We have cancelled the 2020 Festival. Please read our full statement here. And subscribe to our e-newsletter to join our celebration of the writers and thinkers who didn’t get to share their stories at the Festival this year. 

We have cancelled the 2020 Festival.

Whether you’re a literature lover, news junkie or a YA fan, Sydney Writers’ Festival has an event for you – in fact, we have more than 300. We’ve highlighted the ones we think you’ll like most so you’re not here until midnight planning your event schedule (though we think that’s a great way to spend an evening). Subscribe to our e-newsletter for even more guidance on which events to fill your day with. 

A Message from our Artistic Director

If you’re after some direction, why not take it from the person who knows the Festival program best. Read Michaela McGuire’s Artistic Director's message here

2020 Podcast

Annabel Crabb and Michaela McGuire join forces on the SWF podcast. Listen in to find out what events they want you to know about on our podcast channel. 

2020 Guest Curators: Alison Whittaker, Christos Tsiolkas & Rebecca Giggs

Highly acclaimed writers  Alison Whittaker, Christos Tsiolkas and Rebecca Giggs have designed sessions that light up the dark, magical and unexpected spaces of this year’s theme Almost Midnight. You can read more about their curated events here.  

Festival highlights

For this year’s biggest names and not-to-be-missed galas, check out our Festival highlights.

Curiosity Lectures 

Want to know what keeps some of the Festival’s most brilliant minds burning the midnight oil? From Istanbul to outer space, Sydney’s traffic problem to the modern coordinates of stupidity, these curious lectures will answer some questions – and raise many more. Read about each curious lecture here.  

Family Program

Our Family Program kicks off on Saturday 2 May with the one of the biggest names in children’s literature – Dav Pilkey! Then on Sunday 3 May get lost in the magic of Family Day. And the Big Backyard is back with free activities that will whisk kids away into a world of wonder. Laugh out loud, sing along, learn some facts and have fun in events sure to entertain kids of all ages.

Read all about the fun you can have here

All-Day YA

Get ready for an explosion of stories all about love, grief, magic, family and the reality of being young, specially programmed by the Sydney Writers’ Festival Youth Curators (supported by Creative Partnerships Australia).

From New York Times bestselling author Leigh Bardugo to UK author Alice Oseman, read about all the events you can catch here

Our YA program is supported by UNSW Arts & Social Sciences.