Burnt out by the 24-hour news cycle with its constant updates on Trump tweets, Middle Eastern crises and bitter Brexit disputes? You’re not alone. But should you give yourself permission to tune out? Don’t miss a panel discussion with Michael Willams, The Guardian’s Brigid Delaney, NPR’s Shanghai correspondent Rob Schmitz, acclaimed author Tara June Winch and award-winning journalist John Zubrzycki about the dilemma of looking away. Who will keep fighting on the information front line?

Supported by UNSW Arts & Social Sciences.

Tara June Winch (International)

Tara June Winch

Tara June Winch is a Wiradjuri author, born in Australia in 1983 and based in France. Her first novel, Swallow the Air was critically acclaimed. She was named a Sydney Morning Herald Best Young Australian Novelist, and has won numerous literary awards for Swallow the Air. A 10th anniversary edition was published in 2016. In 2008, Tara was mentored by Nobel Prize winner Wole Soyinka as part of the prestigious Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative. Her second book, the story collection After the Carnage, was published in 2016. After the Carnage was longlisted for the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for fiction, shortlisted for the 2017 NSW Premier’s Christina Stead Prize for fiction and the Queensland Literary Award for a collection. She wrote the Indigenous dance documentary, Carriberrie, which screened at the 71st Cannes Film Festival and toured internationally. Tara’s most recent novel, The Yield, won the 2020 Miles Franklin Literary Award as well as the Christina Stead Prize for fiction, the Peoples Choice Award and Book of the Year at the 2020 NSW Premiers Literary Awards.

Brigid Delaney (Australian)

Brigid Delaney

Brigid Delaney is a journalist at Guardian Australia who has published three books; the novel Wild Things and non fiction works This Restless Life and Wellmania. She is working on a book about Stoic philosophy.

Michael Williams (Australian)

Michael Williams

Michael Williams joined Sydney Writers’ Festival in September 2020, as the Artistic Director navigating the post-pandemic landscape going into the 2021 festival. He has spent the past decade at the Wheeler Centre for Books, Writing and Ideas in Melbourne; as its founding Head of Programming in 2009, and then as its Director from September 2011. A regular host and interviewer for literary and ideas events around Australia – including a long-standing association with Sydney Writers’ Festival – his background is in publishing and broadcasting. He has hosted two shows on ABC Radio National – Blueprint for Living (2015-2016) and Talkfest (2017-2018) – was a regular on ABC TV’s The Book Club, and remains a regular guest on ABC radio and TV. Michael has also worked as a Breakfast presenter for Melbourne’s 3RRR, as a member of the Australia Council’s Literature Board, in publishing in Australia and New York, and has written extensively for The GuardianThe AgeSydney Morning Herald and elsewhere. He is currently also host of Guardian Australia’s monthly book club.