Byron Bay, Australia

Are you a wannabe freelance journalist or an aspiring travel writer with itchy feet? Do you want to spend a week in Byron Bay being mentored by working editors and journalists and getting real-world writing experience?

While we restlessly await the return of global health and open borders, we’ve decided to host a series of intimate, week-long writing retreats in our own backyard: the magical and vibrant town of Byron Bay. These miniature escapes will see you and a handful of other aspiring pen wizards living together in a glorious beach setting while you get equipped with the skills necessary to kickstart your freelance writing career. All manner of subjects will be covered  — from long-form feature and creative non-fiction writing to pitching to an editor and starting your own blog or publication  — with a particular emphasis on writing for change and decolonising travel writing.

In amongst surfing with dolphins, hiking in the rainforest and getting to know the wild and wooly locals who call the bay home, you’ll also be working on a killer article that we’ll help you finetune and pitch to the publication of your choice. Teaching the program will be Gemma Clarke — the founding editor of Global Hobo, Bay FM breakfast presenter, former deputy editor of the triple j Annual and freelance journalist; Nat Kassell — associate editor of Slam, the deputy editor of Global Hobo and a freelance journalist with bylines at the ABC,, Monster Children, VICE, Noisey and more; and Mariama Rose Mansfield-Njie, Bay FM radio presenter and the host of podcast Chatting BS.

What You Get:

  • Daily travel-writing and blogging workshops — click here for a subject breakdown
  • Airport pickup from Ballina (or you can drive your own vehicle up if you’re feeling particularly adventurous)
  • One week of twin-share accommodation in a beautiful house walking distance from town and the beach, complete with a kitchen and WiFi.
  • 24-hour support, care and mentoring


  • $1599 for a shared room (limited options available)
  • $1999AUD for a private room
  • A deposit will be due within two weeks of your selection in order to confirm your place, but the remainder will not be due until three weeks before the program starts. Payment plans are also available upon inquiry.

Dates and Availability:

  • Monday February 8 – Tuesday February 16, 2021 (note this is eight nights and will be +$120 more expensive)
  • Sunday May 2 – Sunday May 9, 2021

Places are strictly limited to a maximum of 10 people. Seeing as several students have already transferred in from our cancelled Japan, Bali and Spain workshops, if you’re interested to join us, we recommend getting an application in ASAP!


  • I’m still not convinced — what makes Global Hobo different from everyone else?
    • Read about our commitments to diversity, accessibility, sustainability and more.
  • This looks kind of scammy — I’d like to read some reviews of the program from previous hobos!
  • I want to know some more information about the program!
  • What are your terms and conditions?


To apply, fill in a contact form or message us directly, and we’ll be in touch within two working days. Successful applicants will be open-minded creatives who are keen to step outside their comfort zone and gain some real-world journalism experience. Do note though that the course is just that: a course. You don’t need to already have a foot in the door of the media industry to apply, nor do you already need to be the best writer. All the skills you’ll need to start sculpting your words like a pro and getting published will be taught as part of the curriculum. In fact, many students often keep writing for Global Hobo on a freelance basis once their course is over.

Age is just a number -- but you've gotta be at least 18.
No pressure - total rookies are still welcome to apply.

Global Hobo is run by a team of writers who mostly live and work on Bundjalung land in the Byron Shire. We would like to acknowledge, pay our respects and give thanks to the Arakwal people, the Widjabal people and the Minjungbal people of the Bundjalung nation: the traditional and ongoing custodians of the land. We pay respect to their elders past, present and emerging, and acknowledge that their land was stolen, and never ceded. We also acknowledge that First-Nations people in Australia continue to suffer from colonialism, and that all settlers in Australia continue to benefit from this oppressive system.