A message from the Artistic Director

Sydney Writers’ Festival in 2016 was extraordinary. We had more attendances and higher ticket sales and book sales than ever before. Literature is alive in Sydney and books, ideas and debate form the beating heart of our city.

Crowds came out en masse to events across suburban Sydney, into the Blue Mountains, and also to regional centres across Australia where sessions were streamed, giving access to remote audiences outside of NSW for the first time. There was a wonderful atmosphere at the Festival hub on Sydney Harbour, with people milling around, seeing events on the heritage wharves, catching up with fellow bibliophiles and reading in the sun.

What I loved seeing over the week, was all of the writers going to each other’s sessions, supporting each other and forming some fantastic friendships.  It was heartening to see Festival-goers soaking up the atmosphere, chatting about sessions and nourished by the ideas. There really was something particularly special this year in the combination of people coming together. It was thanks not just to the authors, but also to our supporters and the book lovers across Sydney and Australia that helped make the Festival such a resounding success.

Jemma Birrell,
Artistic Director


Visit the 2016 Festival archive.


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Sponsors and Partners Sydney Writers' Festival 2016