Become a Sydney Writers’ Festival Youth Curator

Applications have now closed.

Are you a young reader obsessed with the world of Young Adult literature? Would you like to play a role in the curation and planning of a major literary festival’s YA program? If this piques your interest, then the Sydney Writers’ Festival’s Youth Curator Council might be the ideal mentoring program for you!

During two hands-on workshops, our Youth Curators will be guided by Sydney Writers’ Festival’s Head of Children’s and YA Programs, Amelia Lush, to curate sessions for All-Day YA 2022 – a full day of engaging, current and curious events featuring a phenomenal line-up of Australian YA authors. All-Day YA will take place on Saturday 21 May 2022 at the Festival precinct. 

You are... 

  • A current high-school student, including graduating in 2021 
  • Live in the wider Sydney area 
  • A lover of books, reading and young adult (YA) literature 
  • Curious about the world, people, readers and writers 
  • Comfortable working within a group of other like-minded young people 
  • Able and willing to read up to five YA books provided by Sydney Writers’ Festival over the 2021/2022 summer holidays 
  • If under 18, have the permission of your parent or guardian  
  • Available to attend two programming workshops in The Rocks, and All-Day YA on Saturday, 21 May 2022 at the Festival Precinct 

“In terms of my experiences, quite frankly I think that you would be remiss not to apply...curating and moderating were some of the most valuable things I have done.”

2020–2021 Youth Curator Neva, aged 16

Key information 

  • The program runs from 20 December 202121 May 2022 
  • This is a paid role – all participants will be paid $150 for each day of attendance (this includes the two workshops and All-Day YA) 
  • Both programming workshops will be held at the Arts Exchange in The Rocks, Sydney 
  • All-Day YA will be held at the Sydney Writers’ Festival Precinct  
  • Each applicant must complete the online application and submit a short video (more information below) 
  • If travel or access is difficult, video conferencing for the workshops can be arranged, but in-person attendance of All-Day YA is essential 
  • If travelling from outside the Sydney Metro area, a travel allowance of $50 per day can be arranged  

“The opportunity to serve as a Youth Curator and moderator for Sydney Writers’ Festival is something that I can’t understate my gratitude for….Joining the Youth Curator Council offered me the ability to speak on the urgent truths of young people and highlight the stories that we want to hear more about.”

2020–2021 Youth Curator Munira, aged 16

Key dates

  • Wednesday 10 November: Applications open 
  • Wednesday 1 December: Applications close at 11.59pm  
  • Friday 10 December: All applicants will be notified by this date, successful or not  
  • Friday 17 December: Books for summer reading distributed
  • Saturday 15 January: Programming Workshop 1*

10 Hickson Road, The Rocks 


Lunch included 

  • Saturday 29 January: Programming Workshop 2* 

10 Hickson Road, The Rocks 


Lunch included 

  • Saturday 21 May: All-Day YA* 

Festival Precinct


*Each of these events is compulsory to attend.  

“As a Youth Curator with the Sydney Writers’ Festival, I was able to channel both passions in a creative way to help develop a fun and stimulating program that would bring the limelight to the many, amazing Young-Adult works that exist!...I deeply cherish my time with Sydney Writers’ Festival as both a curator and moderator and have made awesome memories and friendships that will last a lifetime!”

2020–2021 Youth Curator Rodah, aged 18

Your video submission

Please send us a self-taped video of you telling us about a YA title that you lovehas made you think, or has changed the way you see the world.

We encourage you to speak unscripted (rather than reading a piece you have written) as the intention of the video is to get a sense of your personality and passion for literature and how articulate you are when discussing your response to a book.  

The video should be 35 minutes long.  

Send your video to via your preferred video transfer method (for example, WeTransfer, OneDrive, GoogleDrive, Dropbox). 

If you have any questions about the program, please get in touch with our Head of Children's and YA Programs, Amelia Lush. e: | ph: 61 (2) 9256 4209