The Newcastle-based National Young Writers’ Festival (NYWF) is just around the corner and organisers, this week, have opened audience registrations for the four-day online literary celebration.
Kicking off on Thursday 1 October, the long-running festival will be completely virtual for the first time ever and while all events are free, audience members can register for an account now to access the full program and RSVP to a range of limited-capacity sessions, some of which are already booked out.
This year’s festival will present more than 80 artists from across Australia (and some international guests) participating in more than 50 events including workshops, debates, talks, competitions, performances and some special surprises.
The theme for 2020 is, quite aptly, Raucous Twenties and NYWF co-directors Raelee Lancaster, Mike Louis and Isobel Marmion said it was about casting a critical eye over the past as we march toward an uncertain future.
“The 1920s were roaring, but this festival is not about those ’20s. It’s about the new ’20s – terrifying, galvanising, energising and raucous” they said.
“There are lessons to be learned from the past, and so we look to it with a critical eye. There is a spirit to be harnessed in the wild growth and innovation of the jazz age, but valorising the literary tradition of the 1920s ignores the significant injustices it upheld, and the communities it left behind.
“This year we have curated a program that reflects on the past but looks to an uncertain future. It is a pragmatic, optimistic, passionate collection of events. A forum to celebrate our community in all its complexity, and to share our skills with one another.”
Now in its 23rd year, the NYWF has grown to become one of the largest gatherings of young writers in the country.
It gives aspiring writers, working in new and traditional forms such as zines, comics, blogging, screenwriting, poetry, spoken word, music, and journalism, a platform to present their work, share ideas, learn about the industry in which they write and meet like-minded creatives in a supportive atmosphere.
The National Young Writers’ Festival is on from Thursday 1 October to Sunday 4 October. Head here to register for events and for a full program.