2023 National Young Writers’ Festival  

Call for Festival Co-Director

The National Young Writers’ Festival (NYWF) is looking for one creative and energetic individual to co-direct the 2023-2024 Festivals, as part of a small team of festival staff.


About the National Young Writers’ Festival 

The 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 program includes a range of events: from panels, workshops and roundtables to performances, readings, installations and launches. As well as focusing on craft, literary skill and industry mentorship, NYWF places a strong emphasis on the ideas, politics, communities and cultural practices that surround writing in all its forms. NYWF champions fringe, experimental and emerging forms, and the practices that fall through the cracks of mainstream platforms. It creates 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. For over 20 years, it has been the launch pad for careers, collaborations and friendships.

Working for NYWF is a significant professional development experience. Previous NYWF staff have gone on to gain professional success in writing, publishing, journalism, programming and arts management. Some are now published authors; others work at organisations including the ABC, Fairfax Media, the Emerging Writers’ Festival, Writers SA, Melbourne International Comedy Festival, and Footscray Community Arts Centre.

The NYWF receives funding from state and federal governments, and other project partners. The program is curated according to the Co-Directors’ creative vision: key artists are invited for demonstrating merit and contributing to the Australian writing scene, alongside a majority of artists sourced via an open call-out.

We Want You!  

The NYWF is seeking one co-director for the 2023-2024 Festivals. 

 Reasons to take on this role: 


  • You love Australia’s young and emerging writing communities.
  • This is an invaluable opportunity to gain experience in the writing/publishing communities and in programming and curation; while receiving direct mentoring and support from a dedicated Board; to develop your skills professionally and advance your career.
  • This role gives you an unparalleled chance to develop your contacts and networks in the Australian writing, publishing and literary arts communities; and
  • You can get your hands on a vibrant, exciting national festival, give it your own flavour, and take it to the next level.

You do not have to be based in Newcastle to direct the Festival – the NYWF is a national organisation and we want nation-wide involvement.

The role 

Position: Festival Co-Director (one position available)

Tenure 24 months, commencing 2023-2024

Details: This is a voluntary role, with allowances. Applicants can be based anywhere in Australia. We encourage applications from people from the Hunter region and strongly encourage First Nations people to apply for the role.

Time commitment: Approximately 1 day per week year-round, with increased hours between June and September and around key milestones.

Hours can be self-delegated and need not be 9–5. Evening and weekend work will often be required. Occasional travel for site visits to Newcastle and NYWF Launch events and in person planning meetings may also be required.

Candidates must be available to be in Newcastle for around 10 days in late September / early October to deliver the Festival.


Key Relationships:

 Internal relationships

  • Working with the NYWF Manager and current co-director and other relevant NYWF staff (Coordinator of Marketing, Media and Brand, and the Production and Volunteer coordinator)   to create and deliver the Festival Program
  • NYWF staff also are accountable to the NYWF Board and will work with them to deliver the 2023/2024 festival

External relationships:

  • Managing the relationship between our main venue partner Newcastle Library and other satellite venues as needed
  • Working with sponsors eg. Publishing companies and their artists to create events for them in the program
  • Working with other festivals as needed.





This is a voluntary role. You will be eligible to receive an honorarium (previously $2000 per annum this will be increased in 2023/2024) plus per diem allowances.

Approved travel, accommodation and other expenses are met by the organisation. The NYWF will also always aim to provide you with considerable professional development, networking and artistic opportunities.

NYWF Co-Director Job Description: Statement of Duties 

Jointly with other Co-Director and staff: 

  • To drive the artistic vision of the Festival in line with the Festival’s strategic vision; ∙ To create the Festival program
  • invite key artists;
  • create and promote the artist callout, and select artists through applications;
  • build new artistic networks with diverse communities to source talent, make new connections,  and grow the Festival’s artistic base from across Australia;
  • work with individuals and organisations to curate the program and program partnerships
  • draw on existing artistic networks to source talent;
  • curate, program and organise Festival events in a wide variety of formats;
  • To network with artists and partnering organisations to build and sustain solid artistic relationships;
  • To identify and develop artistic and strategic relationships with other literary organisations; ∙ Write program content for print and online;
  • To provide leadership to staff and volunteers in realising the artistic vision of the Festival and vitality of the NYWF;
  • To update NYWF manuals and documentation after each Festival, and participate fully in wrap-up and  handover at the end of the tenure.

Selection Criteria  

  • 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;
  • 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.


  • 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.

How to apply – closing date 11 May 2023 11:59pm AEST

Please send a brief CV and a cover letter addressing the selection criteria in one document to NYWF Chair, Jessica Alice, chair@youngwritersfestival.org with “NYWF Co-Director 2023-24” in the subject header.

Shortlisted applicants will be interviewed shortly after the closing date (May 11 2023), either face-to-face or via Zoom

For more information about this position please do not hesitate (we mean it!) to contact our festival manager Chloe Mills at chloe@youngwritersfestival.org

Good luck!