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women of colour writers mentorship 

It's no secret that #MeToo left many behind. All About Women is again partnering with Sweatshop and inviting a new round of emerging writers to respond to Tarana Burke's call for change.

Talks & Ideas | Mentorship Program

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Applications now closed

The application entry period commenced on Tuesday 29 November 2022 and closed on Tuesday 20 December 2022 at 11.59pm AEDT.

new writers, new stories: creating narratives of change

The #MeToo movement was started in 2006 by African-American activist Tarana Burke to address sexual abuse and harassment that affected poor Black women and girls. When wealthy White Hollywood actresses hijacked the hashtag, a social movement built for the marginalised then only served the elite. What about those that got left behind? First Nations women. Black women. Women of colour. First Nations men and men of colour. And now, five years on, Tarana Burke is calling to focus on a culture-wide shift: to fight rape culture.

In response, the All About Women of Colour mentorship will host a new group of emerging writers as they work on a short fictional piece centred on the people left behind by the #MeToo movement and the question, 'Where to from here?' Winning mentees will be guided by Sweatshop judges mentors Winnie Dunn and Dr Sarah Ayoub.

The 2023 program is open to women and non-binary First Nations, culturally and linguistically diverse writers who have some record of publication but have not yet published a full-length work.

Winners will receive cash prizes and have their works published on the Sydney Opera House website and social media.

Applications for the 2023 program are now open and close on Tuesday 20 December 2022 at 11.59pm AEDT.

Presented by Sydney Opera House

"The #MeToo movement is what we make it, by how we commit to dismantling rape culture"

Tarana Burke, Time Magazine 2022

More about...

Winnie Dunn is the General Manager of Sweatshop Literacy Movement and the editor of several critically acclaimed anthologies, including Another Australia (Affirm Press, 2022). She is a writer of Tongan descent from Mount Druitt and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Western Sydney University. Her work has been published in The Guardian, HuffPost Australia, Griffith Review, Meanjin and SBS Voices. Winnie is currently completing her debut novel, Dirt Poor Islanders (Hachette, 2024), which has been assisted by the Australia Council for the Arts



A women with long dark hair

Dr Sarah Ayoub is a freelance journalist, bestselling author and academic living and writing on Darug Land. Her work has appeared in The Guardian, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Australian, SBS, Marie-Claire, ELLE, Sunday Life, Sydney Review of Books, and more, and she is the author of three teen novels and two picture books, including The Cult of Romance and The Love that Grew. Sarah attained her PhD with a thesis examining migrant narratives in Australian teen lit and currently lectures in journalism and writing at the University of Sydney and the University of Notre Dame. She has been a Stella Prize Schools Ambassador, hosted writing workshops with the Australian High Commission, and most recently been a judge for the NSW Premiers Literary Awards. She sits on the Board of the Australian Society of Authors.

A women with brunette hair sitting infront of a colourful bookshelf

explore works from previous mentees...

Yeena Kirkbright


A series of poems by Yeena Kirkbright, recipient of the All About Women of Colour & Sweatshop Mentorship for creative writing, co-presented with Sweatshop.

Yeena Kirkbright

Hine e Hine

A short fiction work by Ayeesha Ash, recipient of the All About Women of Colour & Sweatshop Mentorship for creative writing/

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the All About Women of Colour Mentorship?

The Sydney Opera House has again partnered with Western Sydney-based literacy movement Sweatshop on an emerging writers' mentorship program for First Nations and culturally and linguistically diverse writers, hosted by All About Women festival in 2023. For this instalment of the year-round series of mentorship programs, successful applicants will develop a creative writing project inspired by the themes of the Opera House’s All About Women festival. Successful applicants will also be invited to read their work live on-stage in dialogue with Sweatshop mentors at All About Women festival on 12 March 2023.

The Opera House will continue to partner with relevant organisations throughout the year that specialises in different areas of diversity and inclusion to deliver a variety of mentorship programs. 

Who can apply?

The All About Women of Colour program is open to women and non-binary emerging writers from First Nations and culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds who have some record of publication but have not yet published a full-length work.

Applicants must be Sydney residents and over the age of 18.

How can I apply and when do applications close?

Please apply at the following link. Applications for the 2023 program close on Tuesday 20 December 2022 at 11.59pm AEDT.

Am I too old/young to apply? 

As long as you are over 18 years, you are neither too old or too young to participate in the program. 

If my application is successful, how will I be contacted?

We will endeavour to notify all applicants if their application has been successful or not after the closing date. If successful, applicants will be contacted via phone or email to discuss their creative writing project and the mentorship further.

Can I submit more than one application?

You may only submit one application.

Can I put in a late application?

Late applications will not be accepted. Applications for the program close on Tuesday 20 December 2022 at 11.59pm AEDT

How will my application be assessed?

Applications will be assessed against a number of criteria, including the originality of ideas contained in the writing proposal, how well those ideas respond to the themes of the festival, and applicants’ writing potential based on their publication history and application. The judges are Winnie Dunn and Sarah Ayoub.

How will the mentorship work?

