There is no better place to be inspired by the imagination of poets, novelists, journalists, scholars, activists, scientists and other worldly thinkers, writers and wordsmiths than ‘Sydney Writer’s Festival’. The annual festival has been running since 1997 and seeks to engage audiences in an energetic exchange of ideas, opinions, perspectives and expertise delivered by a diverse group of ‘movers and shakers’ from around the globe who come together to ignite conversation and healthy debate about the widespread issues of the world we live in.
This year due to Covid-19 closures, the major literary event has turned to digital broadcasting with an exceptional line up of over 50 re-imagined sessions from the 2020 program, now scheduled as a series of podcasts.
All are available free to the public across leading podcast platforms including Omny, iTunes and Spotify. Six podcasts are already streaming and new conversations will be added to the bill each week.
“As these writers contribute their stories, perspectives and ideas over the coming months, we hope these conversations lift spirits, provide comfort and offer a sense of community,” says Artistic Director Michaela McGuire.
Alison Whittaker: Opening Night Address – Gomeroi woman, poet, essayist and legal scholar Alison Whittaker gives a solemn and thought-provoking response to the 2020 festival theme ‘Almost Midnight’, challenging our understanding of the so-called ‘unprecedented’ apocalypse that we are living in right now.
Ann Patchett and Kevin Wilson: A Conversation with friends – International authors Ann Patchett (The Dutch House) and Kevin Wilson (Nothing to See Here) share the story of their friendship, the appreciation they have for each others work, hopes for the future, and they reveal what’s between the covers of their most recently read books.
Rebecca Giggs: Fathoms – Guest Curator Rebecca Giggs takes up conversation with Angus Dalton about her book ‘Fathoms: The world in the whale’, published in 2015. Giggs talks about what inspired her to explore the lives of whales, and reveals what her research says about us and our interactions with the planet and our relationship to animal kingdoms.
Return of the Sweatshop Women – A selection of short stories, essays and poems by women of colour including Winnie Dunn, Sydnye Allen, Maryam Azam, Janette Chen & Phoebe Grainer and Sarah Saleh, present the second volume of the Sweatshops acclaimed anthology ‘Sweatshop Women’. Sweatshop is a Western Sydney organisation empowering culturally diverse communities through reading, writing and critical thinking.
Miranda Tapsell: Top End Girl – Larrakia Tiwi woman, actor, activist and writer Miranda Tapsell joins Daniel Browning from ABC Radio National in a conversation about Tapsell’s memoir ‘Top End Girl’, which confides audiences in the author’s childhood memories and her love for Darwin and the Tiwi Islands.
Jess Hill: See What You Made Me Do – In conversation with journalist Georgie Dent, investigative journalist and winner of the 2020 Stella Prize for women writers, Jess Hill, discusses her book ‘See What You Made Me Do’, a compelling anthology about the truths of domestic abuse in Australia, which turns the spotlight on the perpetrators and the Criminal Justice system.
The 2020 podcast program for ‘Sydney Writers’ Festival’ is supported by Copyright Agency Funding, which will go towards paying the participating Australian authors involved in this years presentation. McGuire acknowledges the support saying the funding “has extended a lifeline that allows us to celebrate and promote Australian writers’ incredible work, encourage sales of their books and connect them with the Festival’s audiences.”
The ‘Sydney Writers’ Festival’ team urge patrons to visit the Gleebooks online bookstore to purchase hardcopies of the books by featured authors’, visit Sydney Writers’ Festival website for more information or sign up to the enewsletter to receive program updates. Follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
‘Sydney Writers’ Festival’ is a registered charity and not-for-profit organisation. If you would like to support the Festival during these difficult times to ensure it’s return in the future, please click here to find out how.