POSITION DESCRIPTION Executive Director NSWWC Inc Salary
Executive Director NSWWC Inc
$85 000 Per annum
All NSW Writers’ Centre Employees.
The Board of the NSW Writers’ Centre Inc (‘the Centre’).
Three year contract commencing the 7th of January, 2013
Monday 22nd of October, 5pm
The Centre is seeking a skilled and passionate Executive Director to
lead the Centre and manage its diverse range of activities and
pathways which support established and emerging writers throughout
New South Wales.
The Executive Director oversees an enthusiastic compliment of full
and part time staff and is supported by an independent and diverse
board of industry professionals. The Executive Director is responsible,
through the Chairperson of the Board, for the overall operation of the
NSW Writers Centre.
The Centre was established as an incorporated association in 1991 to
promote writing based cultures and support the entitlements and
interests of all writers. It operates as a vibrant cultural hub in historic
Garry Owen House, set in the grounds of Callan Park in Sydney’s Inner
West. The Centre has over 2400 members and presents a dynamic
annual program of professional development opportunities by way of
master classes, seminars, festivals, courses, workshops and
competitions including the prestigious Blake Poetry Prize.
The Centre takes its role in the creative industry value chain very
seriously and is committed to the development of Centre programs
that are integrated and strategic so as to provide support for writers
in their creative progression. This takes into account the needs of
aspiring, emerging and developing writers as well as writers whose
creative contribution is established and acknowledged.
The Centre provides access to resources and professional information
including mentorships, a weekly e bulletin and an extensive web site.
It provides a spacious venue for events such as book launches,
readings, literary evenings and lectures as well as meeting spaces for
writers' groups and literary organisations. The Centre has a growing
library of resource material for members, including an extensive
collection of Australian literary magazines.
The Centre is supported by The Australia Council and The NSW
Ministry for the Arts and derives income from grants as well as
independent sources including membership, festivals, workshops,
venue hire and the lease of office accommodation to other small
Centre core opening hours - Monday – Saturday 0900 - 1700
Centre staff core span of hours – Monday – Saturday 0800 - 1800
The Executive Director is held responsible by the Board of the Centre
for the operation of the Centre and reports directly to the Chair of the
Leadership and Strategy
Provide leadership, in partnership with the Board, in realising the
vision of the Centre and achieving its mission by developing and
implementing the Centre’s immediate and long term strategies
together with operational business plans and resource allocations.
Lead and manage the development and delivery of an outstanding
and distinctive arts and cultural program of projects, workshops
and events including festivals and competitions, and to encourage
innovation in and continuous improvement of this program.
Lead the Centre’s team of staff to achieve the Centre’s goals and
objectives in an efficient and effective manner.
Engage with and develop the Centre’s membership; provide active
leadership with the wider writing community including acting as an
advocate in relation to the rights and interests of writers and
Provide leadership in the development of collaborative
relationships across the arts and cultural sector which enhance the
Centre’s profile and operational effectiveness.
Be responsible for the Centre’s key performance indicators and
appraise the effectiveness of the Centre’s key activities.
Finance & Administration
Manage the Centre’s finances including the preparation and
supervision of the annual budget for the Board’s consideration;
monitor the Centre’s accounts including weekly, monthly and
quarterly reporting in liaison with Centre’s Hon. Treasurer and
senior staff; ensure adequate funds are available to permit the
organisation to carry out its work
Prepare, negotiate, monitor and report on operational work plans
Develop, align, maintain and update organisational best practices
that support the Centre’s strategic objectives and communicate
these to staff.
Manage the Centre’s operating procedures and processes.
Administer, maintain and improve the Centre’s premises and
Manage the Centre’s staff team including senior and support staff,
short term contractors and specialist consultants.
Develop, implement and monitor effective policies and systems of
remuneration, reward and recognition; be responsible for staff
Manage employment contracts and terms and conditions of
Manage the WH&S and EEO policies.
Appoint and terminate Centre staff in accordance with legislation
and with Centre policy; appoint and manage temporary or parttime staff
Implement the decisions of the Board.
