2023 National Young Writers’ Festival  

Call for Festival Coordinator (Volunteers and Production)

The National Young Writers’ Festival (NYWF) is looking for one creative and energetic individual to come on board for the 2023-2024 Festivals as our official Volunteer and Production Coordinator, working alongside 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 Volunteer and Production coordinator 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;
  • You are passionate about brand development and increasing brand awareness and engagement for a smaller not-for-profit festival
  • 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 for this role – the NYWF is a national organisation and we want nation-wide involvement.


The role 

Position: Festival Coordinator (Volunteer and Production) (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 (second co-director, 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.
  • Sourcing and working with volunteers for the duration of the festival (doing a local based call out for anyone wanting to volunteer for the 2023 festival)
  • 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.

Coordinator (Marketing, Media and Brand) Job Description: Statement of Duties  

  • To drive the artistic production of the Festival in line with the Festival’s strategic vision; ∙
  • develop and coordinate call outs for volunteers in the lead up to and for the duration of the festival (locally).
  • provide administration production support to The NYWF manager (help with vendor/venue/partner liaison) and also liaise with venues about any on site induction needed for volunteers/staff.
  • generate creative ideas within the role accountabilities and actively contribute to idea generation.
  • in the lead up to the festival you will be required to lead induction and training for the volunteers (via zoom/or face to face TBD)
  • during the festival you will be required to organise, supervise and manage a small team of local volunteers.
  • To update NYWF manuals and documentation (in relation to your role) 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 production that meets NYWF’s strategic vision and is relevant to the target audience.
  • 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;
  • Efficiency in delegating tasks across a small team/a friendly attitude
  • Demonstrated proactivity and initiative; great time management and organisational skills, and the ability to manage and respond to deadlines allocated.


  • Awareness of or direct experience with the NYWF;
  • Experience coordinating and training volunteers
  • Production experience.
  • 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 cover letter addressing the selection criteria in one document to NYWF Chair, Jessica Alice, chair@youngwritersfestival.org with “NYWF Coordinator (Volunteers and Production) 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!