The program for the 2018 National Young Writers’ Festival (NYWF), running between September 27-30 in Newcastle, has been announced. The festival runs concurrently with and is part of the This is Not Art festival collective.
For over 21 years, artists and audiences from Australia and New Zealand have embraced the festival’s mandate to be fun, informative, and celebratory. This year, attendees will experience events that continue to expand on the broad definition of ‘writing’ with a program that prioritises the importance of rolling up your sleeves and creating with your community.
Nayuka Gorrie and Enoch Mailangi will talk about being funny on screen; Djed Press founder, Hella Ibrahim, and Australia Council for the Arts Grants Officer, Sophie Byrne will demystify the funding process; Jamie Marina Lau will discuss drawing inspiration from the surreal elements of everyday life; and writers Stephen Pham and Monikka Eliah from Sweatshop will host a workshop on personal experience as a foundation for writing. Panels promise to be revelatory, with discussions ranging from selfhood and syntax, to silliness and social change. On the Friday night, the festival presents ‘Nothing About Us Without Us’: readings by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists, curated by creative producer, Raelee Lancaster.
Audiences will get playful with an interactive showcase of weird and wonderful collaborative games as part of our collaboration with Freeplay Festival; there will be readings about the sea, by the sea; there will be a Wedding Extravaganza where you can get hitched to your new best friend, festival crush, or favourite book. The Saturday-night fan-favourite ball has become a collaborative interactive art party with sister festival CrackX. The festival will wrap up by hosting its annual Zine Fair, taking place in the City Library.
Festival Co-Directors, Caleb Triscari, Jini Maxwell, Jesse Oliver and Maggie Thompson, have sought to create a platform for artists and audiences to connect with and affirm their communities.
“We promote the value of community in a way that is unique to NYWF. Most people who come to our festival are invested in the Australian arts economy as readers, critics, workers, and creators, often simultaneously,” said the Co-Directors. “We consider it self-evident from the people who make up our community of young creators that we would celebrate diversity and inclusivity in all its forms. We are hopeful that this program celebrates the multitudes that each of our artists brings to the festival, and to the broader arts community.”
The NYWF Co-Directors are thrilled to expand the 2017 Pride Program and present the Young Queer Writers’ Program, featuring LGBTIQ+ artists and writers, which is funded by FRRR ABC Heywire Youth Innovation Grants Program. This will run alongside the Younger Young Writers’ Program for high school and university students, which has been operating for several years.
The festival has also prioritised accessibility; all NYWF venues will be wheelchair accessible.
Festival chair Shona Barrett is incredibly proud of the NYWF 2018 program: “Each year, NYWF provides a unique platform, a place for young writers to celebrate and develop their practice amongst a community of peers. The NYWF team has worked tirelessly to curate an exciting and relevant program which explores the broadest range of writing and publishing practice.”
The National Young Writers’ Festival takes place on the unceded lands of the Awabakal people, who have been sharing stories on the land since time immemorial. We pay our respects to their elders past, present, and emerging, and acknowledge that sovereignty was never ceded.