Byron Writers Festival 2018 features a stellar line-up of more than 140 writers and thinkers spanning a mix of genres including music, art, environment, philosophy, health, politics, human rights and of course memoir and fiction.
Nicole Abadee is the books writer for The Australian Financial Review Magazine. Nicole also works with writers, helping them to polish their work pre-publication.
Sessions: 16, 32, 44, 89, 114
A renowned storyteller and author, Michael Ableman has written and photographed four acclaimed books. His most recent book is Street Farm: Growing Food, Jobs, and Hope on the Urban Frontier.
Alex Adsett is a literary agent and publishing consultant. Her agency focuses on commercial and genre fiction manuscripts, with expertise in copyright and publishing contracts.
Sessions: 55, 79
Manal al-Sharif is a women’s rights activist from Saudi Arabia who was imprisoned in 2011 for driving a car and subsequently helped start the Women2Drive movement.
Míša Alexander & Erin Knutt
Míša Alexander is an illustrator and graphic designer. Erin Knutt is a children’s book writer as well as a special needs teacher. Together they have created Fergus & Delilah, a children’s book to help all children belong.
Sessions: 24, 52, 112
Ali Alizadeh’s latest book is a novel about Joan of Arc, The Last Days of Jeanne d’Arc, described as ‘extraordinary’, ‘miraculous’ and ‘spellbinding’.
Sessions: 21, 38, 51, 55, 60
Federal MP Anne Aly was born in Egypt, migrating to Australia at age two. Her memoir, Finding My Place, has just been released.
Sarah Armstrong has written three novels. Before moving to Byron Bay to write, she was a journalist at the ABC, where she won a Walkley Award.
Sessions: 27, 45, 92, 101
Eddie Ayres is a writer, music teacher and radio presenter. He is the author of Cadence, Danger Music and the children’s book Sonam and the Silence.
Sessions: 21, 95, 103
Sunil Badami is a writer and broadcaster, who’s written for most major Australian publications and appears regularly on ABC Radio and TV
Tristan Bancks is a children’s and teen author. His books include the weird-funny-gross My Life series, the award-winning Two Wolves and new novel The Fall.
Sessions: 69, 83, 102
Paul Barclay is a Walkley Award winning journalist and broadcaster on ABC Radio National with an appetite for ideas and in-depth analysis and discussion.
Sessions: 22, 63, 103
Caroline Baum is the author of Only: A Singular memoir. She is the inaugural Reader-In-Residence at the State Library of NSW.
Sessions: 12, 81, 109
Tony Birch is the author of Shadowboxing, Father's Day, Blood, The Promise, Ghost River and Common People. He was awarded the Patrick White Literary Prize in 2017.
Sessions: 78, 108, 112
Jesse Blackadder is an author of novels for adults and children, a freelance writer, passionate youth literacy ambassador, and adventurer. Her latest novel is Sixty Seconds.
Sessions: 23, 73, 104
Mark Brandi's bestselling novel Wimmera won the British Crime Writers' Association Debut Dagger and Best Debut in the 2018 Indie Book Awards.
Erin is a screenwriter, editor and development executive, based in Melbourne. Most recently she was a writer and script editor on the award-winning series Nowhere Boys.
Sessions: 18, 95
Comedian and writer Ellen Briggs uses her charisma and insights into everyday life to connect with her audience. She is the co-author of Women Like Us.
Sessions: 51, 85
Ellen Broad is an independent consultant and expert in data sharing, open data and AI ethics. Her debut book Made By Humans is out in August 2018.
Sessions: 89, 94
Author and poet Phil Brown is Arts Editor at The Courier-Mail and a weekly columnist whose commentary appears in QWeekend and Brisbane News.
Writer-journalist Jane Camens co-edited the 59th edition of Griffith Review: New Commonwealth and the 49th edition, New Asia Now.
Sessions: 33, 65, 102
Steven Carroll is the author of 10 novels including A World of Other People, joint winner of the PM's Literary Award, A New England Affair is his latest novel.
Belinda Chayko is an award-winning writer and director of premium content across film and television.
