1. Home
Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Byron Writers Festival

August 3, 2018 - August 5, 2018

Byron And Beyond Byron Writers Festival 2018 Elements of Byron Bay 01

Byron Writers Festival 2018

Three Days of Ideas, Storytelling and Conversations


First guest announcement includes: 
Manal al-Sharif, Anne Aly, Jessie Cole, Michelle de Kretser, Robert Drewe, Eskil Engdal, Jane Harper, Tom Keneally, Miriam Lancewood, Hyeonseo Lee, Tracey Moffatt, Oliver Phommavanh, Tanya Plibersek, David Ritter, Tim Rogers, Kjetil Saeter, Lemn Sissay, Gregory Smith, Sarah Wilson and many more to be announced on 13 June.

Byron Writers Festival 2018 (3-5 August) offers a tantalising insight into what promises to be another outstanding Festival with this first announcement of writers, thinkers and commentators, all heading to beautiful Byron Bay in August this year. The full program of more than 140 writers will be announced on 13 June, so now is your chance to secure Early Bird tickets to regional Australia’s largest literary event.

Byron Writers Festival is proud to announce acclaimed writers Robert Drewe, Tom Keneally, Michelle de Kretser and crime sensation Jane Harper; Saudi activist Manal al-Sharif who challenged a kingdom of men by Daring to Drive; North Korean defector and New York Times bestseller Hyeonseo LeeThe Girl with Seven Names; Norwegian investigative journalists Eskil Engdal and Kjetil Saeter whose book Catching Thunder tells the true story of the world’s longest sea chase; the extraordinary Woman in the Wilderness Miriam Lancewood and Out of the Forest Gregory Smith who respectively lived for many years in the wilds of New Zealand and the forest of Northern NSW; Deputy Leader of the Opposition Tanya Plibersek and Anne Aly, Australia’s first female federal parliamentarian of Muslim faith who recently released her memoir Finding My Place: From Cairo to Canberra.

Also coming to the 2018 Festival are Greenpeace Australia Pacific CEO and The Coal Truth author David Ritter; acclaimed Australian visual artist Tracey Moffatt; musician, raconteur, You Am I front man and Detours memoirist Tim Rogers; UK poet and broadcaster Lemn Sissay; hilarious Thai-riffic! and Super Con-nerd children’s author Oliver Phommavanh; wellbeing activist, writer, minimalist and I QUIT Sugar entrepreneur Sarah Wilson whose recent book First, We Make the Beast Beautiful rethinks our approach to anxiety; Jessie Cole, whose beautiful memoir Staying is about the importance of home, family and forgiveness and finding peace in a place of pain; and this is just for starters…

Festival Director Edwina Johnson is delighted to reveal the initial guest line-up for the 22nd edition of Byron Writers Festival. “I am thrilled to introduce such diverse, talented writers and influential thinkers, and know they will spark fascinating and inspiring conversations. There will truly be something for everyone this year.”

Early Bird tickets for Byron Writers Festival are now on sale and if history is any indication, they will sell within days. Festival goers are recommended to take advantage of this Early Bird offer before the Full Program is released on 13 June. Don’t delay. Join in Australia’s most popular regional literary festival and discover where stories take you.

Early Bird 3-Day passes for Byron Writers Festival go on sale on from today until sold out. General Release tickets, including 3-Day passes, 1-Day passes and separately ticketed Feature Events and Workshops, will go on sale when the Full Program is announced on 13 June. 

Byron Writers Festival 3-5 August 2018.
Workshops: 30 July – 2 August.
Tickets at byronwritersfestival.com

More about the guests announced…

Manal al-Sharif – Daring to Drive (2017)
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.

Anne AlyFinding My Place (2018)
Anne Aly was born in Egypt, is Australia’s first female federal parliamentarian of Muslim faith and recently released her memoir Finding My Place: From Cairo to Canberra.

Jessie ColeStaying (2018)
Jessie Cole’s new memoir  is about the importance of home, family and forgiveness—and finding peace in a place of pain.

Robert DreweThe True Colour of the Sea (2018)
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. His new collection of short stories True Colour of the Sea will be launched at Byron Writers Festival.

Eskil Engdal and Kjetil Saeter – Catching Thunder (2018)
Eskil Engdal and Kjetil Saeter are award-winning Norwegian journalists. Eskil Engdal has won the SKUP journalism award, the International Reporter’s Journalism Award, and the Golden Pen. Kjetil Saeter has won two SKUP diplomas, the SKUP award, and the Schibsted Journalism Award.

Jane HarperForce of Nature (2017)
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.

Tom KeneallyTwo Old Men Dying (2018)
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.

Michelle de KretserThe Life to Come (2017)
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 Award.

Miriam LancewoodWoman in the Wilderness (2018)
Miriam Lancewood lived for seven years with her husband in the New Zealand wilderness. Her life is about embracing insecurity and stepping into the unknown.

Hyeonseo LeeThe Girl with Seven Names (2018)
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.

Tracey Moffatt
Tracey Moffatt is a prominent Australian artist who primarily uses photography and video. In 2017 she represented Australia at the 57th Venice Biennale.

Oliver Phommavanh – Natural Born Loser (2018)
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.His new book Natural Born Loser will be released in July.

Tanya Plibersek
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.

David RitterThe Coal Truth (2018)
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.

Tim RogersDetours (2017)
Tim Rogers is best known as the songwriter and front man of the popular rock band You Am I. He has also written a memoir, Detours.

Lemn Sissay Gold from the Stone (2017)
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.

Gregory SmithOut of the Forest (2018)
Gregory Smithlived 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.

Sarah WilsonFirst, We Make the Beast Beautiful (2017)
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.

Byron Writers Festival 2018
Early Bird Tickets on sale now until 12 June (or until sold out)
Full Program announced 13 June
Festival Dates: 3-5 August 2018
Tickets at byronwritersfestival.com or call (02) 6685 5115


August 3, 2018
August 5, 2018
Event Category:


Byron Writers Festival
02 6685 5115


Elements of Byron
144 Bayshore Drive
Byron Bay, NSW 2481
+ Google Map
02 6639 1500