Byron Writers Festival

5-7 August 2016
Festival 2016

Writers & Presenters

Byron Writers Festival 2016 features a stellar line-up of more than 150 writers, poets, journalists, politicians, photographers, architects, artists, gardeners, and philosophers. Join us as we invite them to expore the myriad forms that stories take.

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Sessions: 28, 72, 120

Yassmin Abdel-Magied

Yassmin Abdel-Magied is a mechanical engineer, social advocate, writer and petrol head. She champions the empowerment of youth, women and those from CALD backgrounds.


Sessions: 54, 74, 119

Debra Adelaide

Debra Adelaide is the author or editor of over a dozen books, including four novels, the latest of which is The Women's Pages.


Sessions: 3, 20, 56, 93, 111

Jeffery Renard Allen

Jeffery Renard Allen is an award-winning author and judge for the National Book Award. His novel Song of the Shank was a finalist for the PEN / Faulkner Award.


Sessions: 11, 54

Sarah Armstrong

Sarah Armstrong’s first novel Salt Rain was shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Award. Her most recent novel is Promise.


Sessions: 6, 60, 91

Julia Baird

Julia Baird is a journalist, broadcaster and author based in Sydney. Her biography of Queen Victoria is coming out this November.


Sessions: 62, 94, 105

Tristan Bancks

Tristan Bancks is a children’s and teen author of the My Life books of weird and funny short stories and Two Wolves, an award-winning crime-mystery novel.


Sessions: 2, 73, 102

Caroline Baum

Caroline Baum is a journalist, writer and broadcaster and in 2015 was awarded the Hazel Rowley Fellowship. Her memoir will appear in 2017.


Sessions: 62, 68, 81, 97

Jesse Blackadder

Dr Jesse Blackadder is the author of contemporary, historical and junior fiction. She was the 2011/12 Australian Antarctic Arts Fellow.


Session: 110

Georgia Blain

Georgia Blain has published novels for adults and young adults, essays, short stories and a memoir. Her most recent novels are Between A Wolf And A Dog and Special.


Sessions: 49

Sam Bloom

Sam Bloom - a surfer, adventure traveller, nurse and mother of three - was paralysed in an accident in Thailand. She is the subject of Penguin Bloom.


Sessions: 49, 112

Cameron Bloom

A professional photographer of 20 years. Cameron’s images have been published in magazines and newspapers around the world and are held in many private art collections.


Sessions: 12, 42, 69, 75, 95

Ben Bohane

Ben Bohane is a Vanuatu-based photojournalist, writer and film maker who has worked through Asia and the Pacific islands for 25 years, with a focus on religion and conflict.


Sessions: 14, 33, 79

Michael Brand

Canberra born, Harvard educated, Sydney based global cultural leader and art scholar, Michael Brand wants access to the arts for everyone. He lives and breathes greater cultural investment; innovation and infrastructure.  


Sessions: 18, 47, 114, 117

Frank Brennan

Professor Frank Brennan is a Jesuit priest. His books on Aboriginal issues include No Small Change, The Wik Debate, and Land Rights Queensland Style.


Sessions: 67, 107, 112

Phil Brown

Phil is Arts Editor at The Courier-Mail and a weekly columnist whose commentary appears in QWeekend and lifestyle magazine Brisbane News.


Sessions: 104

Amanda Brown

Amanda Brown has been composing music for stage and screen since 2000 and was a member of cherished Australian independent band The Go-Betweens.


Sessions: 40, 80, 82

Bob Brown

Bob Brown, former Greens Senator, led the Franklin River campaign, was jailed for the environment, and has written eight books including Optimism and Green Nomads. The Bob Brown Foundation is


Sessions: 4, 78

David Burton

David Burton is a writer from Brisbane, living in Sydney. His memoir, How to Be Happy, won the Text Prize for Young Adult and Children's Writing.


Sessions: 5, 35, 57

Jeni Caffin

Jeni Caffin is a former Director of Byron Writers Festival and International Program Director of Ubud Writers & Readers Festival and is currently curating a program of ideas events at NORPA.


Sessions: 23, 114

Edna Carew

Edna Carew has been a teacher, journalist and commentator. Her many books include bestsellers Paul Keating, Prime Minister and Westpac, the bank that broke the bank.


Sessions: 14, 81

Luke Carman

Luke Carman is the author of An Elegant Young Man, which was awarded the NSW Premier's Literary Award for New Writing.