Liaise with the Chair and the Hon. Secretary to provide executive
support to the Board and its sub-committees including
administrative support to conduct the Annual General Meeting
and the election of Directors of the Board as required by the
Support the Board’s governance role in developing and
implementing the Centre’s risk management plan together with
policies and procedures to meet relevant statutory, legal and
contractual obligations; maintain official records and documents to
Marketing and Publicity
Market and promote the Centre’s program including acting as a
public advocate and driving its publicity through active media
campaigns and interviews.
Manage applications and acquittals for funding and sponsorship of
the Centre’s programs and activities in consultation with the
Build and maintain formal cooperative agreements with key sector
partners in consultation with the Board.
Skills And Competencies
The successful candidate ideally will be able to demonstrate
knowledge of and/or interest in Australian publishing, literature and
writing or related fields in the Australian arts and cultural sector. They
will convey enthusiasm for writers and writing culture (and the
traditions and aims of the Centre).
They will be able to demonstrate experience and competency in the
Directing and managing a cultural organization including the areas
of governance, strategic planning and organizational management
High level communication skills, both written and spoken including
excellent presentation skills and report writing
Managing a small, diverse staff team including knowledge of
human resource management
Managing financial operations including setting and monitoring
annual budgets; reporting on finances; monitoring and reporting
on financial trends
Successfully liaising and working with government and other
private/ corporate sponsors
Ability to prepare funding proposals, deal with contracts and
acquit grants successfully
Advocacy skills including strong professional networks
They may be able to show knowledge or experience in the following:
Working with volunteers
Event and festival programming and management
Course or workshop development
IT systems including website planning, development and operation
Working with a voluntary Board of Directors or Management
Terms of Employment
The Executive Director will be employed by the NSW Writers' Centre and will work from the
Gary Owen House, Callan Park, Balmain Rd, Rozelle
The contract will be for three year period and include a six month probationary period.
Normal days of work will be rostered over a standard working week that runs from Monday
to Saturday with occasional out of hours and weekend work
Applying for the Position
Applicants should submit a covering letter (one page) , a CV (three pages) plus a document
that demonstrates how you meet the selection criteria (five pages)
Please include details of two referees
These to be all included as one document or pdf
Applications to Chair of the New South Wales Writers Centre Bronwen Ginges, at
[email protected] by 5pm Monday, 22nd of October, 2012
For further information, please email [email protected]
Business plan 2013 – 2015 excerpt
The NSW Writers’ Centre is the largest writers’ centre in New South Wales. As such it balances
delivery of development and promotional services to writers with an increasing role as a key
provider of resources and support for writing organisations across the state.
The NSW Writers' Centre was established as an incorporated association in May 1991 to
promote writing-based culture and the rights and interests of writers. It is a non-profit (for
public benefit) organisation and 30% of the Centre's income is derived from grants provided
by the Australia Council, the NSW Ministry for the Arts and other sources. The balance comes
from membership fees, income from workshops, seminars and other literary functions, from
the sale of publications and from the hire of the building.
The Centre is situated in a historic building owned by the Sydney Harbour Foreshore
Authority and is managed by the NSW Government, which plans to devolve this responsibility
to local government (Leichhardt Council). Current tenure expired in 2011 and the Centre is
well advanced in renewing its lease.
While the core elements of its governance and business strategies have contributed to its past
success, new challenges have required the Centre to review its goals, methods and activities to
ensure that it adapts successfully to the changing economic and cultural environment while
continuing to provide the highest level of service to writers across New South Wales.
The last triennium has seen the Centre regain a stable financial and organisational base as
well as regaining its profile within the arts and writing sectors.
The next triennium will see the Centre address the issue of how best to enact its role as the
key provider of resources and support to writing organisations throughout the state, while
still valuing its membership program and providing a high quality workshop program in an
increasingly crowded and competitive marketplace.
The Centre also faces the challenge of broadening its financial and membership support base
both to resource its mission as well as provide for future stability.
This business plan aims to develop the Centre’s financial support with the creation of a threeyear development plan, expansion of the range of services that it offers to writers and writing
organisations across New South Wales, and continuation of its core business of providing the
highest quality development programs for writers.
