 years’ experience in the not-for-profit sector, in operations, business and strategic planning, financial management, human resources and fundraising. Before relocating to Melbourne from London in 2011, Shona worked in production and project management roles at the British Film Institute, working with the collections of the UK’s National Film and Television Archive.
Sarah trained as an actor and a writer before moving into arts management. She has held marketing and communications roles for a number of arts organisations including the Australian Youth Orchestra, Sydney Writers’ Festival and Pinchgut Opera. She is now General Manager of Pinchgut Opera, a role which is also responsible for marketing and fundraising.
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. In his spare time Mark is the Treasurer on four not-for-profit boards, a blogger, a lecturer 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.
Penny is a commercial lawyer who specialises in advising companies, not for profits and individuals on business structuring, commercial arrangements, corporate governance and intellectual property. She is currently a Senior Associate at Melbourne law firm Shiff & Company. Previously she worked at Piper Alderman, a national law firm, and in house at the BBC in London providing commercial and regulatory legal advice.
Steph Harmon is the culture editor of Guardian Australia. Prior to that, she was founding editor of Junkee.com, a politics, culture and comment site which publishes the best young writers around Australia. Before Junkee, she was editor of Sydney music and arts streetpress The Brag – with odd jobs at triple j, Radio National, and basically any outlet that would take her. She tweets from @stephharmon
Bhakthi Puvanenthiran is Associate Editor of Crikey.com.au. Previously Bhakthi was a journalist and editor at The Age and Sydney Morning Herald covering arts, entertainment and business. She co-hosted the podcast Hard Bargain, is a regular media commentator and and sits on the board of the National Young Writers Festival.