The WestWords Academy

Applications are now open for places in the 2022 WestWords Academy!

WestWords Academy is a year-long training program for emerging writers, including writers working across disciplines, to become WestWords Academians.

WestWords Academy will provide early career development for the select group of artists, supporting and mentoring them to hone their craft, develop projects, seek opportunities and run arts events. Throughout the year WestWords will conduct seminars and workshops, led by expert facilitators focussing on everything you need to know to be a writer—beyond the words on the page. The program includes opportunities to gain hands-on experience running events and showcasing your work. You will have access to WestWords workshops and masterclasses, mentorship opportunities, and its knowledge bank. Sessions will take place online and hybrid so even if you find difficulty in coming into our Centre you can still participate fully.

What I gained from it was invaluable. Go to every seminar, engage as much as possible, because it will benefit you in ways you probably couldn’t have predicted before diving head-first into it.
The first session on admin was everything I hoped for, the session on pitching to agents was even better and the session on planning events was flawless.
Benjamin Muir, 2020 Academian

Being a part of WestWords Academy 2021 has been a great experience. I found the WestWords team to be friendly and supportive, which is a great confidence boost to someone new to the scene, especially knowing there is an organisation like WestWords that is there to help and I can reach out to at any point in my career.

As part of the academy, I was able to increase my knowledge of the Australian publishing industry and learn from the wisdom of authors and other experts who took the time to impart what they knew. I had access to authors/editors/industry experts that I might not have had if I had sought it out on my own. The academy also gave me the opportunity to network with other local writers and creatives, some of whom, I am sure, will go on to be friends.

Samara Lo, 2021 Academian 

Topics covered include administration for the independent artist, pitching, building community, presentation skills, event planning, building your ‘brand’, where to find outlets for your work, resources amongst others.

Individual creative mentorship is a feature that will sit alongside the WestWords Academy program. Emerging writers will be matched with professional creative writers as mentors, who will lend individually tailored advice regarding the creative process and negotiating early career stumbling blocks, offering the hindsight of an experienced writer who has knowledge of publishing and managing your career as an independent artis. 90-minute seminars will take place monthly on a Sunday afternoon (2pm – 3:30pm) from March – November (Dates TBC)
A showcase event will be scheduled and run in November by the members of the Academy, supported by WestWords.

How to apply:
Email the following to admin@westwords.com.au

  1. Name, affiliation with western Sydney, and practice.
  2. Contact details inc. email, mobile, and land address
  3. Describe your experience, interests, and passions?
  4. Why you, why now?
  5. Can you commit to a year-long program (March-December)?
  6. A writing sample (up to 5 pages, A4 double spaced, not published or professionally edited)

WestWords Academians are expected to:

  • Attend monthly seminars focused on the business side of being an artist.
  • Engage with mentor (set goals, meet agreed milestones)
  • Shadow facilitators at schools, masterclasses and workshops held by WestWords.
  • Actively participate in the showcasing opportunities afforded by the program.

Eligibility

  1. Applicants must demonstrate a devoted interest in a word-based art form.
  2. Applicants should be available to participate for the Program period, which runs from March – December 2022.
  3. Please note successful applicants will need to pay a $100.00 fee to contribute towards the costs of the program. If you have an income issue, don’t be shy, please email WestWords outlining this, for assessment. Please send emails to admin@westwords.com.au
  4. Emerging is defined as the first five years of practice without major publication.


It is expected that participants will fully commit to the WestWords Academy Program to the best of their ability, and if participants do not, WestWords reserves the right to discontinue involvement in the program. Membership fees will not be reimbursed should this occur.

Applications to WestWords Academy will close on February 25th, 2022

If you need more information or have any questions about the program, please contact Chris at chris@westwords.com.au