The NSW Writers’ Centre exists to promote writing-based culture and the rights and interests
of writers in NSW.
Our mission is to make a difference to writers. The NSW Writers’ Centre brings aspirational,
emerging, developing and established writers together as a community through the provision
of a suite of writing programs and services that support, develop and promote a writing
We make key decisions about how we operate and how we achieve our vision and priorities
based upon the following core values:
A commitment to support, develop and promote writers and writing and their value to
The involvement of writers in all levels of the organisation, including no less than 40%
representation on the board.
Forming partnerships which support the sustainability and aims of the Centre and
highlight the role of the writer in society in an ethical and credible manner.
Governance and management of the organisation with the highest level of
transparency and accountability.
At A Glance
The NSW Writers Centre:
provides programs and services accessed over 6000 times a year across workshops,
festivals, publications, employment opportunities and information and advice services
employs 250 writers per year
services around 2000 members from NSW
hosts approximately 100 workshops and 10 literary events per year
distributes over 3000 copies of its magazine Newswrite
has over 6500 e newsletter subscribers
manages an annual budget of about $800,000
manages Garry Owen House, Rozelle
engages in partnerships with other writers’ organisations, such as the NSW LitLink
network, Writing Australia, and the Sydney Writers Festival.
The NSW Writers’ Centre was formed as an incorporated association on 13 May 1991 after
representations made to the NSW Ministry for the Arts by a founding committee led by Angelo
Loukakis as Chairman. The first Executive Officer, Adele Moy, ran the organisation for about
12 months until December 1992, when Irina Dunn was appointed and commenced as
Under its foundation Constitution, the Centre was established to:
manage a centre for the promotion of writing in New South Wales by hosting …
workshops, seminars, festivals…
promote writing-based culture and the rights and interests of writers …
act as an information and liaison centre for writers … publishers, [and] writing
In the first few years, a variety of programs and events was trialled to test what worked best
for the fledgling Centre. An early management committee proposed establishing the Centre
mainly as a resource office fitted with photocopiers, computers, printers and so on, but it was
realised that the requirements of the Constitution, not to mention the capital investment
required, militated against such a role.
In the long run, it was found that regular readings were less successful at the Centre than day
or weekend festivals, when audiences could be attracted to spend longer periods at the Centre
in daylight hours. Night-time meetings were hampered by the Centre’s location in dark
hospital grounds with poor lighting.
As a result, the Centre developed the idea of introducing a festival, the Spring Writing Festival,
to the Centre’s annual program of activities. The first Spring Writing Festival was held in
1993, and in its fifth year of operation, 1997, it made a significant profit for the first time,
contributing 6.5% of the Centre's income.
With the success of the Centre's first festival, festivals have become a fixture at the Centre
with three held per annum under the Centre’s present programming. The Centre’s courses
and workshops have grown in number each year to reach a maximum offering of about 100.
They now form a major part of the Centre’s professional development program, with general
writing, editing and publishing workshops held on most weekends between late January to
early December, and school students’ and teachers’ workshops held in school holidays during
Figures from October 2011 member survey
The average New South Wales Writers’ Centre member is between the ages of 40 and 69
(68%) and is most likely to be female (72.9%). The median income for members is $78 000
who spend an average of $1000 per annum on writing-related expenses.
Our members generally stay members for 1–4 years (60%) with 14% identifying as being
members for over 10 years. Our members generally join for workshop discounts (43.9%) with
25% joining because they “value the services of NSWWC”.
Our members are largely made up of people who classify themselves as aspiring writers and
writers actively seeking publication. 70% of our members classify themselves as writers
actively seeking publication, with 13% of our members being professional writers.
The Centre has over 2000 members across New South Wales. 25% are located throughout
regional New South Wales. 67% live in Sydney and of this percentage, 18% live in close
proximity to the NSWWC office (Gary Owen House). There are also some members from
interstate – specifically the ACT and regional Victoria.
