Westwords Academy

WestWords Academy is a year-long training program for up to emerging writers and multi-disciplinary artists to become a WestWords Academian.

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 organise 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 will include 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.

I would tell any new Academians to make the absolute most of the program, even if you’re not feeling well and struggling to engage. 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, 2020 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.
  • 90-minute seminars will take place on: DATES TBC
  • A showcase event will be scheduled and run in November by the members of the Academy, supported by WestWords
  • Each writer will receive individual mentorship on the Academians writings provided by writer specific mentors
Applications are currently open. Closing Date TBC

Meet the 2021 Academians

Vivian Wei

Vivian Wei is currently studying architecture at the University of Technology, Sydney. She has a strong passion in sharing stories close to her culture such as her first publication piece with Underdog’s #LoveOzYA anthology: ’The Chinese Menu for the Afterlife’. In her spare time, she works as a photographer; capturing memories of friends and food (but mostly the latter) and loves to explore the arts and design world.

Benjamin D. Muir

Benjamin D. Muir is a writer and doctoral candidate from Western Sydney. His, manuscript
The McMillan Diaries, was the recipient of the 2019 AAWP/UWAP Meniscus Chapter One Prize.

Nadine Lebde

Nadine Lebde is an Australian-Lebanese writer from Western Sydney. She has an Honours degree in Physiotherapy from the University of Sydney, and her research has been published in the British Medical Journal’s Occupational and Environmental Medicine. Nadine was selected to be a reviewer for the StoryCasters Project, an initiative for emerging culturally diverse writers run by Sweatshop in collaboration with Diversity Arts Australia. Her creative non-fiction piece was shortlisted for publication in the anthology “Arab, Australian, Other: Stories on Race and Identity” (2019) edited by Randa Abdel-Fattah and Sara Saleh. In 2008, her student blog was nominated for Edublog’s international award “Best Individual Blog”.

Martyn Reyes

Martyn Reyes is emerging writer and audio maker born to Filipino migrants, living and working on Gadigal land. He also holds a bachelor’s degree in Arts in Communication, majoring in Journalism from the University of Technology, Sydney. With a particular interest in creative non-fiction exploring socio-political themes, his work can be found in SBS Voices, Peril Magazine and Pencilled In to name a few.

Krystle Anne Venal

Krystle Anne Venal is a multidisciplinary artist and writer whose work primarily explores the tactile and sensory notions of home, memory and being human. For her, creativity and curiosity are symbiotic — to touch life with wonder is necessary. She has a life-long love affair for documentation, learning and curating open spaces for exploring creativity. In another life, she was a perhaps a botanist; here, she is very much a storyteller.


Kate is an interdisciplinary artist and theatre educator working across theatre, visual arts and multimedia.Her contemporary performance practice is highly autobiographically focused as an entry point to interrogate gender and cultural politics. She often works with the idea of ‘the spectacle’ with costumes, props, and visual imagery to build an exciting, light-hearted and dynamic performance space in order to uncover dark conceptual underpinnings. She studied theatre, performance and fine art at UNSW and has previously trained through Pact ensemble (2014) and the Q theatre’s young artist ensemble (2015). For the last 3 years she has been working and training PYT Fairfield as a member of their Ensemble.