The Writing Zone

THE WRITING ZONE is a 2020 program for the diverse communities of Western Sydney. It's been designed to help young writers from the West tell their stories, polish their craft and build a creative community together. The 12 participants in the program have not had lots of work published, won writing competitions, but are enthusiastic writers at every stage of their writing careers who want to develop their practice alongside other young writers, teachers and mentors. Their writing will be published in two print anthologies and they will be taking part in readings and performances.

Students at an eventPhoto by Andrew Vincent of Sahra Salon, coordinated by Hajer as part of the Studio Stories program held at The Parramatta Artists Studios.

What's involved?

THE WRITING ZONE is a year-long program of mentorship, writing, editing, performance and publication. Twelve Western Sydney writers are working with mentors and each other to develop new work for publication and performance.

During the program a series of regular writing workshops are being held for participants. These are a chance for writers to work together, with mentors, and with the Writing Zone team to develop new writing and professional skills. While face-to-face restrictions are in place, these workshops are being conducted online.

A chapbook of short pieces will be published by all program participants in September. This publication is being drawn from application materials. It's a chance for writers to get to know each other through their writing.  The Writing Zone team are workingl work with the writers to develop these early materials into a form ready to be published.

At the heart of the program is a two-day Writing Circle, currently scheduled for 23-24 October 2020 as an online 2-day "webinar"-style event. This will involve sessions with mentors, a series of writing workshops, group seminars and public performances. It's a chance for writers to share work developed and undertaken across the program and to work closely with their peers.

The culmination of the program will be the publication of an anthology of new writing by participants in February 2021. This will be a chance to share the wonderful writing developed through the program with our communities.

Arts worker mentoring

THE WRITING ZONE is not just an opportunity for emerging writers. The program has also involved the appointment of a Program Officer, Ilhan Abdi. Ilhan has been employed to manage the 2020 Writing Circle, undertake editorial tasks at the Sydney Review of Books, organise project events, and oversee the production of all project publications. She is working with a team including the Project Advisor and editorial staff  of the SRB. The role is allowing Ilhan to participate and engage with local literature and culture, and gain skills and experience needed to contribute to arts organisations in future roles.

Media coverage of the Program Officer appointment on the Western Sydney University News Page and in Mirage News.


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About The Writing Zone

The Writing Zone is a three year program aiming to create publication, editing, employment and performance opportunities for emerging writers and editors from the Western Sydney region. Over three years (2020-2022 inclusive) the project will offer places to 36 young writers (at least six of whom will be Indigenous) and 3 young arts workers. Mentoring will be provided by 12 experienced authors, three of whom will be Indigenous.

Read more.

Featured News Article

Western Sydney University’s Writing and Society Research Centre has launched The Writing Zone — a new initiative to support emerging Western Sydney writers and artists under 30 years old.

Read more.