Welcome to the 21st Byron Writers Festival. The Festival team and I are proud to introduce this thought-provoking line-up of more than 130 writers and thinkers whose works are destined to inspire, educate, divert and sometimes even disturb. These masters of storytelling will unfold new horizons, entertain and provoke – and deliver powerful memories.
Their contributions will bring to life the observation of respected philosopher A.C. Grayling (a regular Byron Bay visitor) whose insight into books and reading poignantly informs this year’s Program:
To read is to fly: it is to soar to a point of vantage, which gives
a view over wide terrains of history, human variety, ideas,
shared experience and the fruits of many inquiries.
In this spirit we commissioned a captivating image of birds signifying the essence of the 2017 Program. They evoke migration, navigation, endurance and free movement across our imagined and man-made borders. Birds are also, of course, abundant in Byron and participants too in our beautiful outdoor Festival.
Countless lovers of books and writing flock to our celebration, to share in conversations that ebb and flow, spawn insights, memories and conversations that inevitably carry far and wide.
This Festival will especially highlight lessons and learnings from nature, and continue to examine the vital role of storytelling in our turbulent, confounding and ever-changing world.
On behalf of the team, I warmly invite you to join us in our beautiful coastal town to be a part of the 21st Byron Writers Festival.
Edwina Johnson, Director
2017 Guest Line-Up
Nicole Abadee, Deng Thiak Adut, Sarah Armstrong, Melissa Ashley, Hilary Badger, Julia Baird, Tristan Bancks, Paul Barclay, Jimmy Barnes, Kuna Basu, Caroline Baum, Jesse Blackadder, Sarah Blasko, Merlinda Bobis, Lisa Brockwell, Phil Brown, Jennifer Byrne, Edna Carew, Susan Carland, Barrie Cassidy, Alan Close, Roger Cohen, Kate Cole-Adams, Matt Condon, Cosentino, Arielle Cottingham, Bryan Dawe, Tony Doherty, Jennifer Down, Robert Drewe, Jill Eddington, Malcolm Farr, Richard Fidler, Angie Fiedler, Peter FitzSimons, Tim Flannery, Mei Fong, Andrew Ford, Clementine Ford, David Free, Antony Funnell, Nikki Gemmell, David Gillespie, Madeline Gleeson, Morris Gleitzman, Roanna Gonsalves, Kate Grenville, Sophie Hamley, Chris Hanley, Peter Harrison, David George Haskell, Lynda Hawryluk, Ashley Hay, Jerath Head, Jim Hearn, Anita Heiss, Peter Helliar, Lex Hirst, Mark Holden, Rebecca Huntley, Jane Hutcheon, Graeme Innes, Zacharey Jane, Erik Jensen, Barry Jones, Tony Jones, Sarah Kanowski, Delta Kay, Hannah Kent, Andrew Knight, Anneli Knight, Ben Knight, Laura Kroetsch, Eka Kurniawan, Christina Lamb, Steven Lang, Meshel Laurie, Sylvie Le Clezio , Bri Lee, David Leser, Hans Lovejoy, John Lyons, Bec Mac, Kim Mahood, Kenan Malik, David Marr, Pippa Masson, Charles Massy, Ben Mckelvey, Caro Meldrum-Hanna, Miles Merrill, Rosemarie Milsom, Vayu Naidu, Mandy Nolan, Kerry O’Brien, Mick O’Regan, Bruce Pascoe, A.S. Patric, Tex Perkins, Ailsa Piper, Lucas Proudfoot, Alice Pung, Karen Radzyner, Sally Riley, Sally Rippin, Mirandi Riwoe, Michael Robotham, Henry Rosenbloom, Nicholas Rothwell, Richard Roxburgh, Magdalena Roze, Jonathan Safran, Michael Sala, Julianne Schultz, Kim Scott, Jock Serong, Adam Shoemaker, Venkat Raman Singh Shyam, Sebastian Smee, Dava Sobel, Adam Spencer, Tracey Spicer, Adam Suckling, Heather Taylor Johnson, Peter Thompson, Holly Throsby, Laura Tingle, Ian Townsend, Charlie Veron, Sandy Verschoor, Lisa Walker, Wendy Were, Emrys Westacott, Kayla Rae Whitaker, Lisa Wilkinson, Robyn Williams, Geordie Williamson, Susan Wyndham, Josh Yeldham, Lawrie Zion.
For those that missed it, 2016 was one for the history books! Weathering severe storm damage, the Festival opened to record-breaking crowds with its strongest and best received program yet. Relive the magic and prepare yourselves for another year of literary delights.