Kylie Chan is a writer based on Queensland’s Gold Coast. She has written the Dark Heavens fantasy trilogy and Dragon Empire science fiction series.
Sessions: 66, 91, 110
Jo Chandler is an award-winning freelance journalist, author and editor, and teaches at the University of Melbourne’s Centre for Advancing Journalism.
Sessions: 59, 62, 116
Anna Clark is a historian at the University of Technology Sydney and has written extensively on Australian history, historiography and historical consciousness.
Sessions: 40, 107, 109
Allan Clarke is a Muruwari man and an award-winning investigative journalist. His reporting primarily focuses on unsolved Aboriginal deaths.
Over a long career, Alan Close has published fiction, memoir and poetry and been a teacher and mentor to many other writers.
Sessions: 6, 7, 71, 108
Jessie Cole’s new memoir Staying is about the importance of home, family and forgiveness—and finding peace in a place of pain.
Sessions: 5, 40, 51, 107
Matthew Condon is a prize-winning Australian journalist and author of several novels and non-fiction works. His latest book is Little Fish are Sweet.
Robin Cutler is committed to helping independent publishers easily get their content into the hands of readers around the globe, and leads the development of IngramSpark.
Sessions: 21, 73, 96
Future D. Fidel
Future D. Fidel is a playwright, electrical engineer and Gospel artist. His debut novel Prize Fighter is based on his acclaimed play of the same name.
Sessions: 47, 74, 111
Trent Dalton is a staff writer for The Weekend Australian Magazine and two-time Walkley winner for excellence in journalism. Boy Swallows Universe is his first novel.
Sessions: 1, 86
Marele Day is the author of seven novels including the highly acclaimed Lambs of God.
Sessions: 22, 80, 102
Michelle de Kretser
Michelle de Kretser is the author of five novels, the latest of which is The Life To Come. Her fiction has won numerous awards, including the Miles Franklin.
Sessions: 18, 45, 54, 95, 103
Brigid Delaney is a senior writer for Guardian Australia. She is the author of three books: This Restless Life, Wild Things and Wellmania.
Sessions: 17, 53, 77
An economist by training, Dr Richard Denniss is known for his ability to translate economics into everyday language. His latest book is Curing Affluenza.
Shastra Deo was born in Fiji, raised in Melbourne, and lives in Brisbane. Her first book The Agonist won the 2016 Arts Queensland Thomas Shapcott Poetry Prize.
Sessions: 22, 70, 75
Ceridwen is the author of Blood Kin, Only the Animals, and In the Garden of the Fugitives. She contributes essays to newyorker.com and The Monthly.
Sessions: 39, 52, 63
Robert Drewe’s novels, short stories and memoirs have won national and international prizes, and been adapted for film, television, radio and theatre around the world.
Sessions: 44, 111
Jarrah Dundler lives in the Northern Rivers region of NSW. Hey Brother, shortlisted for the Australian/Vogel Literary Award, is his first novel.
Sessions: 9, 12, 65
Jill Eddington has had a long and varied career in arts and education. Throughout, she has been a staunch advocate for Australian writing and writers.
Sessions: 50, 88, 107
Eskil Engdal is an award-winning Norwegian investigative journalist. He has won the SKUP journalism award, the International Reporter’s Journalism Award, and the Golden Pen.
Sessions: 15, 19, 32, 93
Gareth Evans was a Cabinet Minister throughout the Hawke and Keating Governments, and Foreign Minister from 1988-96. He is now Chancellor of the Australian National University.
Bernard Fanning is an Australian songwriter who performed in Powderfinger for over 20 years and now enjoys a celebrated solo career.
Richard Fidler presents Conversations, broadcast across Australia on ABC Radio. He is the author of Ghost Empire and Saga Land (co-authored with Kári Gíslason).
Dr Alan Finkel AO is Australia’s eighth Chief Scientist. He commenced in the role in January 2016, prior to which he was the eighth Chancellor of Monash University.
Sessions: 16, 66, 85
Elizabeth Finkel metamorphosed from research biochemist to science writer and book author to editor. Since June 2013 she has been Editor in Chief of Cosmos Magazine.
