Explore the 2024 Program

Sydney Writers' Festival Staff TBR Piles

It wouldn't come as a surprise to learn that the staff of Sydney Writers' Festival are big readers. So big, in fact, that our to-be-read piles are often sky-high. In the lead up to the 2024 Festival, we all have our noses buried in preparation. We've put together this sneak peek inside the books we're currently working through and the tipping piles on our bedside tables.

Lauren, Head of Development

Lauren is tackling some of the biggest names in contemporary feminist literature from Dominican American writer and poet Elizabeth Acevedo to British journalist and writer Dolly Alderton to our local favourite Madeleine Gray. At the same time, Lauren is balancing the debuts alongside literary heavy-weights Ann Patchett and Salman Rushdie.

Kieran, Volunteers & Internships Coordinator

Our resident fantasy reader, Kieran is starting C.S. Pacat's Dark Rise series while also diving into other genres like biography with Catharine Lumby's book on Frank Moorhouse and romance with Before You and When Things Happen Together. Kieran rounds all that fiction out with some Indigenous non-fiction including Brooke Blurton's memoir and First Knowledges: Country by Bill Gammage and Bruce Pascoe.

Kate, Marketing Coordinator

Kate has a particularly visually appealing range of spines in their TBR pile and an equally wide range of themes. Lauren Groff, Fiona Kelly McGregor and Kate Mildenhall all tick the historical fiction about women category while Sarah Ogilvie's The Dictionary People takes a non-fiction approach to forgotten people from the past. For a hint of the supernatural, Kate also has The Covenant of Water by Abraham Verghese to keep them company.

Caitlin, Programming Intern

Caitlin, as a university student, has a pile of books that suitably balance challenging, mind-bending non-fiction alongside soothing, escapist fiction. Both Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus and Benjamin Stevenson's Everyone on this Train is a Suspect appear in multiple TBR piles for their compelling and moreish plots. 

Jen, Digital Marketing Manager

Jen has a pile stacked with Australian beloveds like Helen Garner, Peter Polites and the inaugural Parramatta Laureate in Literature Yumna Kassab. But she's also got some international family dramas with Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng and Tom Lake by Ann Patchett.

What have you got lined up to read next? Are you a 'one book at a time' reader or does your TBR rival ours?

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