Sessions: 105

Peter Carnavas

Peter creates picture books about worrisome whales, ninja nannas, pirate pops and the meaning of life. His latest book is My Sister is a Superhero.


Sessions: 6, 36, 115

Lucy Clark

Lucy Clark is a journalist of 32 years experience and author of the book Beautiful Failures. She is senior editor at The Guardian.


Session: 7

Jo Coghlan

Dr Jo Coghlan is a Lecturer at Southern Cross University, Coolangatta. She has written or contributed to four books on politics and human rights.


Sessions: 16, 43

Matthew Condon

Matthew Condon is the prize-winning Australian journalist and author of several novels, short fiction collections and non-fiction works. All Fall Down is his latest true crime non-fiction book.


Sessions: 24, 108

Moya Costello

Moya Costello has two collections of short prose, and two novellas, most recently Harriet Chandler, which Nicholas Jose described as a 'brilliant, beautiful book'.


Sessions: 40

Nick Couldwell

Nick Couldwell is a 24-year-old writer from Byron Bay. Nick won the 2015 Joanne Burns Award for his story Dancing.


Sessions: 23, 38, 87

Ross Coulthart

Ross Coulthart, an investigative journalist for over 30 years. He has won five Walkley journalism awards, including the top Gold Walkley accolade.


Sessions: 29, 36

Annabel Crabb

Annabel Crabb is one of Australia's most popular political commentators, a Walkley-awarded writer, a columnist, and host of Australia's first political cooking show, Kitchen Cabinet. The Wife Drought was released in 2014.


Sessions:13, 36, 65, 111

Rosalyn D'Mello

Rosalyn D'Mello is an arts writer based in New Delhi. Her essay Black is published in Walking Towards Ourselves: Indian women tell their stories.


Sessions: 104, 105

Pat Davern

Pat Davern spent the last 20 years recording and touring with his band Grinspoon. Alexander The Elephant is his first book for children.


Sessions: 25, 73

Robert Dessaix

Robert Dessaix's best-known books are his autobiography A Mother's Disgrace, the novel Night Letter, the travel memoir Arabesques. His latest memoir is What Days Are For.


Sessions: 22, 50, 69

Peter Doherty

Peter Doherty shared a Nobel Prize 20 years back. His passion is to promote an evidence-based view and his latest book is The Knowledge Wars.


Sessions: 46, 112

Sean Doherty

Sean Doherty is the author of MP Untold: The Lost Stories of an Australian Surfing Legend. He was editor of Tracks magazine from 2000–2008.


Sessions: 27, 32, 94, 101

Louise Doughty

Louise Doughty is the author of eight novels, most recently Black Water and the bestselling Apple Tree Yard. Her work has been translated into 26 languages.


Sessions: 5, 78, 96

Ceridwen Dovey

Ceridwen Dovey was born in South Africa and studied at Harvard before returning to live in Sydney. She is the author of two books, Blood Kin and Only the Animals.


Sessions: 5, 82, 84

Briohny Doyle

Briohny Doyle is a writer and academic. Her first novel The Island Will Sink is the first to be published by The Lifted Brow.


Sessions: 116, 123

Robert Drewe

Robert Drewe’s novels, short stories and memoirs have won national and international prizes, been widely translated, and been adapted for film, television, radio and theatre around the world.

Nick_Earls_cr Candid Lane

Sessions: 35

Nick Earls

Nick Earls’ novels have won awards in the UK and Australia, and appeared on bestseller lists in both those countries and the Amazon Kindle Store.


Sessions: 25, 113

Jill Eddington

Jill Eddington is the Director of Literature at the Australia Council for the Arts.


Sessions: 38, 116

Russell Eldridge

Russell Eldridge is a journalist, novelist, media trainer and founding member of Byron Writers Festival.


Sessions: 30, 35

Evelyn Conlon

Evelyn Conlon is an Irish novelist and short story writer. Her novel, Not the Same Sky, was shortlisted for Irish Novel of the Year.


Session: 105

Nick Falk

Nick Falk has four series of books on the shelves. Saurus Street, Billy is a Dragon,Samurai vs Ninja, and the ‘How To’ series.


Sessions: 61, 98

John Faulkner

John Faulkner is a former politician. During his parliamentary career he served as Labor's Senate Leader, a Cabinet Minister and ALP National President.


