Browse our 2017 events in the Upcoming Events calendar below.
Please try and book tickets in advance, even for free events.
Tickets for each event can be individually booked by clicking on the yellow Tickets link. If you plan to attend more than one event on the Saturday or Sunday of the Main Festival Weekend (Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 November), then we recommend a Full-Day Festival Pass.
The Saturday Pass is $25 – Book here
The Sunday Pass is $20 – Book here
The Two-Day Pass is $40 – Book here
The festival pass is the easiest and most economical way to attend festival events. You can simply pick up your pass (a stylish wristband sure to make you the envy of any fashionable booklover) at the first event you attend.
*Please note that the Saturday 25 November Wollongong Comedy event is not included in either the Saturday or the Two-Day Pass
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Read our Annual Report here
Wollongong Writers Festival reserves a number of tickets for financially disadvantaged people. Please contact our Program Manager in advance if you are unable to attend an event due to financial constraints: firstname.lastname@example.org
Click an event for basic details. Click ‘Read More’ for further information on tickets and event location.
Local comedy legend Stu Macpherson is at it again.
This interactive workshop will cover how to write a punchline, examine what words are funnier than others and ask if it’s worth keeping the language simple. By the end of the workshop, the group will have written a 5-minute stand-up set.
Three acclaimed spoken word poets perform new work about words that have changed their world in a showcase extraordinaire from the folks at Enough Said Poetry Slam.
Headlining the show is one of Australia’s most prominent performing writers, Candy Royalle. She is a multi-award winning storyteller, activist, educator, singer, and vulnerability advocate.
Featured poets: Candy Royalle, Enough Said SlamMasters + more
Join us as the main festival weekend is launched by Wollongong’s Lord Mayor, Gordon Bradbury. There’ll be a cabaret performance by Liberté La Femme and an art auction, the announcement of the 2017 Short Story prize and poetry from the Cocooon Floatation float tank poet, Bella Luna. Please come along and enjoy the company, food, and wine – we’d love to see you at this free event.
This is a free event. Please register your attendance and book tickets in advance.
Caroline Baum talks to Ashley Hay about her newly-released lyrical novel, A Hundred Small Lessons. Luminous and deeply affecting, this book is about the many small decisions—the invisible moments—that come to make the lives of two mothers from different generations converge in one hot, wet summer.
Women writers speak to the pressure of being female in public life. The discussion will range over women negotiating the hazards of the post-9/11 terrain, the lack of female representation, body image and illness, and workplace harassment.
This panel’s unique perspective on feminism, multiculturalism, race, and religion is one that we urgently need.
Some of the greatest works in the English language are novellas. This event celebrates ‘short’ novels and asks three authors how it feels to go from writing on the fringe to being adopted by the mainstream. Alice Grundy from Seizure talks to novella authors about their award-winning work on sexuality, race, and disability.
In 2015 Huw Kingston returned from his grandest adventure to date. Beginning from and returning to Gallipoli, Huw sea kayaked, walked, cycled and rowed a boat 14,000 kilometres through 17 countries. Huw sought to highlight the heart-wrenching plight of children in Syria. Come along and listen to his fascinating adventures.
Tim Cope is an Australian adventurer, author, filmmaker, trekking guide, and public speaker and is famous for his epic adventures. He cycled from Moscow to Beijing when he was just 20, encountering everything from being arrested in China and frostbite, to pushing his bike across 10,000km of desert. Come along and listen to Tim talk to Nikolajs about his adventures and his books.
Australia’s hottest musical comedy genius, Dave Eastgate takes you on this hilarious, high energy musical safari.
“…a genius to his timing – a talent not to be underestimated.” ★★★★ Three Weeks UK
Love Romance? Get to know four writers of Romance books you’ll want on your TBR list. They’re all talented women who explore different parts of Australian culture with characters that sizzle like an Aussie summer’s day.
Les Bursill OAM is an author, archaeologist, and Elder in Residence at UOW’s Nowra Campus.
At this event, he talks with Mike Donaldson, co-author of A History of Aboriginal Illawarra before Colonisation about Les’s stewardship of more than 800 Aboriginal archaeological sites north of Wollongong.
The book is based on the stories from Aboriginal Elders, works already published, and investigations of archaeological sites.
Join Rike Krishnabhakdi-Vasilakis, the director of South Coast Writers Centre for a conversation with UOW researchers, Professor Louella McCarthy and Dr Jane Carey. The conversation will explore McCarthy and Carey’s latest research on female colonial convicts and the intersection of girls and women’s reformatories and prisons.
Rocket Readings is a lively poetry event where the featured poets are followed by an open mic section with a three-minute limit. Our featured poets are Michelle Cahill, Lindsay Tuggle, and Caitlin Maling.
Michelle Cahill has written on race and cultural diversity. Her most recent poetry collection is The Herring Lass. Lindsay Tuggle is the author of The Afterlives of Specimens (University of Iowa Press, 2017). Linday’s first collection of poems, Calenture, is forthcoming with Cordite (2018). Caitlin Maling‘s first collection of poems, Conversations I’ve Never Had was released in 2015. Border Crossing was published in February 2017.
The featured poets are followed by an open mic section with a three-minute limit.
Presented as part of the 2017 Wollongong Writers Festival Sunday. See the whole program at our 2017 Events page here
This session is included in the Sunday and the Two Day Pass. If you are considering attending more than one event, a Festival Pass is the best option. See our 2017 Events page for more details.
An email written from a priest to an author saying how much he enjoyed her latest book was the catalyst for an enduring friendship. Over the years, the pair have discussed everything from dinner party menus and shoes to family, faith, grief, and love. Social researcher, Hugh Mackay says Ailsa Piper and Tony Doherty’s book, The Attachment is ‘… the chronicle of an unlikely but beautiful friendship that will inspire you to value your own friendships more highly and to nurture them more carefully’.
With the public lines between fact and fiction becoming increasingly blurred, most of us can’t decide if we want to stand up and fight for our rights, or hide away with our Netflix subscriptions until the world moves on. So how does this apply to the way we read and write? Should we be reading to escape reality, or to arm ourselves with the grim reality of the world? Is it possible to do both at once? Omar Musa, Dan Findlay and Amal Awad speak to Lex Hirst in a panel for our times.