What they write
Half of our members identify themselves as fiction writers (50.62%) with children’s and
young adult fiction (25.3%), memoir (27.6%) and poetry (21.6%) being the next most popular
Where they write and how they engage with technology
• 96% of them write from home
• 25% have a blog (a 10% increase over the past year)
• 25% also have a Twitter account, another increase of 10% from 2010 to 2011.
• 57% are on Facebook, a 40% increase from 2010
• 27% have an e-book reader.
What they value from NSWWC
• 74% of our members identify their subscription to Newswrite as the primary service
that they receive from their NSWWC membership.
67% identify the e-newsletter Newsbite as a highlight service.
72% have attended a NSWWC course and 76% have attended a festival.
33% attend monthly writers’ groups.
70% have attended writers’ courses outside NSWWC.
88% read Newsbite (a 10% increase).
• 86% members said that the NSWWC has helped their writing; a 5% increase from 2010.
81% rate the NSWWC’s services to them as writers as “highly satisfactory” or above, with
3.4% as poor.
81% rate the NSWWC’s services in support of writing in NSW as “highly satisfactory” or
above with 1.9% as poor.
Strong history of service to NSW writers
Cost of servicing a large state
Unique, distinctive physical space in
Garry Owen House
Perception of Writers’ Centre’s role
Strong commitment of staff and Board
Well-resourced in terms of physical
resources and quality of staff
Space limitations – office, publications
storage, larger events
Can generate income of its own via
Lack of new, expanded funding and
IT restriction in Callan Park and Garry
Access to established writers
Links with the publishing industry
Partnerships with key cultural partners
Security of tenure in current premises
Proximity to national writing
Callan Park’s redevelopment
Competitive landscape has intensified –
competing courses run by universities,
other educational bodies and NSWWC
Increase in online writing courses
offered directly by interstate writers
Change of funding priorities and static
level of funding by arts funding bodies
Over the past three years the Centre has strengthened its programming and operations and
has moved from a period of uncertainty to a position of strategic operation with a foundation
of consistently delivered programming generating good results for NSW writers, and
increased respect within the sector.
The Centre has had statistically poor results in its 2010-2012 business plan with less than
budgeted returns in all activities. While disappointing, nevertheless, this most recent business
plan saw the Centre return a profit (albeit a slight one), the Board renewed itself and
embraced its governance role, and the operations of the Centre expanded beyond its historical
workshop provision to focus on its role as the largest service provider of writing
opportunities in New South Wales. This moved the Centre further towards its mission of
providing services that support, develop and promote a writing culture through taking on an
increasing role as a key provider of resources and support for writing organisations across
Throughout 2010–2012 the Centre also rebuilt respect with participants, writers and writing
and arts organisations, a much needed activity and a core achievement for this triennium. The
Centre has always been highly visible in its core activities – running workshops, seminars and
master classes of the highest quality for writers as well as hosting the largest community of
writers in Sydney.
The Centre’s finances are now stabilised and the 2011 audit recorded a $7000 surplus, a
modest return for the organisation but a major turnaround from the debt of previous years.
The main challenge in the next triennium is to respond to the pressures on our workshop
income from a growing field of course providers. Most notable among these new providers is
the aggressively marketed Sydney Writers’ Centre, in addition to the increase in workshops
run by the Sydney Writers Festival and the new annual program of activities from the
Australian Society of Authors. The results of this have shown a decrease in our workshop
sales as well as a recorded increase among members also doing courses elsewhere. (80% of
our participants did a course with another provider in 2011.)
The second challenge is how the Centre can continue its success at nurturing its community of
writers and expanding that success to building a state wide community of writers through
expanded programming and increased service activities.
Communication is also a challenge for the Centre: specifically, how to promote an
organisation whose activities range from service provision and advocacy (not always visible
to the public), to market-based income generation from workshop programming. This is an
area that the Centre is looking to resource with a new staff position.
• 7% of people actively engage with writing as writers. 80% read.
More than bums on seats: Australian participation in the arts, Australia Council, March
Remuneration for writers is the lowest from creative and arts-related work. 69%
earned less than $10 000 for creative income per annum in 2007/08. The mean
creative income of writers from writers’ centres who meet the required criteria of
professionalism was just under $4,000 in 2007/08, whereas the corresponding income
for other professional writers was just over $12,000.