Sessions: 19, 43

Sarah Ferguson

Sarah Ferguson is a Nigerian-born Australian journalist currently working as a reporter and presenter on ABC's Four Corners. Her latest book is The Killing Season Uncut.


Sessions: 71, 92, 109

Richard Fidler

Richard Fidler presents Conversations, an in-depth personal interview program broadcast across Australia on ABC Radio. His book, Ghost Empire is published by ABC Books this August.


Sessions: 17, 94, 105

Anna Fienberg

Anna Fienberg is the author of many popular and award-winning books for children of all ages, including the Tashi series, Figaro and Rumba.


Sessions: 3, 67, 94

William Finnegan

William Finnegan is a staff writer at The New Yorker and well-known author of works of international journalism and a Pulitzer Prize-winning surfing memoir.


Sessions: 7, 23, 50, 52, 114

Tim Fischer

Tim Fischer served in the Vietnam War, became Deputy Prime Minister in 1996, Ambassador to the Holy See in 2008 and is now a successful author.


Sessions: 3, 71, 83

Angela Flournoy

Angela Flournoy is the author of The Turner House, which was shortlisted for the National Book Award. She is a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop and lives in New York.


Session: 105

Tony Flowers

Tony is an international award-winning illustrator of over 25 titles. In between drawing dinosaurs and flatulent ninjas Tony is working towards his PHD.


Sessions: 81, 96, 105

Kate Forsyth

Kate Forsyth wrote her first novel aged seven and has now sold more than a million copies worldwide. Her books weave together history, romance and fairytales.


Sessions: 54, 104

Peggy Frew

Peggy Frew, author of the novels House of Sticks and Hope Farm, was shortlisted for the 2016 Stella Prize and is shortlisted for the 2016 Miles Franklin Literary Award.


Sessions: 65, 76

Susanna Freymark

Susanna Freymark is author of Losing February and Editor of the Northern Rivers newspaper, the Richmond River Express Examiner. She runs the Federal Writers' Group.


Sessions: 64, 74, 94

Anna Funder

Anna Funder is one of Australia’s most acclaimed writers. Her books Stasiland and All That I Am have been bestsellers, won many prestigious prizes, and are published in over 20 countries.


Sessions: 22, 69, 95

Antony Funnell

Antony Funnell is a Walkley Award winning journalist and broadcaster. He presents the weekly program Future Tense. Antony is author of The Future and Related Nonsense.


Sessions: 9, 102

Helen Garner

Helen Garner was recently awarded the prestigious Windham-Campbell Prize for Non-Fiction. Her most recent book is the essay collection Everywhere I Look.


Sessions: 49, 55, 58, 96

Richard Glover

Richard Glover has written a number of bestselling books, his most recent book, the acclaimed memoir Flesh Wounds.


Sessions: 47, 59

Stan Grant

Stan Grant is a Wiradjuri man and a renowned journalist. His memoir, Talking to my Country, is a powerful meditation on race.


Sessions: 24, 35, 44

Tara June Winch

Tara June Winch is an award-winning Australian writer based in France. Her latest collection is After the Carnage.


40, 80, 82

Alice Grundy

Alice Grundy is co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of Seizure, a launchpad for Australian writing, and Associate Publisher at Xoum.


Sessions: 11, 48, 72, 101

Emily Maguire

Emily Maguire is the author of five novels and two non-fiction books, and was twice named The Sydney Morning Herald Young Novelist of the Year.


Sessions: 40, 80, 82

Gabbie Stroud

Gabbie Stroud is a freelance writer, novelist and recovering teacher. Her critical commentary of Australia’s education system was published in Griffith Review’s Fixing The System.


Sessions: 40, 80, 82

Chris Hanley

Chris Hanley is the founder and Chair of the Byron Writers Festival. He is the Principal of Byron Bay First National.



Jane Harper

Jane Harper has worked as a print journalist for thirteen years and won of the Victorian Premier's Literary Award for her first novel, The Dry.


Sessions: 10, 103

Janet Hawley

Janet Hawley is a Gold Walkley Award winning journalist, renowned for her feature writing skills, and her books of artists’ profiles.


Sessions: 8, 54, 108

Lynda Hawryluk

Dr Lynda Hawryluk is a writer and academic who coordinates the Associate Degree of Creative Writing at Southern Cross University.


Sessions: 17, 22, 50, 61, 86

Ashley Hay

Ashley Hay’s novel, The Railwayman’s Wife, won the 2014 Colin Roderick Award and the NSW Premier’s Prize People’s Choice Award.


