Hey cHEwY gum gums!

I’ve been feeling sad about the news that Writing NSW’s funding will be cut at the end of the year. It will be a body-blow to the writing community and the arts community as a whole if we lose this valuable resource and organisation.

Writing NSW has been fundamental to my development as a writer and author. I knew it back then as the NSW Writing Centre. When I started my writing journey, one of the first things I did was sign up to the NSW Writers Centre.

So why should we save Writing NSW? Yeah, I have a few reasons hehe.

Writing NSW develops emerging writers

Writing NSW have some excellent festivals throughout the year, including the Kids and YA festival. Back in 2008, I won a first line competition which got me the attention of an editor on the panel. The following year, I paid for a consultancy session with a manuscript assessor, who turned out to be an agent. By 2009, I had an agent and publisher for Thai-riffic!, thanks to Writing NSW. A few years, I had come full circle, being on a panel inspiring the next cohort of kids writers. If you are serious about writing or the business/admin side of writing, there are countless courses and festivals where you can learn heaps and increase your chances in getting noticed by publishers.

Writing NSW fosters a healthy writing community

I joined Writing NSW because I wanted to join a writers critique group. The group’s leader, Aleesah Darlison, was a gung-ho writer and she helped me take writing seriously. She invited me to the first ever CBCA Northern Sydney Sub-branch meeting back in 2009, which introduced me to famous kids writers like Kate Forsyth to name a few. I remember going to their NewsWrite newsletter mailing sessions, where you’d physically put newsletters into envelopes (yes I am old haha) and meeting writers from all kinds of genres and ages. Writing may a solitude thing, but organisations like Writing NSW brings the social side. Whether it’s for networking, or making long-lasting friendships to celebrate the highs and lows, you’ll never feel alone.

Writing NSW provides a valuable writing physical space

Writing NSW is one of the few places dedicated to writers. How awesome is that? While libraries and community centres are great places to have writers groups and events, there is something special about having a place where you belong. The Writing NSW building is surrounded by lush trees and quaint rooms that are painted with history and inspiration. While the organisation has shifted online with some of their services and courses, there is something cool about going to a place, meeting writers in real life and sharing a sandwich or two. Writing NSW has hosted some great events, book launches, poetry nights and more.

You can help save Writing NSW by signing this petition. You can find out more ways from the Chair’s message. Shout it out via social media with the #SaveWritingNSW

O.W

About the author

I'm an author, stand-up comedian and teacher. My books include Thai-riffic!, Con-nerd, Punchlines and The Other Christy. I'm a massive Nintendo fan and love eating burgers. Follow me on Twitter or Instagram @oliverwinfree