Create a Future for Young Writers

By South Coast Writers Centre

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A little bit about us

With around 4,000 students graduating with an Arts or Creative Arts degree each year from the University of Wollongong alone, many young writers find that they lack the relevant experience needed to find work in the creative industry. Our internship program has, to date, a 50% success rate in placing graduates into positions within their desired field, which is a good start – but we’d like to improve those odds by making more positions available.

The SCWC assists these graduates with the expansion of our small internship program, which currently provides invaluable support for our wide range of programs, including the young writers program and the Indigenous literary program.

Pictured above: The Black Wallaby Writers Night art auction. Photo courtesy of Mignon Lee-Warden.

The SCWC is a non-profit organisation that provides a safe, inclusive environment to foster the development of writers’ skills. We have been nurturing the growth of the creative arts community on the South Coast of NSW Australia for close to twenty years, and a large part of that involves providing emerging creatives with opportunities to facilitate workshops, participate in team teaching groups, undertake mentorships and generally connect with the wider literary networks of the South Coast.

We believe it is vital to promote regional writers and writing in Australia while fostering creative and professional development for the distinct voices of South Coast writers.

Pictured above: Christine Paice in Conversation with Caroline Baum and David Roach at In-Two Writing at the Wollongong Art Gallery. Photo courtesy of Wollongong Art Gallery.

We also believe the Arts, with a focus on words and the process of writing, is a positive social influence. Writing fosters skills such as communication, comprehension, understanding, critical thought and voice. It is through voice that we decipher who we are and where we stand in this world.

While we are offering an important literary program to the wider community, we also want to provide our cohort of interns with a dynamic and creative team environment, and practical vocational learning opportunities.

Pictured above: Our Director and interns featured in Wollongong Advertiser, November 28, 2012.

As the only writers' centre on the South Coast, we want to take our dynamic program and expand the number of events in the Southern Highlands and the Far South Coast. For this, we need to strengthen the pillars on which we stand, a large part of which being the internship program.

But we need community support

The SCWC lacks the funds to extend the internship program. In fact, with recent funding cuts to the Arts, our small staff relies more than ever on its existing team of up to nine interns a year. Without the skills, hard work and dedication of these young people, the Centre would not be able to roll out its diverse program.

Pictured above: Intern induction seminar. Photo courtesy of Mignon Lee-Warden.

The Centre currently provides job training across all facets of an Arts organisation. This builds trust, confidence and skills. To do this in a sustainable and meaningful way, we need more funding for better facilities and a mentorship program for the interns.

Our operations are supported by ARTS NSW, Wollongong City Council and project grants, but we also depend on a proactive membership, as well as donations from generous individuals and businesses. This is why support from individual supporters and generous donors is vital for us so we can continue our role as an important literary agency on the South Coast.

Pictured above: The Keira Fiction Writers Group. Photo courtesy of Mignon Lee-Warden.

Because our role is diverse, a lot is at stake

As the only writers’ centre between Sydney and the Victorian border, the SCWC services a large area through its diverse writing workshops, writing competitions, community programs and events. We:

  1. Facilitate cross-arts collaborations through our involvement with the Wollongong Art Gallery, partnering in events such as Asia in a Few Words and Port Kembla – Steel Town.
  2. Promote social inclusion and support diversity with events like our annual Black Wallaby Indigenous Writers’ Night and the publishing of the Dreaming Inside anthology.
  3. Provide an entryway for youth into the creative arts community through activities such as the Young Writers Group 2016.
  4. Offer networking opportunities and exposure by hosting events in collaboration with the Wollongong Writers' Festival and the Sydney Writers' Festival, for example.
  5. Foster career development by offering internship programs and volunteer opportunities for young people interested in the creative arts and writing industries.

What we need to do

Pictured above: Ratsack's tie monologue at Say It Sing It, Square Cafe, Wollongong. Photo courtesy of Mignon-Lee Warden.

We need to raise a minimum of $33,000 for technical equipment, to hire suitable work spaces and facilitate professional development seminars that are relevant to a Creative Arts-related career.

These improvements will make a huge difference to the young writers in our internship program and also deliver a meaningful literary program in the region.

In order to provide graduates with a solid foundation and opportunity to learn and grow – and build the transition from studies to a profession in the arts industry – we need your help.

We would love for you to help us create the growth and continued delivery of our literary program and its interns, to create a future for young writers.

Help us create

Pictured above: SCWC interns. Picture courtesy of Mignon Lee-Warden.

Your contribution will help build this invaluable springboard for young writers. You can support this campaign by donating anything from $5 to $30,000 (that would be extra lovely and also tax deductible!) or pledge for our lovely perks.

Each contribution helps move us forward!

You can even choose to become ‘A Friend of the South Coast Writers Centre’, a special donation tier that is entirely tax deductible, for which you will receive an appreciation certificate and be listed on our website. These are for:

  • The Darcyists: $10,000
  • The Frodonators: $5,000
  • The Seekers of Philanthropist’s Stone: $2,500
  • The Hamlets: $1,000
  • The Chatterly Lovers: $500
  • The Matildas: $250

As a not-for-profit organization with DGR status, all donations over $2 are tax deductible. Please note: pledges towards perks are unable to claim.

While we do our best to fulfil all commitments in regards to perks (within 4 weeks of pledging), if unforeseeable circumstances arise, we cannot guarantee the delivery of these perks. However in such circumstances, we will do our best to substitute a different item of the same value as your pledge.

Keep in touch

We will keep you updated on our website and you can keep in touch with us via email or phone, or via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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Team Members

Friederike Krishnabhakdi-Vasilakis