Want to get involved with NYWF in 2022?

NWYF is back for its 25th anniversary, back in person, and back online. 2022 is here and we are collectively dusting ourselves off, picking ourselves back up, heading back to our home in Newcastle, and ready to write alongside our communities. 

This year we are returning with a hybrid model, retaining a digital program that will exist alongside the in-person festival which takes place across the October long weekend in Newcastle, NSW.

We’re looking for young writers or artists who are interested in becoming part of the NYWF 2022 family. We’re searching for the usual and unusual suspects. Maybe you’re writing a novel; maybe you write the specials in ALDI catalogues; we don’t mind. Whether you’re a journalist, novelist, poet, podcaster, blogger, content maker, lyricist, comedian or anything in between, it’s time to flex those application-writing muscles!

Our 2022 theme is LOOKING FORWARD, GOING BACK, asking writers to pause, contemplate the way they have travelled, the people they have met, the lessons they have learned, and set their sights on the road ahead. Janus-faced, we have one eye on the past and the other towards the future. As we return to Newcastle, to an in-person festival for the first time in three years, we are going back to our festival home. By retaining our digital program we are looking forward to a bright, more-inclusive future. Whether in-person or online, we want to take up this opportunity to come together and, through our combined strength, reimagine our society for the better. We have collectively reached a crossroads and it’s up to us to decide the direction we will take.

Let us know all your hopes and dreams for 2022. Tell us what you’ve been up to! Pitch us your event ideas; whether they respond to the theme or not! We’re looking for ideas for workshops, panels, readings, roundtables, performances, and events we may not have even thought of. So, get writing and please don’t be afraid to get a little wild in your application!

We can offer an artist fee of $100 per event, $200 for workshops, and the choice between accommodation at the Newcastle YHA or a $40/night accommodation subsidy.

If you are someone who has missed out in previous years due to difficulties in funding travel, we hear you. This year we are strongly encouraging artists from regional and far off places to apply! If selected, we are happy to assist and support you in externally funding travel options, and/or in some cases a travel bursary.


Applications are open right NOW and close at 11:59pm AEST on Sunday 8 May 2022, but make sure you get your application in sooner than later!


Artist Application form here!


Click here to download either a Word version of our Artist Callout Pack or a PDF version.


Age limit (i.e. how young is is ‘young?’)

The National Young Writers’ Festival focuses on creating opportunities for writers aged 18 to 35; however, artists and festival-goers of all ages are encouraged to get involved. Having some more experienced writers and industry folk on our panels and in our audiences is an invaluable part of the NYWF experience. If you are a writer between 13 and 17 years of age, you can get involved with our Younger Young Writers’ Program (filter for YYWP in the first filter menu to see only these events).


Application process and timeline

Applications are done online. We welcome applications from writers across all forms and styles, aged 18 – 35, from anywhere in Australia or New Zealand. You can apply as an individual, or as a collective / group. We also accept applications from folks beyond these parameters on a case by case basis. More information on the festival and application process is in our FAQs. If you’d like to discuss your application with us before sending it in, please get in touch.

After submitting your application, you’ll get a confirmation email from us. You’ll also get an email from us around May to say if your application was successful or not, and to outline next steps. If you’re a festival artist, you’ll be given information on your events and put in touch with artists you’re featuring with. You’ll also be connected to one of our directors, who will be your point of contact for all things organising and preparing for the festival. 

In August or September each year, the program is published on our website and often launched in a special event. The actual festival dates are the late September / early October NSW public holiday long weekend.


What to include in your application

Great applications tend to be thorough. We want to know who you are and what you do? What are your passions? What do you love to write and for whom? Who are your influences, what are your aspirations? 

When it comes to your pitches for events, we favour people with a specific vision. It is good to hear that you want to pitch an event about horror fiction, but it’s great to hear that you want to pitch a panel discussion about the gothic horror tradition in Australian literature, where it succeeds, and the extent to which it misappropriates Indigenous storytelling. 

We may not necessarily program every event pitch we love, but it’s also a window into how you think and the sorts of topics on which you might be well equipped to speak.  


Being involved beyond featuring as an artist

To show equal treatment, we don’t accept applications after the closing deadline. 

Our directors receive hundreds of quality applications each year and if yours was not selected, it’s not personal! Often a writer’s application may be strong and interesting but not fit seamlessly with our festival theme, or we may have a surplus of excellent applications for the number of positions our budget allows. Each year applications are selected based on a number of things; on the experience and voice of the writers, on the quality of their event pitches, and the strength of their ideas. It’s a complicated balancing act, and please know that we read and appreciate each and every one.

If you miss the deadline or your application was not chosen, we’d love you to apply next year, and of course to get involved in events! We always include workshops and other participatory sessions in our festival program. NYWF audience members are predominantly writers themselves.

We have a strong team of volunteers who keep the festival running each year. 

Our core team of directors, producers and other arts geniuses is regularly changing – we have limited-time stints so that the opportunity to work on NYWF is spread widely. 

We partner and work with other organisations in the arts, media, education, and more! Would you like to support us or collaborate with us?

Contact us to find out more about volunteering, becoming a team member, or partnering with us.