Byron Writers Festival

Residential Mentorship

About the program

The mentorship provides five days in a glorious Byron shire location with accommodation and some meals provided, one-on-one mentoring with Marele Day and the company of three other committed writers.  It’s an experience that many have described as life-changing, a time to forge lasting friendships and discover what lies at the heart of your work.

This is an outstanding opportunity to participate in a writing experience that has already proved to be a launch pad for regional writers. Established in 2001, the roll call of past participants who are now published authors continues to grow every year. You can see them all and read testimonials about the residential mentorship experience on our Alumni Successes page.

Key Dates: 

  • Applications open: Wednesday 6 March 2019
  • Applications close: Wednesday 27 March 2019
  • Successful applicants announced: 24 April 2019
  • Residential mentorship takes place: Monday 13 May – Friday 17 May 2019


Eligible writers must: be 18 years of age or over; reside in the catchment area (from Tweed Heads to Taree and west to Kyogle); be a current 2019 member of Byron Writers Festival. Manuscripts should be fiction or narrative non-fiction.

Cost: $40

How to Apply: 

  • Register and pay the registration fee between 6 March – 27 March.
  • Please prepare the following in a single PDF or Word Document:

  • The first 40 continuous pages of your manuscript (work must be typed, 12 point, Times New Roman font, double-spaced and paginated, please also include the title of your work on each page). DO NOT include your name on your manuscript.
  • A 250 word synopsis or description of this project and your intentions for the work in progress
  • A 200 word statement on why you want to be part of the mentorship, outlining how the mentorship will assist you at this stage of progress. Include any particular issues you wish to address at this stage.

Email the document to

(No hardcopy submissions please)

Need help honing your submission?

Byron Writers Festival offers a half-day workshop with mentor Marele Day to help applicants refine their submission. Held on Saturday 9 March, this optional half-day workshop is designed for those intending to apply for the residential mentorship along with other submission-based opportunities. For details, head to our workshop information page.

Mentorship selection

Three professional writers will judge the entries. The four mentorship recipients will be selected from a shortlist and selection will be according to: suitability of the work for the mentorship scheme; potential of the work; and appropriateness for the development of the writer in the residency context. Winners will be notified and names will be posted on the Byron Writers Festival website by 4pm on Wednesday 24 April. The judges’ decision is final. Unsuccessful applicants will not be given individual feedback on their submission.


Successful applicants will be notified on Tuesday 23 April. All applicants will be notified of the outcome of judging via email and can access results on the Byron Writers Festival website after 4pm on Wednesday 24 April.

The program will run from 9am Monday 13 May, to 2pm Friday 17 May. Selected mentees will receive daily mentoring and support, four nights accommodation and full breakfast and lunch each day. Succesful applicants will need to pay $280 each towards a communal ‘kitty’ from which dinners can be purchased each evening. Byron Writers Festival covers all other expenses.

Applications close
27 Mar 2019
Amount Upon Application
Writing & Publishing
Grant Type
Applicant Type
Byron Bay
New South Wales
Byron Writers Festival (opens in new window)
Byron Writers Festival
(02) 6685 5115