Sydney Writers’ Festival reveal huge 2018 line up

Power, sex and politics are just some of the themes that will be explored at this year’s  21st Sydney Writers’ Festival (SWF). Returning to Sydney from 30 April to 7 May, SFW will welcome around 400 Australian writers, academics and public figures, and 60 international writers for a week of talks, performances and workshops at the new Festival Hub in Carriageworks and The Seymour Centre, in addition to other venues across the city.

“Across the 2018 program, our guests will examine power and its adjacent qualities, and its relationship to sex, money, politics, identity, and the state of the world,” Artistic Director Michaela McGuire.

“We’ll be making a firm case for literature, stories and public conversation helping resist the pull of a backward-lurch.”

Kicking off the festival are three of the world’s most celebrated literary figures André Aciman (Call Me by Your Name), Min Jin Lee (Pachinko); and Alexis Okeowo (A Moonless, Starless Sky), who on opening night, will each deliver an address on the theme of power.

There will also be an appearance from ex-prime minister, Julia Gillard, who will be talking all things power, politics and gender. Other memoir-writing politicians include former Labour politician Sam Dastyari (One Halal Of A Story); former senator, Jacqui Lambie (Rebel With A Cause), Labour politician, Anne Aly (Finding My Place); and former senator, Christine Milne (An Activist Life).

Some big international headliners joining the SWF line up include, Amy Bloom (White Houses); Junot Díaz (Island born); Jennifer Egan (Manhattan Beach); Tayari Jones (An American Marriage); Eileen Myles (Chelsea Girls); journalist & political commentator Masha Gessen (The Future is History, How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia) and more!

Major Australian writers joining this year’s SWF include Ceridwen Dovey (In the Garden of the Fugitives) Robert Drewe (Whipbird); Helen Garner (True Stories: The Collected Short Non Fiction); Jane Harper (Force of Nature); Holly Ringland (The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart) and Michael Robotham (The Secrets She Keeps).

The All-Day YA will be taking over Riverside Theatres, Parramatta for a full day of events on Saturday 5 May, with a program featuring Patrick Ness, Shaun Tan, Jesse Andrews, Cleo Wade, Alice Pung and Jay Kristoff. There will also be a poetry slam between Omar Musa and Evelyn Araluen, as well as the popular Teen Con, offering the inside scoop on the most exciting YA releases.

The Sydney Writers’ Festival nights is returning with some of the Festival’s most intriguing guests settling in for revealing evening conversations at Carriageworks Bay 17, as well as a family program beginning 5 May at Sydney Town Hall, and a range of creative workshops being held at the Seymore Centre.


  • Call Me by Your Name author, André Aciman will talk about his coming-of-age
    novel as well as his latest work, Enigma Variations.
  • Pachinko author Min Jin Lee talks about her deep, broad, addictive history of a
    Korean family in Japan (named one of 2017’s top 10 books by the New York Times)
  • Alexis Okeowo, discusses A Moonless, Starless Sky her literary non-fiction tour de force about people courageously resisting fundamentalism across Africa.
  • Pulitzer Prize-winning author Junot Díaz will speak about Islandborn, his exquisitely illustrated children’s book.
  • Katy Tur joins ABC’s Leigh Sales to discuss her darkly comic campaign memoir,
  • New York Times bestselling author Amy Bloom discusses her novel White Houses, depicting the affair between First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt and journalist Lorena Hickok which unfolds in a triumph of historical fiction.
  • Unauthorised Vladimir Putin biographer and The Future is History author Masha Gessen joins Moscow-based correspondent for The Telegraph, Alec Luhn, to examine the future of Russia.

For more festival highlights and tickets, head to


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