Sessions: 12, 75, 95

Rio Helmi

Rio Helmi's work has appeared in leading international magazines, documentaries and more than 20 photography books including, Memories of the Sacred and Travels on Two Wheels.


Sessions: 32, 94

Kathryn Heyman

Kathryn Heyman's sixth novel, Storm and Grace, will be published by Allen & Unwin February 2017. Her previous novels have been won and been nominated for awards in Australia and the UK. She is Conjoint Professor of Writing at the University of Newcastle and the director of the Australian Writers Mentoring Program.


Sessions: 40

Lex Hirst

Lex Hirst is an editor and festival programmer who works across romance, memoir, true crime and literary fiction for Penguin Random House.


Sessions: 8, 57, 114

Sarah Holland-Batt

Sarah Holland-Batt is an award-winning poet, editor and critic. Her most recent collection is The Hazards.


Sessions: 81, 84, 106

Zacharey Jane

Zacharey Jane’s novel The Lifeboat was shortlisted for the Barbara Jefferis Award. Her picture book Tobias Blow is on the NSW Premier’s Reading List.


Sessions: 34, 70, 77, 111

Erik Jensen

Erik Jensen is the author of Acute Misfortune: The Life and Death of Adam Cullen. He is editor of The Saturday Paper.


Sessions: 15, 72

Melanie Joosten

Melanie Joosten is the author of the novel Berlin Syndrome, and the essay collection A Long Time Coming: Essays on Old Age.


Sessions: 9, 20, 45

Sarah Kanowski

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: 44

Delta Kay

An Arakwal Bumberbin Bundjalung woman and proud mother and grandmother, Delta is passionate about sharing her culture and protecting Country.


Sessions: 28, 30, 56, 62

Catherine Keenan

Catherine Keenan is executive director of the Sydney Story Factory, a creative writing centre for young people. She is also the 2016 Australian of the Year Local Hero.


Sessions: 45

Paul Kelly

Paul Kelly has recorded over twenty albums in his career spanning over thirty years. His book, How To Make Gravy, was published in 2010. His prose has appeared in Meanjin, The Monthly and Rolling Stone.


Sessions: 31, 94

Meg Keneally

Meg Keneally has worked in journalism and public affairs in Australia and overseas. The Soldier’s Curse, co-authored with her father Tom, is her first book.


Sessions: 1, 26, 31, 47, 63, 94

Tom Keneally

Tom Keneally, is an Australian novelist, playwright and author of non-fiction. He is best known for writing Schindler's Ark, the Booker Prize-winning novel.


Sessions: 3, 36, 42, 75

Ben Knight

From the front lines of the Arab Spring revolutions, to the circus of American politics, ABC correspondent Ben Knight has covered the world up close.


Sessions: 39, 63, 87

Anneli Knight

Anneli Knight is a writer, journalist, and business writing trainer and consultant. She has a PhD in creative writing and is a Byron Writers Festival board member.


Sessions: 8, 123

Anthony Lawrence

Anthony Lawrence has published 15 books of poems. He teaches Writing Poetry at Griffith University, Gold Coast, and lives at Kingscliff on the far north coast of NSW.


Sessions: 64, 92, 99

David Leser

David Leser is a multi-award winning journalist who has worked in Australia and internationally for the past 37 years. He is the author of six books.


Sessions: 5, 99

Michael Leunig

Michael Leunig’s work spans more than 40 years and often explores politics, human folly, spirituality and the innocent and sacred personal world in all of us.


Session: 121

Hans Lovejoy

Hans Lovejoy is the editor of The Echo newspaper, the locally owned independent weekly. Now in its 30th year, it still remains a family business.


Sessions: 26, 41, 44, 47

Melissa Lucashenko

Melissa Lucashenko is a multi-award winning Aboriginal novelist and essayist. She writes about ordinary people and the extraordinary lives they lead.


Sessions: 11, 13, 36, 66, 85, 93

Sharanya Manivannan

Sharanya Manivannan’s poetry, fiction, essays and writing for children have been published internationally. Her work appears in Walking Towards Ourselves: Indian women tell their stories.


Sessions: 18, 69, 75, 89

David Manne

David Manne is a leading human rights lawyer and Executive Director of Refugee Legal who is also a prominent contributor to the public debate on refugee policy.


