Explore the 2024 Program

Ann Mossop Appointed Artistic Director

The Sydney Writers’ Festival Board of Directors is thrilled to announce that Ann Mossop has been appointed the Artistic Director of the Sydney Writers’ Festival for a three year term.

Festival Chair Mark Scott said, “Ann Mossop comes to Sydney Writers’ Festival with a career programing cutting-edge public conversations at the Sydney Opera House for the Ideas at the House series, Festival of Dangerous Ideas, All About Women and recently as the Director of the Centre for Ideas at UNSW Sydney. Ann also has a long association with the Festival, sitting on the board from 1995–2000 and was part of the committee that established Sydney Writers’ Festival as an independent entity in 1998.”

Sydney Writers’ Festival CEO Brooke Webb is delighted that Mossop has joined the Festival.

“Ann’s experience, strong intellect and remarkable track record is extraordinary. Ann has brought the most esteemed and prolific writers and thinkers from Australia and the world to our public conversations and I could not be more excited for Sydney Writers’ Festival organisation and our audience,” said Webb.

As Head of Talks and Ideas at the Sydney Opera House from 2010–2017, Mossop established the Opera House’s Talks and Ideas program. The Ideas at the House series featured writers, thinkers, artists, chefs and comedians, including Jackie Chan, Noam Chomsky, Roxane Gay, Elizabeth Gilbert, Stephen Hawking, Alicia Garza, Jamie Oliver, Yoko Ono, Grayson Perry, Jennifer Saunders, Alice Waters and many more.

Mossop co-led the Festival of Dangerous Ideas (FODI) at the Opera House from 2010–2017 and has remained a co-curator of the Festival. FODI has hosted speakers like Slavoj Zizek, Salman Rushdie, Vandana Shiva and Naomi Klein. Mossop was also the co-founder of the All About Women Festival, held annually at Sydney Opera House since 2013.

On her appointment Mossop said, “I am very excited to be joining Sydney Writers’ Festival as Artistic Director. It’s a brilliant Festival that is an essential and much-loved part of Sydney life.

The Writers’ Festival team have worked tirelessly to keep the flame alive for writers and audiences during two difficult years of COVID disruption. I am looking forward to working with them to create a festival next year that celebrates our local writers and renews the international exchanges bringing the best of books and ideas to Sydney audiences.”

Mossop replaces Artistic Director Michael Williams, who programed the 2021 and 2022 Festivals.  

Sydney Writers’ Festival week returns 22-28th May, 2023.

Read an interview with Ann in The Sydney Morning Herald.