Three Days of Ideas, Storytelling and Conversations.
From the Director
Welcome to the 22nd Byron Writers Festival program! It is a thrill to showcase this year’s line-up of 140 writers and thinkers who help shape our national conversation with their engaging stories and ideas.
This year the stories in our program will take us from the wilds of New Zealand to North Korea, Tuscany and back home to near-by Goonengerry. We traverse much territory including anxiety, crime, the Frontier Wars, the Anthropocene, science, comedy, immigration, the wellness industry and poetry. We explore music, whales, romance and debate whether reading can make you happier. Writers will nominate the books that changed them, and will explore how to shape life into story.
The Festival is an examination of how we live both on a personal level and as a society. It offers writers and patrons alike an opportunity to reflect our world back to each other in story. It examines everything from how we communicate, how we migrate, how we farm, how we cope with grief, how we process change – how we live now resonates throughout Festival sessions. The Festival offers us space and a place to enjoy ‘the art of listening’ and seeing where conversations and stories can take us.
We can’t wait to see your friendly faces, both familiar and new, at the 2018 Byron Writers Festival, Australia’s most popular regional literary festival.
Edwina Johnson, Director
2018 Guest Line-Up
Nicole Abadee, Michael Ableman, Alex Adsett, Míša Alexander, Ali Alizadeh, Manal al-Sharif, Anne Aly, Sarah Armstrong, Eddie Ayres, Sunil Badami, Tristan Bancks, Paul Barclay, Caroline Baum, Tony Birch, Jesse Blackadder, Mark Brandi, Ellen Briggs, Ellen Broad, Phil Brown, Jane Camens, Steven Carroll, Kylie Chan, Jo Chandler, Anna Clark, Allan Clarke, Alan Close, Jessie Cole, Matthew Condon, Robin Cutler, Trent Dalton, Marele Day, Michelle de Kretser, Brigid Delaney, Richard Denniss, Shastra Deo, Ceridwen Dovey, Robert Drewe, Jarrah Dundler, Jill Eddington, Eskil Engdal, Gareth Evans, Bernard Fanning, Future D. Fidel, Richard Fidler, Elizabeth Finkel, Alan Finkel, Kitty Flanagan, Candice Fox, Phillip Frazer, Antony Funnell, Steven Gale, Joëlle Gergis, Carey Gillam, Moreno Giovannoni, Kári Gíslason, Peter Greste, Matt Haig, Clive Hamilton, Chris Hammer, Chris Hanley, Andrew Hansen, Jane Harper, Lynda Hawryluk, Ashley Hay, Anita Heiss, Ben Hobson, Jenny Hocking, Shep Huntly, Jane Hutcheon, Zacharey Jane, Micheline Jenner, Rachael Johns, Lloyd Jones, Sarah Kanowski, Kon Karapanagiotidis, Delta Kay, Tom Keneally, Erin Knutt, Campbell Korff, Sarah Krasnostein, Laura Kroetsch, Jacqui Lambie, Miriam Lancewood, Emma & Tom Lane, Hyeonseo Lee, Bri Lee, Deborah Lee, Hans Lovejoy, Melissa Lucashenko, William MacNeil, Selina Tusitala Marsh , Charles Massy, Dervla McTiernan, Courtney Sina Meredith, Miles Merrill, Karen Middleton, Walter Mikac, Barney & Kada Miller, Louise Milligan, Christine Milne, Rosemarie Milsom, Tracey Moffatt, Liane Moriarty, Warren Mundine, Mandy Nolan, Kerry O’Brien, Jesse Oliver, Mick O’Regan, Oliver Phommavanh, Ailsa Piper, Tanya Plibersek, Victoria Purman, Jennifer Rayner, Henry Reynolds, Hannah Richell, David Ritter, Jessica Roberts, Tim Rogers, Kjetil Saeter, Bernhard Schlink, Nathan Scolaro, Sarah Sentilles, Adam Shoemaker, Lemn Sissay, Gregory Smith, Matt Stanton, Adam Suckling, Lian Tanner, Margaret Throsby, Gillian Triggs, Elise Valmorbida, Lisa Walker, Christine Wells, Debbie Whitmont, Kate Wild, Michael Williams, Sarah Wilson, Josephine Wilson, Chris Womersley, Bernard Zuel.
*Sunday Locals’ pass conditions of sale – SOLD OUT
Available to residents of the Byron, Ballina, Kyogle, Lismore, Richmond Valley and Tweed council areas. Tickets are only available for purchase from the festival office (Level 1, 28 Jonson Street Byron Bay) with proof of address. Maximum two tickets per person. Limited release, available until sold out.
What type of ticket should I buy?
Byron Writers Festival is set up a bit like a music festival, with six stages that you can move between as you please, featuring panel discussions, conversations and Q&A’s. If you buy a 3-Day pass or 1-Day pass you will get access to all sessions happening in the main Festival program for your chosen days (for 3-Day pass holders that’s around 115+ sessions to choose from!).
Feature Events are individually ticketed events during Festival week in venues across the region (a few of them are free). Access to Feature Events is not included in 3-Day and 1-Day passes.
If you want to bring your little ones along to meet their favourite childrens’ authors, tickets to Kids Big Day Out at the main Festival site on Sunday 5 August are only $40 for one child and accompanying adult (or $60 for two kids, $80 for three kids).
Membership + Festival Pass Bundles
Not a member of Byron Writers Festival, or yet to renew your 2018 membership? Festival member benefits include discounted tickets (save up to $66 on a 3-Day pass), a special 24hr preview of the Full Program online and priority booking periods for Festival Feature Events. Read the full list of annual Member benefits here. This year, you can add Membership to your ticket purchase with our 3-Day pass + Membership bundles.
Relive the memories with our 2017 Showreel + Photo Gallery
We are very proud of a hugely successful 21st year with more than 130 writers, thinkers and commentators from across Australia and around the world converging on the beautiful Festival grounds at Elements of Byron to discuss, debate, enlighten and soak up the glorious Byron sunshine.
Girls’ day out
What’s your session style? Standing, seated or lying down?
Festival communications intern Emily Brugman catches ‘The Music Makers’
Ben Mckelvey, Den Adut, Rosemarie Milsom, Ailsa Piper and Tony Doherty bring the audience to tears (and the odd chuckle) in ‘The Two of Us’
Full house for The Reef
‘The State of the World’ welcomes a packed Feros Care Marquee
The next generation leans in
Shep Huntley commands the stage and gets everyone to their feet
Dad and daughter day out
And that’s a wrap! The sun dips on day three of another incredible Festival.