Sessions: 43, 52, 121

Paddy Manning

Paddy Manning, author of the Turnbull biography Born To Rule, is an awarded journalist who has worked for The Australian, Australian Financial Review, The Sydney Morning Herald, Crikey and the ABC.


Sessions: 94, 113

Simon Marnie

Simon Marnie presents Weekends on 702 ABC Sydney, a diverse program that combines news, arts and lifestyle.


Sessions: 6, 36, 62, 94, 107

John Marsden

John Marsden has been a hospital clerk, truck driver, telephone switchboard operator, abattoir worker and teacher. He’s currently an author, and principal of two schools.


Sessions: 65

Craig McGregor

Craig McGregor has won two Walkley Awards for Journalism and has many books to his name, including novels and commentary on Australian politics, society and culture.


Session: 9

George Megalogenis

George Megalogenis is an author and journalist with three decades’ experience in the media. The Australian Moment won the 2013 Prime Minister’s Literary Award for Non-fiction and the 2012 Walkley Award for Non-fiction, and formed the basis for the ABC documentary series Making Australia Great.


Sessions: 81, 106

Miles Merrill

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: 30, 82, 84

Kate Mildenhall

Kate Mildenhall is the author of Skylarking, her debut novel. She is a writer and education project officer who currently works at the State Library Victoria.


Sessions: 51, 53, 55, 109

Rosemarie Milsom

Rosemarie Milsom is the director and founder of the Newcastle Writers Festival. She is also a feature writer at the Newcastle Herald.


Sessions: 53

Nigel Milsom

Nigel Milsom is an Australian painter. His painting Judo house pt 6, a portrait of barrister Charles Waterstreet, won the 2015 Archibald Prize.


Sessions: 13, 85

Catriona Mitchell

Catriona Mitchell is the editor of Walking Towards Ourselves: Indian Women Tell Their Stories. She publishes online interviews with remarkable women.


Sessions: 80, 87, 96, 108

Drusilla Modjeska

Drusilla Modjeska’s books include Poppy, The Orchard, Stravinsky’s Lunch and The Mountain. Second Half First, a memoir, was published in October 2015.


Sessions: 34, 58, 82

Elspeth Muir

Elspeth Muir is an author whose writing has appeared in the Lifted Brow, Griffith Review, Voiceworks and Bumf.

Matt_Nable_cr_Mikey Pozarik

Sessions: 48, 63, 68

Matt Nable

Matt Nable is a writer and actor who has starred in television and film. The author of three novels, his most recent, Guilt was published in 2015.


Sessions: 37, 50

Indira Naidoo

Indira Naidoo's bestselling book The Edible Balcony documented her adventures growing fruit and vegetables on her inner-city balcony and then making them into delicious recipes.


Sessions: 56, 118

Charlotte Nash

Charlotte Nash is an Australian writer with degrees in engineering and medicine. She is the author of four contemporary Australian love stories, including The Horseman.


Sessions: 28, 46

Matt Noffs

Matt Noffs is the co-founder of the Street Universities and CEO of Noffs Foundation, Australia’s largest drug and alcohol treatment service provider for young people under 25.


Sessions: 4, 15, 58, 100

Mandy Nolan

Mandy Nolan is as an outrageously entertaining stand-up comedian who has leapt into print with three humorous memoirs, the latest of which is Home Truths.


Sessions: 19, 21, 60

Kerry O'Brien

Kerry O'Brien is one of Australia's most respected journalists, with six Walkley awards including the Gold Walkley and the Walkley for Outstanding Leadership in journalism.


Sessions: 1, 12, 92, 113

Mick O'Regan

Mick O'Regan is a journalist and broadcaster with more than two decades experience with the ABC and the Seven Network.


Sessions: 3, 21

P.J. O'Rourke

American political satirist P.J. O'Rourke has authored 16 bestselling books on subjects as diverse as politics, cars, etiquette and economics. He contributes regularly to The Atlantic Monthly.


Sessions: 68, 71

Debra Oswald

Debra Oswald’s novel Useful was published in 2015. She is a playwright, co-creator of TV series Offspring and two-time winner of the NSW Premier’s Award.


Sessions: 39, 42, 95

Tim Page

Tim Page photographed his first war at age 19 in Vietnam and his last one in Afghanistan at age 65. He is never seen without his camera and has also found time to write 10 books.


Sessions: 34, 58, 63

Liam Pieper

Liam Pieper’s books include The Feel-Good Hit of the Year, shortlisted for the National Biography Award; Mistakes Were Made, a collection of essays; and The Toymaker, his debut novel.



