Explore the 2024 Program

A message from Ann Mossop, Artistic Director

Every piece of writing is a time capsule. It assembles fragments of its own world and sends them onward to a reader who exists in a different one, not just in space but also in time. Even writing privately in a journal presupposes a future self who will be reading it—and a future at all.
Jenny Odell

So writes Jenny Odell (author of How to Do Nothing) in her new book Saving Time: Discovering a Life Beyond the Clock. This time travel is part of what makes reading and writing such special human experiences. But being in the same place and time as a favourite writer also has its own magic…

This year, we are fortunate enough to bring together a group of writers from around the world and all over Australia in person for the first time since 2019. This is an occasion for celebration, reflection and joy, and I know that our audiences will come out in force to mark the occasion.

At the Festival, writers across many different forms will be thinking and talking about how we understand the past, how we live in the present and how our words, our imaginations and our actions shape the future.

2023 marks one year of a new Australian government and the year of the Voice to Parliament. It marks more than a year of war in Ukraine and more than three years since the Black Summer bushfires and the start of the Covid Pandemic.

But 2023 also marks a time to celebrate a new novel from Alexis Wright, to dive into the work of the winner of the Booker Prize Shehan Karunatilaka, to read the sonnets of T.S. Eliot Prize winner Anthony Joseph, to open the cover of Madison Godfrey’s first book and to discover many more brilliant writers and storytellers.

Above all, the 2023 Sydney Writers’ Festival offers you a world of writing and ideas to explore, from the regular sustenance of favourite daily reads, to some very special performances and experiences. Whether the words that matter to you are on the pages of books, or on a phone in your hand, or whispered into your ear, come and join us at the festival to meet the people who have written or spoken them and become part of the conversation that brings them to life.

– Ann Mossop
Artistic Director

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