Writing makes for a solitary pursuit. That’s why it is so refreshing to shut down the computer, wipe the remnants of your last meal from your clothes and share ideas and stories with like-minded people. Not just writers, but comedians, poets, editors, booksellers, designers and lyricists; people who work with words in any sense.

This is the essence of the National Young Writers’ Festival, which is a sub-festival as part of TiNA (This Is Not Art) – Newcastle’s independent arts festival. It attracts artists from all over Australia over the October long weekend.

This is a festival handed over to writers so they can create, debate, discuss, display and share their prosaic and poetic pursuits. And it has just put the word out for any of these species of writer to join the fray.

It’s as easy as suggesting what you’d like to participate in as an artist and what you’d like to see as an audience member. Perhaps it’s a live choose-your-own-adventure erotic-fan-fiction reading, a seminar on how to insult your mortal enemy through haiku, or a workshop for writing poetic but useful eBay ads. Anything that showcases words, storytelling and language is a possibility from October 1–4.

Anyone aged from 18 to 35, and engaged with any kind of writing, can apply. You don’t have to be accomplished, published or in any way established – in fact, new and experimental voices are exactly the kind the festival wants to shout about. Writers and their ilk from every corner of the country are encouraged to apply, with grants offered for those in remote locations. The excessively young (i.e. those under 18) can also apply for the Younger Young Writers’ Festival.

Applications are open now and at close midnight March 30.