Sessions: 4, 13
Kitty Flanagan is one of Australia’s top comedians. Her favourite food is soup. Her dream is to write a book of funny soup recipes.
Sessions: 58, 105, 115
Crime writer Candice Fox is the author of the award-winning Bennett/Archer and Conkaffey/Pharrell series. She is a James Patterson co-author and New York Times best-seller.
Phillip Frazer has been critiquing politics, culture, and the environment in Australia and America for many years, for his sins.
Sessions: 44, 85, 95
Antony Funnell is an author and Walkley Award-winning broadcaster. His books include The Future and Related Nonsense and the satirical novel So Far, So Good.
Sessions: 28, 76, 80
Steven Gale is a cultural events producer at the British Library, where he curates literary (and other) programmes. He has chaired over 400 author sessions at literary festivals.
Sessions: 46, 91
Dr Joëlle Gergis is an award-winning climate scientist and writer from the University of Melbourne. She is the author of Sunburnt Country.
Sessions: 16, 56, 110
Carey Gillam is an investigative journalist with more than 25 years’ experience, including seventeen as a senior correspondent for Reuters international news service.
Sessions: 72, 94, 111
Moreno Giovannoni was born in San Ginese but grew up on a tobacco farm in north-east Victoria. His essay The Percheron was selected for 'The Best Australian Essays' in 2014. The Fireflies of Autumn is his first book.
Sessions: 45, 88, 98
Kári Gíslason is a writer and academic who lectures in Creative Writing at QUT. He is the author of The Promise of Iceland and Saga Land (co-authored with Richard Fidler).
Sessions: 3, 41, 97
Peter Greste is an award-winning journalist who spent 25 years with the BBC and Al Jazeera. He is now an academic and media freedom advocate.
Sessions: 8, 44, 47
Matt Haig writes for adults, young adults and children. He is the bestselling author of Reasons to Stay Alive and six highly acclaimed novels for adults, including How to Stop Time, The Humans and The Radleys.
Sessions: 30, 46, 83
Clive Hamilton is an author and public intellectual. His recent books include Defiant Earth: The fate of humans in the Anthropocene and Silent Invasion: China’s Influence in Australia.
Sessions: 3, 23, 91
A new presence in Australian crime fiction, Chris Hammer debuts with his first novel Scrublands. He is a former journalist and author of two non-fiction books.
Sessions: 38, 58, 115
Chris Hanley OAM is the Founder of Byron Writers Festival and was Chair for 20 years until 2016. He is the Principal of Byron Bay First National.
Sessions: 13, 101
Andrew Hansen of The Chaser fame is a comedian, actor and musician. He co-wrote Bab Sharkey and The Animal Mummies: The Weird Beard with partner Jessica Roberts.
Sessions: 1, 23, 32, 104
Jane Harper is the bestselling author of The Dry and Force of Nature. Film rights for The Dry have been optioned by Reese Witherspoon. Harper’s new novel The Lost Man comes out in October 2018.
Sessions: 26, 32, 55
Hyeonseo Lee is a North Korean defector who now lives in Seoul. Her TedTalk has had 13 million views. The Girl with Seven Names is her bestselling memoir.
Sessions: 24, 111
Dr Lynda Hawryluk is Course Coordinator of the Associate Degree of Creative Writing at Southern Cross University and is published in academic and creative publications.
Sessions: 37, 66, 75
Ashley Hay’s latest novel is A Hundred Small Lessons. Her previous novel was the award-winning The Railwayman’s Wife. She is the editor of Griffith Review
Sessions: 106, 109
Dr Anita Heiss is an author, presenter, academic, commentator, creative disruptor and proud member of the Wiradjuri nation of central NSW.
Timothy Hobart is an International Emmy nominated writer, producer and development executive at Matchbox Pictures.
Sessions: 10, 32, 65, 90
Ben Hobson teaches English and Music at Bribie Island State High School. To Become a Whale is his first novel.
Sessions: 57, 67, 93
Professor Jenny Hocking is author of the award-winning two-volume biography of Gough Whitlam. Her latest book is The Dismissal Dossier - The Palace Connection.
