Do I need to buy tickets to attend SWF events?
The Festival is made up of free and paid events, both require bookings. Events do sell out quickly, so we recommend you book your tickets in advance.

How do I book?
The best way to book tickets for the Sydney Writers’ Festival is via our website. Simply click the Book Tickets button on the page of the event you want to attend.


Online booking is available 24/7 via our website. 


Our Box Office staff can book your tickets for you over the phone (remember you can use the Event Code as a handy reference). The Box Office team is available at (02) 9256 4200 at the following times:  

Monday–Friday: 9am–5pm

Select weekends: 10am–4pm

(March 13 & 14; April 24 & 25; May 1 & 2)

The Sydney Writers’ Festival Box Office is closed on the Easter long weekend (Good Friday–Easter Monday).

Tickets for events at Carriageworks, City Recital Hall, Sydney Town Hall and Riverside Theatres can be booked directly through the Sydney Writers’ Festival.

Sydney Writers’ Festival uses different ticketing agencies for some of our events and venues. If you search for the event you want to attend on the Sydney Writers’ Festival website, the Book Tickets button on each page will take you to the right place.

What has changed this year?
We’ve made some changes this year as part of our COVID-19 Safety Plan. These adjustments will ensure your Festival experience is seamless and enjoyable.

Free events require bookings 

To guarantee your seat, you can book free events online or via phone from 9am Friday 12 March. Limited tickets will be available at the Carriageworks Box Office each day during the Festival. If you cannot attend the free event you have booked, please return your tickets to Box Office to allow other patrons to book them. 

Bookings for free events will not incur transaction fees. 

Digital tickets

All tickets for the 2021 Festival will be issued electronically as part of our COVID safety measures. You can either bring a physical printout of your e-ticket(s) to your event(s) or show your e-ticket(s) on a mobile device.

Delayed digital ticket delivery

As part of our COVID-19 measures, we are issuing e-tickets only (except at onsite box offices during the Festival week). This should minimise the number of people at box offices and help provide contactless admission to events.

Your tickets will be emailed to you between 23 and 24 April. Tickets are not available before these dates.

If you have not received an e-ticket 48 hours before your first event, please contact our Box Office team at or (02) 9256 4200. 

Pre-event email

We are closely following all NSW Government health guidelines and will continue to update our procedures as necessary. We will share all relevant information, including updates and guidance on our COVID safety measures, in an email prior to your event(s). 

Why do free events require tickets?
In line with NSW Department of Health guidelines, free events will require bookings and seats will be allocated.

To guarantee your seat, you can book online or via phone from 9am Friday 12 March. Limited tickets will be available at the Carriageworks Box Office each day during the Festival.

Bookings for free events will not incur transaction fees. 

How much are tickets?
Prices vary depending on the event you wish to attend, and a single booking fee applies per booking transaction made through Sydney Writers’ Festival (bookings for free events will not incur transaction fees). Please check event web pages for individual pricing information or call our Box Office team on 02 9256 4200.

What is the audience capacity at Festival venues?

In line with current NSW Public Health regulations, the audience capacity at Carriageworks, City Recital Hall, Riverside Theatres, The Concourse, Chatswood, Sydney Town Hall has been increased to 100% for Sydney Writers’ Festival events. Please note, in line with these regulations, there will not be physical distancing within the venues, and you will be seated directly next to, in front of and behind other patrons. If you have booked these tickets on behalf of other people, please share this information with them.

Please be aware that when you attend a Festival event, you will be seated according to the NSW public health orders in place at the time of the event, not at the time of buying your ticket. You will be contacted directly if significant changes are made to your booking (this may include changes to venue capacity and seat allocations). Patrons must sit in their allocated seat as directed by venue management, including at free events.

Where can I find COVID safety information?
For information about our safety measures, visit our Stay Covid Safe page.

When are event box offices open?
During the week of the Festival, you can book tickets in person at the onsite box office. 

Carriageworks Box Office

Tuesday April 27: 12–6pm

Wednesday April 28–Sunday May 2: 9am until the last event of the day starts (sales will be card only).

Other venue box offices
Open on days of events from a minimum of one hour prior to event start times.

Do I need an account to buy tickets via 
Yes. Once you have an account, you will be able to purchase tickets online, save bookmarked events to your account (look for the My Events symbol on the top of each web page) and print a schedule of your events.

I don’t have a Sydney Writers’ Festival account. 
Create a new account on our website. Please remember your email and password for future reference. When you log in next time, your user name will be your email address.

I receive the SWF e-newsletter, do I already have an account?
You are halfway there! Please select ‘retrieve your password’ here to finalise your account setup.

