In light of the current Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation, the Government’s directive to restrict public gatherings of more than 500 people, and in the interest of the health and safety of students, teachers, authors, volunteers and Festival staff, we regret to announce the cancellation Student Sessions 2020 and Student Sessions Livestream .

Read the full statement about the Sydney Writers' Festival 2020 cancellation here

Our Student Sessions Livestream event broadcasts the magic of the Sydney Writers’ Festival in real time to regional schools outside greater metropolitan Sydney.

For a single booking of $60, tune in to the below sessions as they take place in real time on Wednesday 29 April. To check eligibility and register, click here. To see our eFlyer about the event, click here

10am Daniel Mendelsohn on the Classics

The master of popular criticism, Daniel Mendelsohn, uses the ancient past to reach into the very heart of modern culture. Described as “our most irresistible literary critic” (The New York Times), Daniel joins author and journalist Benjamin Law to discuss his latest collection of essays, covering how the automatons in Homer’s epics can help explain AI films Ex Machina and Her, how Virgil’s Aeneid foreshadows post–World War II history, why we are still obsessed with the Titanic, and the feminism that can be found in Game of Thrones.

11.15am Paul Kelly on Poetry 

In a session that explores the transformative combination of poetry and music, hear acclaimed singer-songwriter Paul Kelly recite a selection of poems from his new anthology Love Is Strong as Death – some of which he has set to music and will sing live. In conversation with ABC Radio National’s Kate Evans, Paul discusses a collection that spans the ancient and the modern and speaks to two of literature’s greatest themes: love and death – plus everything in between. 

1pm Centre Stage

Whether for film, television or the stage, a new generation of Australian scriptwriters are making their mark. Logie winner, actor and screenwriter of the AACTA-nominated Top End Wedding, Miranda Tapsell, and Michelle Law, whose work includes the hit play Single Asian Female and the award-winning SBS series Homecoming Queens, will be in conversation with writer and theatre-maker Maeve Marsden, discussing their craft, voice and artistic practice, as well as the importance of diversity on stage and screen.