Jane Hutcheon hosts the ABC-TV interview show One Plus One. The former foreign correspondent has authored two books: From Rice to Riches and China Baby Love.
Sessions: 20, 71, 88
Zacharey Jane is a teacher and the author of The Lifeboat and Tobias Blow. She loves stories and the people who tell them.
Sessions: 64, 104
Rachael Johns is an English teacher by trade and a mum 24/7. She is the bestselling ABIA-winning author of The Patterson Girls and other bestselling books.
Sessions: 35, 61, 70
Lloyd Jones has written novels, short stories and a memoir. He won the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize and was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize for his novel Mister Pip.
Sessions: 8, 48
Sarah Kanowski is a presenter of the Books and Arts program on ABC RN. Her essays have appeared in Griffith Review, The Monthly and Australian Book Review.
Sessions: 21, 29, 96
Kon Karapanagiotidis founded the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre at age 28. He was won numerous awards including an OAM. His memoir is The Power of Hope.
An Arakwal Bumberbin Bundjalung woman and proud mother and grandmother, Delta is passionate about sharing her culture and protecting Country.
Sessions: 28, 59
Tom Keneally won the Booker Prize in 1982 with Schindler's Ark. His novels, Bring Larks and Heroes and Three Cheers for the Paraclete won the Miles Franklin Award.
Campbell Korff is the principal of Yellow Brick Road Wealth Management, Northern Rivers. He is passionate about helping people improve their financial literacy and make better financial decisions.
Sessions: 6, 105
Sarah Krasnostein’s first book, The Trauma Cleaner, won the Victorian Prize for Literature and the Prize for Non-Fiction in the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards 2018.
Sessions: 61, 72, 90, 102
Laura Kroetsch is the curator of Dark & Dangerous Ideas which runs as part of Dark Mofo. She is the former Director of Adelaide Writers' Week.
Sessions: 48, 60
Jacqui Lambie was elected as a Senator in the 2013 federal election. Her memoir, Rebel With a Cause, covers her story from soldier to senator and beyond.
Sessions: 7, 17, 49
Miriam Lancewood lived for 7 years with her husband in the New Zealand wilderness. Her life is about embracing insecurity and stepping into the unknown.
Emma & Tom Lane
Emma and Tom moved their young family to the Byron Bay hinterland in search of a simpler life. It unexpectedly led them to create a shared community called The Farm.
Sessions: 34, 40, 60, 71, 92
Bri Lee is a writer and editor whose work has been published in The Guardian, Griffith Review and VICE network. Her memoir Eggshell Skull was published in 2018.
As Sales Manager, Ingram Content Group, Debbie works with publishers to make titles available anywhere in the world in a matter of days, via print on demand.
Hans Lovejoy is The Echo’s editor, Byron Bay’s independent weekly newspaper. For 32 years it has fearlessly “comforted the afflicted and afflicted the comfortable”.
Sessions: 112, 29, 65, 67, 113
Melissa Lucashenko is a multi-award winning Goorie novelist, essayist and poet who lives between Brisbane and the Bundjalung nation.
Professor William MacNeil is a prominent cultural legal scholar, as well as Dean of the School of Law and Justice, Southern Cross University.
Sessions: 10, 24, 61, 67
Selina Tusitala Marsh
Selina Tusitala Marsh is the current New Zealand Poet Laureate, has three collections of poetry. She recently, poetically MC-ed ‘An Evening with Barack Obama’.
Sessions: 16, 37, 56
Best-selling author, long-time farmer plus PhD in social change, Charles Massy’s fourth book reveals how regenerative agriculture can save our health and planet.
Sessions: 6, 21, 58
Dervla McTiernan was born in Ireland and now lives in Western Australia where she works for the Mental Health Commission. The Rúin is her first novel.
Sessions: 20, 24, 52, 61
Courtney Sina Meredith
Courtney Sina Meredith is the author of Brown Girls in Bright Red Lipstick and Tail of the Taniwha. She is a poet, playwright, fiction writer and musician.