Each successful applicant will be paired with one mentor who will provide up to 25 hours of mentorship. That mentor will provide three rounds of feedback on drafts of the writing project prior to submission to the Opera House for publication. The final deadline for submission of the final work is Tuesday 28 February 2023. Each participant will also be invited to share their work live on stage in dialogue with the judges/mentors in a dedicated event at All About Women and engage with some speakers from the All About Women festival line-up.

Who do I contact if I have any questions about my application?

If you have any questions about completing your application, please email

Terms & Conditions


1. Information on how to apply to the All About Women of Colour Mentorship (“the Program”) forms part of these Terms and Conditions of entry. Submission of an application is deemed acceptance of these Terms and Conditions.

2. The Program organiser is the Sydney Opera House Trust, Bennelong Point, Sydney NSW 2000 (ABN 69 712 101 035), (+612) 9250 7111 (‘Sydney Opera House’, ‘us’, ‘we’).

3. Entry is open to women and non-binary citizens and permanent residents of Australia over the age of eighteen who currently reside in Sydney. Employees of the Sydney Opera House and their immediate families are not eligible to enter.

4. The application entry period commences on Tuesday 29 November 2022 and will close on Tuesday 20 December 2022 at 11.59pm AEDT.

5. Applicants must be from a First Nations or culturally diverse background. Cultural diversity is defined in this context as “people who speak a language other than English and people with culturally and linguistically diverse ancestries”.

6.  Applicants must not have had a full-length work of fiction or narrative non-fiction professionally published or accepted for publication in print or digital formats. If you have had short works published in print or online you are eligible to apply.

7. To apply for acceptance into the Program you must complete and submit the online application form located at and a 500-word maximum writing project proposal or video/audio submission (3-minute maximum) in accordance with the specified conditions. Some applicants may be invited to give more information or have discussions about their past work.

8. You may submit an application for entry into the 2023 Program only once. The Sydney Opera House reserves the right to disqualify any incomplete or automated applications.

9. The decision of the judges in selecting the successful applicant/s is final. The judges will not enter into any correspondence and no individual feedback will be provided to applicants.

10. Successful applicants will be selected for their suitability to the Program and the Sydney Opera House’s values. Up to two successful applicants may be notified at any time from 10 - 13 January 2023. The Sydney Opera House may (in its absolute discretion) elect not to choose any successful applicants, choose fewer or more than two successful applicants. The successful applicant(s) will be contacted using the contact details provided in their application.

11. If we cannot contact you (or you do not respond during the notification period), you elect not to continue as an applicant, or do not sign the Program Letter of Acceptance (the terms of which are set out below) you cannot be included in the Program.

12. Applications and supporting work must be in English.

The Program

13. Each successful applicant (“Participant”) will receive (a) $1,000 payable in 2 equal instalments – $500 at the commencement of the Program and $500 on submission of the final writing project; and (b) a 1 person pass to the 2023 All About Women festival (where this proceeds in 2023). You agree to provide SOHT with all reasonable assistance required to make these instalments. This pass is non-transferrable and not redeemable for cash.

14. Each Participant will be paired with a suitably experienced writer from Sweatshop, for up to 25 hours across a period of two months for the mentorship.  The mentorship will also include presentation coaching ahead of the All About Women event. Sweatshop is a literacy movement based in Western Sydney which is devoted to empowering culturally and linguistically diverse communities through reading, writing and critical thinking. Sweatshop provides research, training, mentoring and employment opportunities for emerging and established writers and arts practitioners from Indigenous and non-English speaking backgrounds. The mentorship will be delivered online and in person, depending on the availability and preference of the mentor and Participant. The Sydney Opera House will attempt to provide the same mentor for the duration of the Program, but cannot guarantee their availability.

15. Each Participant must prepare and submit a final writing project comprising a work of fiction of no less than 1000 words.

16. The work submitted by the Participant at the conclusion of the mentorship (being no later than Tuesday 28 February 2023) must be original and cannot have been previously published in print or digital formats or be currently submitted for publication. If, after submission, the work is the winner of any other prize, or is accepted for publication, or self-published, you must notify the Sydney Opera House in writing immediately, and your work may be deemed ineligible for publication and you may be withdrawn from the Program.

17. SOHT may invite each Participant to attend and speak at an All About Women in Colour Mentorship reading facilitated by Sweatshop mentors currently scheduled for 11 March 2023. Participants will present their submitted work read their work of fiction and publicly speak about their work at the event, subject to the execution of a separate agreement.

18. If you are a successful applicant you agree to provide reasonable assistance to the Sydney Opera House and Sweatshop to promote the Program.

19. Participants grant the Sydney Opera House a non-exclusive, irrevocable, unlimited right to publish the work resulting from the mentorship on the Sydney Opera House website, including edited excerpts. The Sydney Opera House does not guarantee publication of the Participant’s work.

20. Copyright in any work you submit remains with you, but the Sydney Opera House reserves the right to use successful applicants’ submitted work to promote the mentorship Program.

21. In case of an emergency the Sydney Opera House will use the contact details supplied by you when entering the Program.

22. The personal information Participants provide when applying for the Program will be used by the Sydney Opera House to conduct the Program. Your personal information will be used and stored in accordance with the Sydney Opera House Customer Privacy Statement. For more information about the Sydney Opera House’s Privacy Policy, including how to request access to personal information can be found on the Sydney Opera House’s website at: 

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