Each year, Sydney Writers’ Festival presents more than 300 events, attracting audiences of up to 100,000 for a week-long conversation of books and ideas. We were excited to bring the Festival to Carriageworks for the first time in May 2018 (our home at Walsh Bay is undergoing a major refurbishment). Events were also held at venues stretching across Sydney, from the City Recital Hall and Sydney Town Hall in the city centre, into suburban Sydney and the Blue Mountains.
We bring together some of the world’s most curious and compassionate, irreverent but respectful, intelligent and argumentative writers – from local and international contemporary novelists, screenwriters, musicians and writers of cutting-edge nonfiction, to some of the world’s leading public intellectuals, scientists and journalists. With the finest writing and storytelling at its core, our programming is driven by the ideas and issues that animate all types of literature.
Previous international guests include Jennifer Egan, Min Jin Lee, Masha Gessen, Eileen Myles, George Saunders, Susan Faludi, Paul Beatty, Colson Whitehead, Anne Enright, Armando Iannucci, Roxane Gay, Carol Ann Duffy, Ian Rankin, Gloria Steinem, Julian Barnes, Atul Gawande, Jonathan Franzen, Alan Cumming, Vince Gilligan, Alice Walker, Paul Muldoon, William Boyd, Helen Macdonald, Eleanor Catton, A.M. Homes, Roddy Doyle, Claire Messud, James Wood, JeanetteWinterson, Fatima Bhutto, Neil Gaiman, Christopher Hitchens, Thomas Friedman, Yanis Varoufakis and many more.
Previous Australian guests include Hannah Kent, Liane Moriarty, John Safran, Richard Flanagan, Helen Garner, Robert Dessaix, Kate Grenville, Alexis Wright, Tom Keneally, Kate McClymont, Ali Cobby Eckermann, Omar Musa and Ceridwen Dovey.
The Festival is a not-for-profit organisation, and as such our aim is to be accessible to a wide range of audiences. This objective sees us present many events for free during our May Festival, and was behind the launch of our Live and Local program in 2015.
Through the Live and Local program, the Festival partners with local organisations to livestream key Festival events into regional Australia.
Sydney Writers’ Festival also has a dynamic program of events throughout the year. In November 2017, we presented our fourth annual Children’s Festival of Moving Stories, with free events for children and families
The next Sydney Writers' Festival will be held 29 April—05 May 2019 and the program will be announced in March 2019.
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