Sydney Writers’ Festival is back for 2023, with a diverse program of writers who are looking to the future.

Running since 1997, Sydney Writers’ Festival continues to offer the reading community a world of writing and ideas to explore, from the regular sustenance of favourite daily reads, to special all-new performances and experiences.


Russ the Bus at Carriageworks. Image supplied.


Stories for the future

Journalist and arts writer Susan Skelly once said, “Writers’ festivals are a speed date with books and big ideas. Making them happen requires crisis management skills, deft diplomacy, a crystal ball and possibly a tracking device.”

After three years of disruptions thanks to Covid-19, Sydney Writers’ Festival’s new Artistic Director, Ann Mossop, has pulled together a fantastic selection of conversations, workshops, debates, panels and events on the theme of “Stories for the Future.”

She says: “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.”


Bernardine Evaristo, Booker Prize-winning author of Girl, Woman, Other. Image supplied.


Local and international

The festival brings together some of the world’s best novelists, poets, journalists and storytellers. For the first time since 2019, writers from all over Australia and well as international writers will be gracing the festival’s stages. Exciting guests include a slew of Booker Prize-winning authors such as Bernardine Evaristo, Eleanor Catton and Shehan Karunatilaka.

There are some heavy-hitting Australian names in the program as well, such as Alexis Wright and Tim Winton, as well as introducing diverse voices of emerging writers like Shirley Le and James McKenzie Watson to new audiences.


Family Day at Sydney Writers’ Festival. Image supplied.


Food for thought

Food is a big theme at this year’s festival, with Stephanie Alexander and Maggie Beer diving into conversation, while Annabel Crabb and Adam Liaw host an event where a stellar crew of cooks, writers and storytellers explore the dinner that changed their lives.

One of the festival standouts is always the free-to-attend Curiosity Lecture Series where some of our most inquisitive minds deliver lectures on topics that spark their curiosity.

Other favourites include All-Day YA, an epic celebration of young adult literature, is held on the Saturday while the marvellous magic of Family Day takes place on Sunday for the little ones. A city-wide program of talks and events in libraries will also be held all across Sydney.


The Sydney Writers’ Festival runs from 22-28 May. Book your tickets at


For our top picks of the festival, click here.

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