Do you really expect to get paid? Australia Council, David Throsby and Anita Zednik,
There are 4,334 creative artists, musicians, writers and performers employed in
cultural occupations, as their main job, in NSW. There are 185,000 people (30.6% of
the Australian total) who work (paid and unpaid) in writing.
Australian Bureau of Statistics, Work in Selected Culture and Leisure Activities, April
Literary event audiences have been found to make above-average use of the internet at
all stages of the attendance journey, they show the greatest tendency to own an
internet-enabled mobile phone and exhibit behaviours that reveal good use of the
Arts Audiences Online, 2011, the Nielson Company for the Australia Council.
NSW has the country’s highest concentration of commercial and publishing industries
and a high proportion of literary agents. The country’s largest annual literary festival,
regional literature festival and State literary awards. 37% of literary publishers were
situated in NSW, and the greatest number of literary authors (480) was reported as
living in NSW.
The Economic Analysis of Literary Publishing in Australia, Australia Council 2008.
Trends and Changes Affecting Writers
The paramount change is the uptake of technology by writers for publishing their work (print
on demand, e-books, self-publishing), promotion (websites, blogs, social media, having a web
2.0 presence), communication (discussion groups, emails, online forums), and employment
(online courses offered direct from the author’s webpage).
The long-term effect of this technological change is still unfolding but trends towards a
downsizing of publishing houses, an increase in self-publishing, and the closure of bookstores
have been apparent in the last few years. This has caused a mixture of unease for the industry
side of writing and a sense of optimism for emerging writers looking at the new pathways
As traditional literary businesses downsize, employment in the media and literary sectors is
increasingly likely to shift from staff jobs to freelance work – potentially increasing the
number of writers looking to run training, seek out new opportunities and/or develop a
Small press and independent publishers who rely on writers paying for services may also find
an increased need to advertise to emerging writers and to encourage the trend towards online
These factors have the potential to increase the importance of the Centre to writers and
publishers as a resource centre for information, advice and networking.
There are many organisations and individuals who offer services for aspirational and
emerging writers, and while the majority do not compete with the quality of our
programming, both in organisation and delivery, they mostly all provide a cheaper service
and/or appeal to the emerging writers by advocating that their service has a clear pathway to
Changing funding outlines has also seen organisations like Varuna and the Sydney Writers
Festival look towards programming similar opportunities to the Centre. The Centre prides
itself on managing the expectations of its participants, although it is aware that organisations
that promote a pathway to being published sell tickets on the back of their unreal
Publishers (Allen and Unwin with the Faber Academy), libraries and booksellers are also
looking towards writing courses as an income stream and a way of developing audiences and
are becoming an increasing threat to the Centre’s attendances. In all cases the Centre has
better infrastructure, and can run the course more efficiently.
Competition from within
Most of the writers employed as tutors within the organisation conduct their own workshops.
In the main they do not openly compete but there is a definite flow of participants from the
Centre’s programming to individual tutor’s workshops. This is most keenly felt within the
Government, corporate and philanthropic funds
The economic climate also offers a decreasing level of sponsorship funds available. The Centre
currently has only a small number of financial partners, therefore the threat of losing income
is low. However, in order to grow as projected, we must be clear and creative with our
partners to ensure we are able to deliver real value and support.
LitLink: NSWWC partners with the nine regional NSW writers’ centres that
comprise the LitLink network to provide support, co-programming and resources.
Writing Australia: Based in Canberra, Writing Australia is a national organisation
established by the Australia Council to the central point of the network of
Australia’s writers’ centres.
NSWWC is a founding member of Writing Australia, sitting on its board and
managing some of its programming. The benefits of this involvement are yet to be
fully assessed, although it is clear that the time commitment and workload far
exceed the old model of NSWWC applying for Australia Council funding.
The NSWWC has a three-year commitment to Writing Australia until 2013, which
parallels the length of the initial funding from Australia Council.