Ailsa Piper

Ailsa Piper has worked as a writer, director, actor, teacher, speaker and broadcaster. Her memoir, Sinning Across Spain, an investigation of personal morality, is the story of her solo walk along a 1300 kilometre Spanish trail.


Sessions: 39, 57, 104

Hugo Race

Hugo Race is an Australian rock musician. He was a member of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, and The Wreckery, and has just returned from a European tour with his band, True Spirit.


Sessions: 42, 46, 87, 95

Gary Ramage

Gary Ramage is a Walkley Award winning photojournalist with more than 24 years’ experience. He’s currently News Corp’s chief photographer at Parliament House in Canberra.


Session: 32

Hannie Rayson

Hannie Rayson is an award-winning playwright and screenwriter. She recently adapted her acclaimed memoir, Hello Beautiful! for the stage.


Sessions: 24, 26

Zoë Rodriguez

For over a decade Zoë has worked at Copyright Agency – as a lawyer focusing on copyright, and now running the Cultural Fund and Reading Australia.


Sessions: 18, 83, 90

Chip Rolley

Chip Rolley is a journalist at the ABC and former artistic director of Sydney Writers’ Festival. He is a life member of Sydney PEN.


Session: 19

Leigh Sales

Leigh Sales anchors the ABC’s flagship current affairs program 7:30. She has written two books and hosts a podcast with Annabel Crabb called Chat 10, Looks 3.


Sessions: 11, 13, 85


Salma is an Indian Muslim poet, novelist, social worker and political activist. Her piece Beyond Memories is published in Walking Towards Ourselves: Indian women tell their stories.


Sessions: 18, 68, 120

Osamah Sami

Osamah Sami is an Australian actor and screenwriter of Iraqi and Persian origin. His memoir Good Muslim Boy won the 2016 NSW Premier’s Literary Award multicultural prize.


Sessions: 18, 66, 84

Rajith Savanadasa

Rajith Savanadasa was shortlisted for the Asia-Europe Foundation short story prize and received a Wheeler Centre Hotdesk Fellowship in 2014. Ruins is his debut novel.


Sessions: 43, 90

Niki Savva

Niki Savva is a Canberra Press Gallery correspondent. She was twice political correspondent on The Australian, and Canberra bureau chief of both the Age and the Herald Sun.


Sessions: 71, 74

Moya Sayer-Jones

Moya Sayer-Jones is a novelist, columnist and screenwriter. As Chief Story Activist for she works with government, NFP’s, business and restless creatives.


Session: 22

Julianne Schultz

Julianne Schultz is the founding editor of Griffith Review and chair of the Australian Film TV and Radio School.



Anita Sheehan

Anita Sheehan is Managing Director and founding partner of Porchlight Films. Her Executive Producer credits include The Kettering Incident for Foxtel as well as feature films The Rover and Jasper Jones.


Sessions: 36, 120

Joanne Shoebridge

Joanne Shoebridge is an award-winning reporter and broadcaster in television news and current affairs, presenting on ABC North Coast Mornings and Breakfast.


Sessions: 30, 33, 57

Dominic Smith

Dominic Smith grew up in Sydney and now lives in Austin, Texas. His fourth novel is The Last Painting of Sara de Vos.


Sessions: 112, 118

Jennifer St George

Jennifer St George is an internationally best-selling author of eight romance novels and is the Deputy Chair of the Byron Writers Festival.


Sessions: 101, 122

Luke Stegemann

Luke Stegemann is the Associate Publisher at Griffith Review. He is the author of the forthcoming The Beautiful Obscure: Australian Pathways through the Cultural History of Spain.


Sessions: 21, 61, 94

Cheryl Strayed

Cheryl Strayed is an American memoirist, novelist, and essayist. Her books include the internationally bestselling Wild.


Sessions: 79, 103

Peter Stutchbury

Peter is the principal of Peter Stutchbury Architecture, celebrated in Australia and internationally for their innovative approach to sustainability and design.


Sessions: 14, 72, 89, 91

Anne Summers

Anne Summers is an author, journalist, political adviser and pioneering feminist. In 2016, Anne published an updated edition of Australian classic Damned Whores and God’s Police.


Sessions: 12

Anna Swain

Anna Swain is a self-published Byron local. Her first book Burma: Tiffins, Nuns and Turmeric is a photographic journey celebrating Burma and its people.