Performing writer Miles Merrill brought poetry slams to Australia from his home-town Chicago. He is now the driving force for spoken-word programs, events and projects in Australia.
Sessions: 3, 41, 74, 93
Karen Middleton is The Saturday Paper’s chief political correspondent and author of Albanese - Telling it Straight and An Unwinnable War - Australia in Afghanistan.
Pharmacist Walter Mikac AM champions gun control and children’s rights. His three books after the Port Arthur massacre in 1996 have captured wide acclaim.
Barney & Kada Miller
Singer-songwriter Kada and World Adaptive Surfing Champion Barney Miller’s inspiring memoir The Essence of You and Me, proves that love and resilience can change everything.
Sessions: 40, 74, 87
Louise Milligan is an investigative reporter for ABC TV's 7.30 and Four Corners. She has covered the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Abuse. Milligan is Irish-born and was raised a Catholic.
Sessions: 17, 42, 91
Christine Milne was leader of the Australian Greens from 2012 to 2015 with a focus on global warming, advocacy for human rights and the restoration of democracy.
Sessions: 25, 55, 60, 97
Rosemarie Milsom is the director and founder of the Newcastle Writers Festival. She is also a feature writer at the Newcastle Herald.
Tracey Moffatt is a prominent Australian artist who primarily uses photography and video. In 2017 she represented Australia at the 57th Venice Biennale.
Liane Moriarty is the Australian author of seven internationally bestselling novels. Her most recent books include New York Times #1 bestsellers Big Little Lies and Truly Madly Guilty.
Sessions: 59, 69, 93
Warren Mundine is an adviser to Prime Ministers, opinion writer, public speaker and one of Australia's most significant Indigenous Politicians.
Sessions: 4, 13, 18, 64, 100
Comedian and writer Mandy Nolan’s work is sharp, honest, self-deprecating, somewhat outrageous, but never cruel or pretentious. Irreverent but on point, it’s life without filters.
Sessions: 15, 57
Kerry O’Brien is an Australian journalist and author. Over 25 years he anchored the iconic ABC current affairs programs – Lateline, 7.30 and Four Corners.
Sessions: 36, 56, 79
Mick O'Regan is a journalist and broadcaster with more than two decades experience with the ABC and Seven Network.
Spoken word artist Jesse Oliver is the 2017 Australian Poetry Slam Co-Champion and a co-director of the National Young Writers Festival.
Sessions: 31, 101
Oliver Phommavanh is a Thai-Australian children's writer and comedian. His books include Thai-riffic!, Con-nerd and The Other Christy. His latest book is Super Con-nerd.
sessions: 34, 73, 78, 96
Ailsa Piper is a “triple threat” - writer, performer and director. Her books Sinning Across Spain and The Attachment navigate life’s small moments and big questions.
Tanya Plibersek is the Deputy Leader of the Opposition, Shadow Minister for Education and Training, Shadow Minister for Women, and the Federal Member for Sydney.
Sessions: 64, 104, 106
Victoria Purman is an Amazon Kindle bestselling, award-nominated romance and women's fiction author whose next book is The Last of the Bonegilla Girls.
Sessions: 51, 53, 85
Jennifer Rayner has worked as an economic policy adviser and holds a PhD from the Australian National University. Her latest book is Blue Collar Frayed: Working Men in Tomorrow's Economy.
Sessions: 12, 59, 62
Henry Reynolds is one of Australia’s best-known historians. His pioneering work has changed understandings of the Australian frontier and given the cause of Reconciliation an historical underpinning.
Sessions: 70, 106, 108
Hannah Richell is the author of the bestselling novels Secrets of the Tides and The Shadow Year. Her newest book is The Peacock Summer.
Sessions: 46, 68, 91
David Ritter is the CEO of Greenpeace Australia Pacific. He is the author of Contesting Native Title; The Native Title Market, and The Coal Truth.
Jessica Roberts writes, draws and films stories. Her first book Bab Sharkey and The Animal Mummies: The Weird Beard is co-written with partner Andrew Hansen.
Sessions: 10, 43, 100
Tim Rogers is best known as the songwriter and front man of the hugely popular rock band You Am I, which produces platinum-selling albums with record sales of almost one million worldwide, and is the recipient of ten ARIA awards.