I already have an account but haven’t logged in for some time. 
If you can’t remember your account password, select ‘retrieve your password’ here to reset it.

If you have any questions or experience any issues with your account, please don’t hesitate to call our Box Office team on 02 9256 4200 during business hours.

Can I print a schedule of My Events?
Yes. Your bookmarked events will carry across to your My Events page. Here, you can easily print a schedule of your events (or save them as a PDF). Please log in to your account to save these events to your account and purchase tickets.

Can I buy tickets on the day?
Yes, subject to availability. Visit the Sydney Writers’ Festival Box Office at Carriageworks or the box office at the venue of the event you are attending. We recommend booking online to avoid box office queues. Tickets are available to purchase online prior to the event starting (subject to availability).

Am I eligible for a concession price?
Concession prices are available for children under the age of 16, full-time students, Health Care Card holders and Pensioner Concession Card holders. Proof of concession eligibility is required at point of sale and upon entering venues.

Can I purchase a gift certificate?
Spoil someone you love with a Sydney Writers' Festival Gift Voucher. Gift Vouchers are valid for 12 months from date of purchase and can be redeemed from the Sydney Writers' Festival Box Office and website. Purchase a Gift Voucher on our website.

How do I book accessible tickets?
Sydney Writers’ Festival strives to make its events available for all to enjoy. Please contact our Box Office team by phone on 02 9256 4200 or email at to make accessible bookings or an enquiries.

All Festival venues are accessible, including wheelchair and level access.

To book accessible seats (including Auslan-interpreted and open-captioned bookings) for events at City Recital Hall and The Concourse, please contact venue box offices directly.

The Concourse

City Recital Hall

02 8256 2222

For all other events, please refer to the individual event listings for booking details.

For more information on accessibility, please visit our access page.

Companion Card holders 

Companion Card holders qualify for a complimentary ticket for their companion. Please contact the Sydney Writers’ Festival Box Office directly on 02 9256 4200 for assistance with your booking.

National Relay Service 

Sydney Writers’ Festival accepts phone calls via the National Relay Service. TTY users can phone 133 677, then ask for 02 9256 4200. Speak and Listen users can phone 1300 555 727, then ask for 02 9256 4200. Internet relay users can visit, then ask for 02 9256 4200.

For more details on the Auslan-interpreted and open-captioned event and venues fitted with a hearing loop system, please visit our access information page.


What is your Ticketing policy in relation to COVID-19?

Bookings affected by changes to NSW Health guidelines that prevent an event from taking place will be issued a full refund. Read our standard Terms & Conditions here. If you or a member of your party are unwell and are therefore no longer able to attend an event, you can exchange your tickets for a credit voucher (valid for three years) for tickets purchased from the Sydney Writers’ Festival Box Office. Please get in touch with our Box Office team at or 02 9256 4200.  Our flexible ticket policy also extends to exchanging your tickets for a credit voucher if you feel uncomfortable attending an event at full capacity (this applies to events at Carriageworks and City Recital Hall). Please get in touch with our Box Office team at or 02 9256 4200.   

We are implementing NSW Government's electronic check-in system. It is a condition of entry to register your attendance when visiting our venues. To make it easier, download the Service NSW app now. (Assistance will be available if you do not have a smartphone).

Can I refund or exchange my tickets? 

Sydney Writers’ Festival regrets that it is not possible to refund completed bookings, except as required by law or in accordance with the LPA Ticketing Code of Conduct. Exchanges are only permitted to another performance of the same event. Any exchanges must be made at the original point of sale and may be subject to exchange fees and availability.

What happens if I lose my tickets?

If you can’t access your e-ticket(s), please contact the Sydney Writers’ Festival Box Office at least one hour prior to the event to have a ticket reissued.

What happens if I am running late for an event? Do I get a refund on my ticket?

Being late affects the event participants and the audience. Sydney Writers’ Festival reserves the right to exclude latecomers to certain events or to admit them only during a suitable break in the proceedings. Check the time on the ticket and plan ahead. Sydney Writers’ Festival regrets it is not possible to refund a missed event.

Fees and charges

The ticket prices listed on the website are inclusive of GST and credit card charges do apply. As a registered charity, Sydney Writers’ Festival charges a transaction fee to cover the costs associated with providing our booking facilities. We endeavour to keep our booking fees as low as possible.

Program changes

Every effort has been made to ensure program details are correct; however, details are subject to change where necessary and without notice. Please be advised that event speakers and or content may be subject to change. We cannot refund these tickets if the event is still taking place.

Please refer to our Changes page on

Where can I find your Privacy Policy?
You can read our full Privacy Policy on our website.  

Please read our full terms and conditions