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. In April 2020, thousands of readers and hundreds of writers come together at our Festival Precinct at Carriageworks and the Seymour Centre as well as venues across the city such as Sydney Town Hall and City Recital Hall.
The Festival programs 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 non-fiction, 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, Fatima Bhutto, Andrew Sean Greer, Masha Gessen, Max Porter, Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah, Eileen Myles, George Saunders, Susan Faludi, Alexander Chee, Paul Beatty, Rachel Kushner, Colson Whitehead, Anne Enright, Armando Iannucci, Roxane Gay, Min Jin Lee, Ian Rankin, Gloria Steinem, Julian Barnes, Simon Schama, Atul Gawande, Jonathan Franzen, Alan Cumming, Vince Gilligan, Alice Walker, Paul Muldoon, William Boyd, Ece Temelkuran, Susan Orlean, Meg Wolitzer, Antony Beevor, Eleanor Catton, A.M. Homes, Roddy Doyle, Claire Messud, James Wood, Jeanette Winterson, 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, Anna Funder, 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 April 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 2019, we presented our sixth annual Children’s Festival of Moving Stories, with free events for children and families, the main component of which was Russ the Story Bus.
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