Sessions: 50, 88, 107
Kjetil Saeter is an award-winning Norwegian journalist. He has won two SKUP diplomas, the SKUP award, and the Schibsted Journalism Award.
Sessions: 2, 83
Bernhard Schlink is the author of the internationally bestselling novel The Reader, the short story collections Flights of Love and Summer Lies, and several prize-winning crime novels.
Sessions: 7, 114
Nathan Scolaro is editor of Dumbo Feather magazine, a Melbourne-based media company that tells stories of extraordinary people to create a more resilient, compassionate world.
Sessions: 36, 66, 90
Marine biologists, Master Mariners, Lowell Thomas and AGS Lifetime of Conservation awardees, Micheline and Curt Jenner have conducted pioneering cetacean research for 30 years while raising two daughters at sea.
Sessions: 11, 41, 96
Sarah Sentilles was a college professor before becoming a full-time writer and is now a passionate advocate for life lived by peace and principle.
Sessions: 46, 84
Adam Shoemaker is Vice Chancellor of Southern Cross University. He is one of Australia’s leading researchers in Indigenous Literature and has authored and edited eight books in that field.
Sessions: 20, 84
Lemn Sissay MBE is a poet, playwright and occasional broadcaster. He has performed all over the world and is currently Chancellor of The University of Manchester.
Sessions: 7, 71
Gregory Smith lived in near-total isolation in northern NSW for 10 years. His book Out of the Forest tells the story of his journey back into society.
Sessions: 31, 101
Matt Stanton is a bestselling children's author and illustrator. His eagerly anticipated middle-grade book Funny Kid for President rocketed to #1 Australian kids’ book in 2017.
session: 19, 70
Adam has been CEO of the Copyright Agency since 2015. He has held senior leadership roles at News Corp, Foxtel, Singtel and Optus.
Sessions: 31, 101
Lian Tanner is the best-selling author of the children's fantasy adventure trilogy, The Keepers. Her latest novel is Accidental Heroes (The Rogues #1).
Sessions: 11, 39, 42, 81, 87
Margaret Throsby has been an ABC broadcaster all her adult life and has loved every minute. She has interviewed literally tens of thousands of people.
Sessions: 83, 86
Professor Gillian Triggs served as President of the Australian Human Rights Commission from 2012 to 2017. Her book Speaking Up will be published in September 2018.
Sessions: 47, 72, 94
Elise Valmorbida grew up Italian in Australia, but fell in love with London. She’s a designer, writer and teacher of creative writing.
session: 73, 106
Lisa’s debut young adult novel Paris Syndrome and a climate change comedy Melt came out this year. She has published three other novels.
Christine Wells is the award-winning author of 10 historical romances for New York publishers and three historical novels for Penguin Australia.
Sessions: 3, 41, 50
Debbie Whitmont is an investigative journalist, author, former Middle East correspondent and lawyer. She has won two Walkleys and three Human Rights Commission Awards for TV journalism.
Sessions: 74, 105, 107
Kate Wild is an independent investigative journalist who lives and works in Sydney. She has won, as part of a distinguished team, three Walkleys and a Logie.
Sessions: 31, 33, 35, 45, 113
Michael Williams is the Director of the Wheeler Centre for Books, Writing and Ideas in Melbourne.
Sessions: 19, 32, 76, 102
Josephine Wilson is a Perth-based author. Her second novel Extinctions won the 2017 Miles Franklin Literary Award and the Colin Roderick Award.
Sessions: 6, 25, 32, 44, 54
Sarah Wilson is the author of First, We Make The Beast Beautiful as well as the international bestsellers I Quit Sugar, I Quit Sugar For Life and Simplicious.
Sessions: 19, 58, 112
Chris Womersley is the award-winning author of The Low Road and Bereft. His short fiction has appeared in various publications and has won numerous prizes.
Sessions: 27, 43, 54, 105
Bernard is an arts writer and interviewer with more than 30 years’ experience, 25 of them at the Sydney Morning Herald where he was senior music writer.