Sydney Writers Festival: A new partnership for the Centre. 2012 saw the Centre
present the full-day publishing seminar ‘The Forest for the Trees’ as part of the
Sydney Writers’ Festival. Tickets sold out before the event.
The Sydney Morning Herald partnership with its Young Writers prize.
The Blake Society: this partnership administers the national Blake Poetry Prize.
Ad hoc partnerships such as the Centre’s Children’s and Young Adult Writing
Festival held in conjunction with the Society of Children’s Book Writers and
Illustrators conference this year.
Four values underpin the program of the Centre:
Commitment to promoting the value of writers and writing
Sustainability including transparency, accountability, accessibility and equity
Integrity and credibility to facilitate working collaboratively and in partnership
Alignment of all we do with our strategic priorities
Program 2013 -2015
The NSW Writers’ Centre exists to promote writing-based culture and the rights and interests
of writers in NSW. The NSW Writers’ Centre runs programming activity that provides:
1. Access – Activities and opportunities for aspirational and emerging writers, and those
with a curiosity about writing.
2. Development – Characterised by activities for developing and established writers to
engage with and to develop their careers.
3. Resource – Information, referrals and advocacy for writers and writing organisations
Key programming strategies for 2013 -2015 are:
1. Increasing support for the broader writing industry – Developing initiatives that
support established writers and writing organisations.
2. Broadening the demographic – Developing new programming that supports,
develops and engages younger writers with a focus on writers post-university and
addressing strategies for secondary school students, with some pilot programs for
senior high school students.
3. Broadening locations of programming – Embracing the New South Wales aspect of
the Centre’s title, developing outreach programming that engages beyond our
traditional programming areas with an emphasis on regional work.
Programming for the Centre includes:
The NSWWC runs a limited amount of competitions as a means to develop interest in writing,
provide career achievements for entrants, as well as to build awareness of the Centre and its
Our entry-level competitions include our ongoing partnership with the Sydney Morning
Herald. The Centre also supports many small community competitions by providing
promotional and prize support.
The Centre runs one competition which seen as a celebration for experienced writers, plus an
a opportunity for emerging writers to gain more recognition – the Blake Poetry Prize which
will enter its sixth year in 2013. The Blake is currently the Centre’s only national program and
is viewed by the poetry sector as a prize of merit as well as a valuable addition to a poet’s
resume. The prize is run in conjunction with the Blake Society.
(Access; Broadening the Demographic)
The centre runs a calendar of events and functions to provide writers with an opportunity for
both networking as well as community building. These include: Talking Writing panel
discussions for our members, once a month in conversations with writers at the First Friday
Club, and selected events like the Genre Mashup.
Festivals at the NSWWC are specialist writers’ weekends examining a particular aspect of
writing. The festivals bring together leading exponents in writing, publishing and the industry
for intensive discussions, mixing and networking with developing writers.
These festivals bring together writers, publishers, illustrators, scriptwriters, agents,
reviewers, industry advocates and readers. The festivals provide an opportunity for writers
to network, present their work to publishers, learn from leading Australian writers, develop
new audiences and sell their work. At present we are the only writing organisation providing
such specialised festivals for writers in Australia.
(Development, Resource; Increasing support for the broader writing industry)
A one day forum looking at the challenges and opportunities facing established writers of one
style of writing, an area the Centre has identified needs further support.
The aim of the symposium model is to explore ways of working with these writers in
collaboration with mentors, editors, publishers, promoters and distributors, to develop
clearer and more secure pathways for individual writers and to ensure a clearer
understanding of process and relationships within the publishing industry.
The symposiums are run as a café-conversation style with a number of facilitated roundtable
discussions, each responding to a starting challenge. The format was designed to ensure a
process that was nurturing and unobtrusive yet ensure real development.
• Information hub
The Centre’s work as an information hub is ongoing through advocacy, website information
and point of contact advice. On average the Centre processes about 8 hours a week of general
writing enquiries, with many organisations in New South Wales both formally sending
enquiries to us and informally linking to us from their websites.
Held at least twelve times a year, the manuscript assessments are one-on-one sessions aimed
at developing and emerging writers’ manuscripts.
