2017 Events

2017 Events

Browse our 2017 events in the Upcoming Events calendar below.

Download the full program as a PDF

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


Subscribe to our free E-newsletter (at the bottom of the page) to stay updated on our events and competitions. Like us on Facebook and subscribe to our events, and follow us on Twitter and Instagram to receive all the latest updates and literary inspiration!


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: program@wollongongwritersfestival.com


Upcoming Events

Click an event for basic details. Click ‘Read More’ for further information on tickets and event location.

Writing the Funny Stuff @ Jane's Bar and Cafe
Nov 22 @ 6:30 pm – 9:00 pm

Event Details

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.

For tickets and more information, visit the Wollongong Comedy website or Wollongong Comedy Facebook page.

Enough Said Presents: You’ve Changed @ Jane's Bar and Cafe
Nov 23 @ 6:30 pm

Event Details

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

Wollongong Writers Festival: Can Words Change the World? @ Wollongong Art Gallery
Nov 24 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Event Details

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.

A Hundred Small Lessons: an In-conversation with Ashley Hay and Caroline Baum @ Wollongong Art Gallery
Nov 25 @ 12:30 pm – 2:00 pm

Event Details

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 decisionsthe invisible momentsthat come to make the lives of two mothers from different generations converge in one hot, wet summer.  



Holding the Space: Public Women @ Wollongong Art Gallery
Nov 25 @ 2:15 pm – 3:30 pm

Event Details

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.

Hosted by Winnie Dunn, with Shakira Hussein, Lynette Lounsbury , Tracey Spicer and Fiona Wright.   

Outside In: Alice Grundy and the Seizure authors @ Jane's Bar and Cafe
Nov 25 @ 3:30 pm – 5:00 pm

Event Details

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. 

Hosted by Alice Grundy, with George Haddad, Jane Jervis-Read, and Marlee Jane Ward 

Mediterranean – A Year Around a Charmed and Troubled Sea, with Huw Kingston @ Jane's Bar and Cafe
Nov 25 @ 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm

Event Details

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. 

Walking the World with Tim Cope, talking to Nikolajs Ozoliņš @ Jane's Bar and Cafe
Nov 25 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Event Details

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. 

Wollongong Comedy: Dave Eastgate + Supports @ The Builders Basement Bar
Nov 25 @ 8:00 pm

Event Details

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 


For tickets and more information, visit the Wollongong Comedy website or Wollongong Comedy Facebook page.

Sexy Words: Australian Romance Writing @ Wollongong Art Gallery (Dickson Gallery)
Nov 26 @ 12:15 pm – 1:30 pm

Event Details

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. 

Featuring Diane Cassar with Alyssa Montgomery, Fiona Archer, Pamela Cook and J.L. Perry. 

A History of Aboriginal Illawarra before Colonisation @ Jane's Bar and Cafe
Nov 26 @ 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm

Event Details

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. 


Creative Dialogues with the South Coast Writers Centre: Women in Prison – Then and Now @ Wollongong Art Gallery
Nov 26 @ 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm

Event Details

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 with South Coast Writers Centre @ Wollongong Art Gallery (Dickson Gallery)
Nov 26 @ 1:45 pm – 3:30 pm

Event Details


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.

Life, Death, Faith, and Friendship: In Conversation with Ailsa Piper and Tony Doherty @ Jane's Bar and Cafe
Nov 26 @ 2:15 pm – 3:30 pm

Event 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’.


Reading and Writing in Uncertain Times @ Jane's Bar and Cafe
Nov 26 @ 3:45 pm – 5:30 pm

Event Details

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.

Featuring Lex Hirst with Omar Musa, Dan Findlay and Amal Awad