For the last twenty years, the ACT Writers Centre has been developing writers and their work, focusing on craft and professional practice over a creative lifetime. As the leading organisation of writing-based culture in the ACT, the Centre continues to build an innovative, vibrant and sustainable sector by providing opportunities for writers and developing beneficial collaborations.

Who we are


Centre Director: Sarah Mason

Sarah Mason is an experienced arts administrator with interests across the film, literature and business sectors. She has worked in management and communication roles across arts, Government, tourism and education including at the National Film and Sound Archive, Taronga Zoo and Australian War Memorial. Recently, Sarah produced the film Blue World Order which won the audience award at the 2016 Canberra International Film Festival. She is also represented by literary agents Curtis Brown. At the ACT Writers Centre, Sarah is responsible for creative programming, financial and staff management, stakeholder liaison and reporting. Sarah loves books, karaoke, scrabble, film and tea.

Office Manager: Sophie Mannix

Sophie Mannix is the Office Manager for the ACT Writers Centre, the Communications Coordinator for Noted Festival, and a candle enthusiast. She is currently studying a Bachelor of Arts in Literature and Creative Writing, and is about to relaunch Writer of Oz, a website designed to help Australian writers get to the next stage in their careers. At the ACT Writers Centre, she prioritises helping writers connect to the industry, move forward in their career paths, and find their community. She loves cats, books, bears, Taylor Swift and terribly trashy reality shows.

Communications Officer: Elisabeth Howie

Elisabeth Howie is a communications professional and design enthusiast. She holds a Master of Communication, specialising in professional writing, and is passionate about promoting and supporting Australian literature. At the ACT Writers Centre, she focuses on communications, marketing and business development activities. In her spare time, she is a voracious reader and writer (*collector of sentences and unfinished stories). Her Happiness: the ocean, tea-pots, camping adventures and wild places.

Project Officer: Nigel Featherstone

Nigel Featherstone is an author and arts worker. He is the author of Remnants, a critically acclaimed novel published by Pandanus Books (2005), an award-winning series of three novellas published by Blemish Books (2011, 2012, 2014), and 50 short stories published in Australian literary journals such as the Review of Australian Fiction, Meanjin, Island, and Overland. He has been awarded residencies at Varuna and Bundanon, and in 2013 he was a Creative Fellow at ADFA/UNSW Canberra. In 2015 the Goulburn Regional Conservatorium commissioned Nigel to write the libretti for a 12-song cycle with the score being composed by James Humberstone from the Sydney Conservatorium. As an arts worker, Nigel has considerable experience with the delivery of arts projects and arts funding. For the ACT Writers Centre, he has delivered the national HARDCOPY program since 2014, and initiated and delivers the ACT Writer-in-Residence and Between the Lines reading-for-writers programs.


Marion Halligan, AM


Chair: David Vernon
Deputy Chair: Rachelle Hare
Secretary/Public Officer: Samantha Tidy
General: Ellen Broad, Jordan Rocke, Emma Street, David Traylen


Our sponsors

The ACT Writers Centre could not offer the level of service it does without help from our supporters and sponsors.

We would like to thank: