Emerging Writers’ Festival appoints Will Dawson as general manager

The Emerging Writers’ Festival are very pleased to announce the appointment of new general manager Will Dawson, commencing Monday 19 December 2016.

As a creative producer on the 2016 festival, Will worked with the outgoing team to produce several of the most successful events in the program, and managed the Monash Undergraduate Prize for Creative Writing. Will joins EWF with a wealth of festival experience, having worked with Melbourne Festival, Edinburgh Fringe, Melbourne International Comedy Festival and Melbourne International Film Festival. Most recently Will has worked on large-scale events including White Night and the Melbourne Fashion Festival as event operations supervisor at Museums Victoria. He is also a freelance writer in his own right.

Will succeeds Kate Callingham, who in November completed an outstanding three-year tenure as general manager. As the festival’s inaugural GM, in 2014 Kate pioneered the EWF’s co-CEO model with then-director Sam Twyford-Moore, successfully transferring the model to work with 2016 director Michaela McGuire.

Kate’s diligent, thoughtful and passionate leadership has been a huge part of the festival’s success. Both audiences and box office have made huge gains over the past three years, and Kate was also an integral part of the highly successful Digital Writers’ Festival. An experiment born of modest ambition, EWF’s digital-only experience has grown to become a unique and much anticipated event in the worlds of both festivals and writing.

“Kate’s contribution to EWF has been immeasurable,” said EWF Board Chair, Andrea Spencer. “She has managed the festival through a period of remarkable growth and her passion for and commitment to giving voice to the true diversity of Australia’s emerging writers community is something that has helped the festival maintain its position as such a vital part of this country’s writing culture.”

“In Will, we are delighted to have found such a worthy successor,” continued Andrea. “His understanding of the festival landscape both locally and internationally is a genuine asset, and having joined the EWF team as a volunteer this year, his enthusiasm and passion for the organization is something we’ve all been able to experience first hand.”

“The opportunity to work with one of Australia’s preeminent literary festivals is tremendously exciting,” said Will. “EWF is an incredible platform for both writers and arts managers, and I look forward to working with the team to support the next generation of Australian writing.”

With Michaela McGuire moving on to direct the Sydney Writers’ Festival from 2017, a search for a festival director to work alongside Will is commencing shortly.