The full Sydney Writers’ Festival program has just been released and new Director Jemma Birrell has curated a wonderful line up.

As well as showcasing our incredible Australian writers and authors, I’m particularly excited about the international guests coming out — such as Diego Marani, Anis Mojgani, Naomi Wolf, James Wood, Karl Ove Knausgaard, even Molly Ringwald.

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I’ll be covering the festival for Crikey again this year and I’ve been putting together my own festival schedule this morning, so I thought I’d share here a few of my highlights:

Day One

Michelle de Kretser in Conversation

Join Ali Lemer as she speaks with award-winning author Michelle de Kretser about her latest novel Questions of Travel.

Missing in Action, Australia’s Literary Past

Leading Australian literary critic Geordie Williamson discusses his new book The Burning Library with Tegan Bennett Daylight.


Day Two 

Sexism, Australian Style

Anne Summers discusses her new book The Misogyny Factor with Tara Moss.

Places of Darkness and Light – New Australian Fiction

Jesse Blackadder, Mark O’Flynn and Julienne van Loon discuss their latest books.

A Reader’s Guide to Life

Ramona Koval discusses her new memoir and the pleasures of reading with Geordie Williamson.

Day Three

Benjamin Law: Freelance Writing for Magazines

Benjamin Law teaches the fundamental skills needed for writing stories magazine want.

Killing Your Darlings: Intensive editing workshop with Rebecca Starford

Editor and publisher Rebecca Starford teaches you the mechanics of editing and drafting in order to make your manuscript shine.

Michael Brissenden – American Stories of Hope and Anger

Michael Brissenden shares the stories of hope and anger shared by everyday people across America as told in his book American Stories.

Day Four

The Uncommon Reader

James Wood, Geordie Williamson and Jane Gleeson-White talk with Tegan Bennett Daylight about the books that inspire them.

Michelle de Kretser Questions of Travel

Novelist Michelle de Kretser in conversation with The Sydney Morning Herald’s Literary Editor, Susan Wyndham.

Maxine McKew Out of the Trenches

Maxine McKew discusses what went wrong and the current political climate with Margot Saville.

Fan Fiction

Joseph Brennan, Amanda Hayward, Lauren Beukes and David Large talk fan fiction.

Kristie Clements: the Vogue Factor

Ex-Vogue editor Kirstie Clements talks with Tara Moss about the inside of the fashion industry.

Angela Meyer: Blogging for Beginners

An informative workshop on blogging and social media.

By the Book: Ramona Koval with Richard Gill

Richard Gill talks with Ramona Koval about her lifelong love affair with books and reading.

The 21st Century Author

How is technology is changing the role of the author?

The State of Reviews

A discussion about the state of reviews in Australian media.

Anis Mojgani: Spoken Word Artist, Poet

Poetry slam champion Anis Mojgani takes to the stage with his words and rhymes.

Obama, the Digital Campaign

Barack Obama’s Chief Digital Strategist, Joe Rospars, and Stephen Muller, the Obama campaign’s Video Director, offer an overview of how the campaign united and mobilised 13 million online supporters toward a single goal of electing President Obama.

Day Five

A Prize of One’s Own

Introducing the winner of the inaugural Stella Prize and the importance of a prize of one’s own.

Anna Krien: Sex, Power and Sport

Anna Krien’s controversial and fearless Night Games investigates sex, consent, power and the dark side of footy culture.

Why Criticism Matters

What is the state of literary criticism today and why is it so important to have a robust culture of criticism?

Literary Buzz

What it is that makes particular books worldwide phenomenons?

Crafting the Message

Joe Rospars, Neil Lawrence and Mark Textor discuss with Leigh Sales how they mould political messages and reputations.

Are We Changing Sex or is Sex Changing Us?

Naomi Wolf, Faramerz Dabhoiwala, Frank Bongiorno and Benjamin Law discuss whether we are more open than ever about sex.


Day Six

Naomi Wolf with Mia Freedman

Naomi Wolf addresses her critics and discusses her new book Vagina.

When a Book Travels

How are Australian books edited and packaged for different markets?

The Misogyny Factor

Anne Summers on the rise of ugly and unprecedented expressions of hatred directed at women at the top.

James Wood the Fun Stuff

James Wood talks to Susan Wyndham about the art of critiquing and The Fun Stuff.

Stella Prize Trivia

An afternoon of trivia and laughs celebrating the writing of Australian women, past and present.

Diego Marani

Do we need language to define ourselves?

Effective Political Storytelling: Stephen Muller

Muller created the President Obama videos that went viral.

Meanjin LetterRips

Meanjin goes head to head with rival Sydney Review of Books in a series of fun, fast-paced literary games.


Day Seven

Destroying the Joint

#Destroythejoint initiator Jane Caro asks panellists to do what women do best: wreak a little more havoc!

MCA Zine Fair

Browse, buy and make zines at the sixth annual MCA Zine Fair.

Stella Stories

The art and importance of telling women’s stories.

Love Letter to Iceland

Hannah Kent talks about Burial Rites, one of this year’s most talked about novels.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
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