National Young Writers Festival is held every year in the Pambalong people’s land in Awabakal Nation, in Newcastle, in northern New South Wales.
What is National Young Writers Festival?
It is part of This is Not Art which is a large emerging arts festival based in Newcastle. It runs for four days over the Labour Day weekend. It includes the National Young Writers Festival, CRACK X which is the performance art festival and Critical Animals which is a creative research symposium for those engaged with creative and experimental arts practices. This is Not Art takes place on the land of the Pambalong people of the Awabakal nation.
The best thing about the National Young Writers Festival is that most, if not all, the events are free. FREE. You just have to get yourself to New South Wales and then to Newcastle and maybe book online to ensure yourself a spot but apart from that, yes, it is free.
The Festival runs on grants and has a board that decides on its direction. What’s that you say? A board that I am not magically on somehow? Why yes. Fear not, the awesome Bhakthi is on it so I am sure she is doing a great job.
How do you get to be part of National Young Writers Festival?
You apply as a writer to be part of the program for the Festival. And then they let you know you have been accepted, then they let everyone else know, and then they finally tell you what you have been programmed to be a part of.
This year is my first year being there and I am on three panels. THREE panels. Upon my word and honour.
What panels am I on at National Young Writers Festival?
I will be there from Wednesday through till Monday. But the events I am part of run on Friday and Sunday.
Friday, September 28:
At 11 am I will be part of a Publishing Masterclass with Angela Meyer, Jessica Seaborn, Kate O’Donnell and Maggie Thompson at the Lovatt Gallery in the Newcastle Library.
Sunday, September 30:
At 12 pm I will be on the Writers as Workers panel chaired by Jini Maxwell with Sian Vate, Jess Cockerill and Kayla McGillivray at the Watt Space 2 on Auckland Street.
Then apparently I have to run around the corner to get to the 1 pm panel on What I Wish I Knew Then for the Younger Young Writers part of the Festival, which is upstairs in the Library. Zenobia Frost, Marta Skrabacz and I will be chatting and it will be chaired by Alison Evans who as I understand it is already in the process of looking up all our social media and websites in order to formulate her questions.
What will I do when I am not on a panel?
I don’t know. I plan on seeing some other panels definitely. A lot of my friends are there including Cher Tan, Creatrix Tiara, Hella Ibrahim and Rafeif Ismail. They will be travelling a long way and out of pocket to be there so I plan to go see some of their panels and events. And once I get an actual hardcopy program in my hands I plan to figure out what else to see. I also plan to meet Catherine Bouris and a few other people for the first time in person which will be amazing.
I also plan to write. So if I get the chance to do so I plan to write a bit and sightsee a bit. And I might blog each day that I am there about what I am doing and what I am up to but I don’t know what it is like and I don’t know if I will find the time so I will see.
But in the meantime, if you can book a spot and come to Newcastle or by chance you live there, please do. I will be delighted to see you.