Genres assessed are children’s, literary fiction, poetry and general fiction. In 2013 we will
trial playwriting assessments.
The NSWWC mentorship scheme links aspiring writers to a professional mentor who will
provide one-to-one supervision and discussion of their work over a period between 10 and 20
hours. Mentors are either an experienced, established writer or editor. We also offer a fivehour mentorship assessment, a brief evaluation of the mentoree’s work as it stands at present
While core to the legal status of the organisation the Centre does not restrict programming
and information to its membership group. Rather it sees membership as a community
program and will program accordingly providing this group of committed writers with
opportunities to interact
Newswrite is published 6 times to a readership of 3000. In 2010 Newswrite was moved from a
promotional newsletter to being a magazine about writing for writers across Australia. The
Centre views Newswrite as a programming activity not a marketing tool and is broadening it
to include a digital version for a world-wide readership.
(Development; Increasing support for the broader writing industry)
The Centre holds Industry Drinks evenings providing an opportunity for established writers
to meet and network.
The Centre also curates breakfasts with the literature sector, providing informal meetings of
arts managers in the sector, providing support and encouraging collaboration. Each of these
events is hosted by the Centre and involves guests from both within the sector and within the
• The Next Page
(Development, Resource; Increasing support for the broader writing industry; Broadening the
The Next Page is a year-long program which places emerging creatives working in writing
within the NSWC to provide them with mentoring and networking as well as development
opportunities both within the NSWWC program and through our networks.
The aim is to provide a support structure that will see more journals, events and innovative
organisations being created and more event-based organisations being established, in an
environment of encouragement and success.
The end result aims to create further opportunities for writers, publishers and editors alike,
by producing space for new content and a supportive atmosphere that engages, challenges
and develops young writers.
• Organisational Support
(Development, Resource; Increasing support for the broader writing industry)
Presently the Centre support organisations through referral and advice and letters of support
At present we liaise across the sector and provide ad hoc support widely. In 2011 we
supported the National Young Writers Festival, Word Travels, Westside Writers, the western
suburbs youth literature project, Penguin Plays Rough and Ampersand magazine. This support
ranged from advocacy, advice and introductions to new opportunities.
In 2012 the Centre formally supported the organisations the Writers’ Room, Penguin Plays
Rough and Word Travels through advice, promotional support, infrastructure assistance and
resource assistance (in the main, providing a free venue, advertising and staffing support).
We have also hosted emerging national organisation Poetry Australia with office and venue
Regional programming - new in 2013-2015
(Access, Development; Broadening locations of programming)
The NSWWC is developing its support for regional writers through three distinct strategies:
1. Supporting the existing infrastructure
The Centre works with the regional writers’ centres to identify ways they can value add to
their local programs. In 2012 we held our first LitLink one-day meeting at our base in
Garry Owen House.
2. Building capacity in growing or unsupported areas
The NSWWC has identified regional areas that despite a population interested in writing
have few opportunities for engagement.
3. Touring writers to non-traditional venues
A program in collaboration with the major regional performing arts venues presenting a
touring writers-festival-style panel presentation.
A key part of our regional programming is the Write in Your Town program, described below.
Residencies – New in 2013 - 2015
(Development; Broadening the demographic, Broadening locations of programming)
A program pairing emerging and developing writers with unique locations/ organisations/
opportunities in a series of one-off residencies.
Professional seminars aimed at emerging and established writers. Each is two days and
involves multiple industry professionals.
Talking Writing is the Centre’s series of panel-style sessions run through the year looking at
areas of concern for writers, be it on the craft of writing, the business of being a writer or
ideas that engage and enrich writers.
Panels range from the craft, business and art of writing and are aimed across the value chain
• Venue – Garry Owen House
The Centre hosts writers and writing organisations in long-term tenancies, in short-term
opportunity tenancies, and literary activity outside the Centre’s core programming.
World-wide students’ web – New in 2013 -2015
(Access; Broadening the demographic)
The Centre has identified, through its long-term partnership with the Sydney Morning Herald
Young Writers’ prize, that students of exceptional writing talent often find themselves
isolated within their school environment.