Sessions: 4, 9, 51, 100

Magda Szubanski

Magda Szubanski is one of Australia’s best known and most loved performers. Magda recently won the NSW Premier’s Literary Award for non-fiction for her first book and memoir, Reckoning.


Sessions: 86

Paul Thomas

A 6th generation Tasmanian. He was Tasmania's first Greens local government councillor and has been Bob Brown's partner for over 20 years.


Sessions: 65

Victoria Thompson

Victoria Thompson's memoir, Losing Alexandria, was a literary success, appearing on The Age bestseller list. City of Longing, was launched at Melbourne Writers Festival.


Sessions: 52, 98

Anne Tiernan

Anne Tiernan is a Professor of Politics at Griffith University. She authored and co-authored several books, including Fixing the System, a recent edition of Griffith Review, co-edited with Julianne Schultz.



Jude Troy

Jude Troy, EVP TV Development & Acquisitions, eOne ANZ. She works with some of Australian’s finest producers and writers creating content for Foxtel, Netflix & local & international networks.


Sessions: 4, 100

Rosie Waterland

Rosie Waterland is an author, columnist, host, sort-of comedian and screenwriter. Her memoir, The Anti Cool Girl quickly became a bestseller and has been shortlisted for a bevy of awards.


Sessions: 53, 77

Charles Waterstreet

Charles Waterstreet is a barrister, author, theatre and film producer. He has written two memoirs, produced two films and is a columnist for The Sydney Morning Herald.


Sessions: 10, 103

Wendy Whiteley

Wendy Susan Whiteley OAM is best known as "goddess muse" and wife of artist Brett Whiteley, and as mother of their daughter, actress Arkie Whiteley.


Sessions: 105, 106

Phil Wilcox

Philip Wilcox is the current Australian Poetry Slam Champion and a two-time NSW Poetry Slam Champion. A writer of rights, donger of gongs and karate-chopper of styrofoam.


Sessions: 34, 46

Luke Williams

Luke Williams is an Australian journalist. His article Life as a Crystal Meth Addict, was a finalist in the Walkley Awards in 2014. The Ice Age: a journey into crystal-meth addiction is his first book.


Sessions: 14, 24, 27, 48, 56

Geordie Williamson

Geordie Williamson is publisher of Picador Australia and former chief literary critic of The Australian. He’s also Editor of Best Australian Essays 2016.



Penny Win

Penny Win is head of drama at Foxtel, which she has managed since 2011 and commissioned Spirited, Wentworth, Devil’s Playground, Deadline Gallipoli and The Kettering Incident for the network.


Sessions: 52, 88

Tony Windsor

Tony Windsor is a primary producer who spent a total of 22 years as an MP for Tamworth and New England in the NSW and federal parliaments.


Sessions: 16, 32, 48, 70, 110

Charlotte Wood

Charlotte Wood's latest novel, The Natural Way of Things, won the 2016 Indie Book of the Year and the Stella Prize and has been longlisted for the Miles Franklin Award.


Sessions: 31, 119

Susan Wyndham

Susan Wyndham is literary editor of The Sydney Morning Herald.


Sessions: 66, 108

Beth Yahp

Beth Yahp’s books include a fictional memoir Eat First, Talk Later, and a short story collection, The Red Pearl.


Sessions: 17, 56, 61, 103, 105

Damon Young

Damon Young is a philosopher and author. His nonfiction works include The Art of Reading. He also writes children’s books, like My Sister is a Superhero.



Sophia Zachariou

Sophia Zachariou is Head of Development and Production at Screen NSW. Previously, she was Deputy Head of Entertainment at ABC TV and responsible for some of their highest rating programs including The Gruen programs and Kitchen Cabinet.


Sessions: 11, 36, 66

Sohila Zanjani

Sohila Zanjani grew up in Tehran, Iran before moving to Melbourne, where she owns a law broking firm helping people to find legal representation.


Sessions: 17

Claire Zorn

Claire Zorn is the award-winning author of The Sky So Heavy and The Protected. One Would Think the Deep is her third YA novel.


Sessions: 101, 122

Victor del Arbol

Víctor Del Árbol, winner of the Grand Prix de Littérature Policière 2015 for his novel A Million Drops. His latest novel, The Eve of Almost Everything, was awarded the Nadal Prize 2016.


Tickets for the 2016 Festival are no longer available, however we invite you to attend one of our out-of-season events and workshops.
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