The Centre is developing a program that will create an online community and support group
for these literary minded students to provide a bridge between their initial explorations of
writing and the community of tertiary education.
The workshop program is a year-round series of both short and long courses across different
styles of writing and looks at the art, craft and business of writing.
The majority of the courses are run from our base at Garry Owen House, although we will
continue to hold programs in other areas of Sydney.
Write in your town – New in 2013 – 2015
(Access, Development; Broadening locations of programming)
Piloted in 2012, this initiative will send five experienced writers to four different towns (or
locations) in regional NSW which do not have easy access to one of the NSW LitLink towns.
These outreach visits will involve talks, workshops and other opportunities promoting
writing to regional emerging and aspirational writers. These visits will also provide audience
development opportunities for the chosen writers.
Writers groups are a key part of the writing landscape, providing support and development in
an informal, unstructured way. The Centre recognises the value of these groups and is piloting
ways to support them, to provide ways for unattached writers to locate and join groups, as
well as exploring ways the Centre can provide programming that value-adds to existing
The Centre provides space for writers’ groups and individual writers within its base at Gary
Owen House. This is either a nominal fee-for-service or part of the membership package
available. On average we have 20 writers’ groups meeting on weekly schedules, we house 5
writers permanently and have had 15 writers per year take up temporary residence for
periods of one day to a month.
Youth Programming (The library of unwritten stories)
(Access; Broadening locations of programming; Broadening the demographic)
The Centre has identified the need for low-cost opportunities for young writers in NSW, which
can provide them with community and exposure to the writing industry.
The major aim of youth programming is to develop an atmosphere that encourages and
supports more writing possibilities for young writers.
The strategy is not to develop a range of workshops that teach them how to write, rather to
develop a suite of programming that is going to create an environment for them to become
independent and productive.
Strategic Marketing Plan
Aspirational and emerging writers of all ages, backgrounds and literary traditions are
currently the largest group attracted to the Centre and will remain our core target audience.
Our market is those people interested in writing and books. They are of all ages and are
generally well educated and interested in expanding their skills and experiences.
1. Primary audience: Writers (As broken down by the value chain following)
2. Secondary audience: those people who are in contact with our potential
3. Third audience: made up of advocates who refer people to the Centre and
whose esteem we look to build.
4. Fourth audience: users of our venue, Gary Owen House, including professional
groups, functions and regular tenants who are not themselves participating in
To reach its audiences, the Centre groups its programming under three categories:
1. Ongoing programming that generates income. Tricky to publicise due to its
2. Flagpole programming. Events that build awareness of the Centre.
3. Communication. Not strictly programming rather general communications the
Centre does to create awareness
Interested in writing
- Likely to get
involved in writers’
- Often writing
family history or
memoir rather than
- Generally middleaged and majority
- May lack
awareness of the
industry and the
path to professional
- Lacks a natural
community of fellow
through the Centre
Young & emerging
Primarily 18 - 30
Early and mid career
as primary income
Need to work
- Published at least one
- Likely to be chasing
- Building networks
- Committed to becoming
an established writer
- Part of the industry
- Main income from
writing and from writing
related activities such as
teaching, mentoring, etc.
- Able to turn down work
in order to write
- Likely to have published
multiple works with a
degree of commercial
- Part of an existing
community of fellow
Likely to be actively
Likely to be students,
working at another job often studying creative
- Interested in
writing at university (or
- May have had short
- May be more likely to
works published in
take an ‘alternative’
journals or similar
path to publication –
through the internet or
- Aware of path to
through zines, etc.
- DIY enthusiasts, likely
to make their own
- Lacking a natural
- Part of an existing
community of fellow
community of fellow
- Likely to make
- Responsive to change
- Responsive to change
in the profession
Professional networks advance
Young & emerging
Blake Poetry Prize
Diversification of Income
Blake Poetry Prize
First Friday Club
First Friday Club
Information and referrals
Library of Unwritten
Young & emerging
SMH Young Writers
The Next Page
Train the Trainer _ tutor Development workshops
World wide web project
Write In your town Regional touring
Organisational Structure 2013