Literary Festivals

Australia’s arts calendar is full of writers’ festivals and literary events large and small, across the country and throughout the year which showcase authors and their books. Here are a selection of the major events across mainland Australia:

As part of Adelaide Festival, Adelaide Writers’ Week is Australia’s largest free literary festival, offering both writers and readers a unique opportunity to spend time sharing ideas and literary explorations in a garden setting in Adelaide’s city centre. Each carefully selected program brings the world’s most celebrated established and emerging writers together for a week that delights, surprises and enlightens audiences.

More than any other Australian festival of its kind, it offers a place for cultural and intellectual nourishment, a sense of gathering and of community, led by the inspired programming of directors Neil Armfield and Rachel Healy.

Brisbane Writers Festival champions curiosity and creativity in Queensland, connecting and growing Queensland’s reading and writing communities through transformative cultural experiences that elevate the vitality of the literary arts and contribute to dynamic public conversation. The Brisbane Writers Festival, presented each September, welcomes thousands of readers, writers and thought-leaders to ignite imaginations, ask big questions, showcase literature, and celebrate stories in all forms.

At BWF our aim is connect Queenslanders through story, celebrate leading writers and thinkers from around the world and inspire deep thought and curiosity. For the past 58 years Brisbane Writers Festival has been bringing communities together to debate, share experiences and celebrate the power and wonder of literature. 


Since its inception in 2016, the Canberra Writers Festival has been bringing together the best Australian and international writers, thinkers and social and political commentators. The festival is now part of the Canberra community’s cultural fabric – a world-class literary event, feeding an inherent love of words, ideas and debate and showcasing the city.

Under the theme Power Politics Passion the festival aims to scrutinise today’s issues, reflect on the past, contemplate the future and challenge our understanding of all.


Melbourne Writers Festival (MWF) is a high-profile, much-loved organisation that plays an important and influential role in the local arts ecology. For more than three decades, the organisation has enjoyed the loyalty of hundreds of thousands of Melbourne’s readers. Each year, across over 300 events and working with around 200 partners, MWF brings together the diverse talent of 500 writers from across Australia and the world – creating moments for connection, discussion and inspiration with the public.

We value the imagination and what it can add to the world through storytelling and writing. We are curious about new possibilities and seek to apply them to our work – from the artists we engage to the business we run.


The NT Writers Festival (NTWF) is shaped by place that speaks to and from the heart of Australia and the Northern Territory, alternating between Darwin and Alice Springs. The Festival emphasises Australia’s cultural and linguistic diversity and offers unique immersive experiences. Whether its admiring the lush beauty of the George Brown Darwin Botanic Gardens, counting the stars in the desert sky to the dulcet tones of a cello, or listening to poetry readings against the backdrop of a glorious tropical sunset, the NT Writers Festival is a festival like no other.

The festival’s location alternates between Darwin and Alice Springs. With a thousand miles between them, the festival shifts from the tropics to the desert, from coastal to inland, from Larrakia to Arrernte country, creating a character which reflects the diversity – environmental, cultural and social – of the Northern Territory itself.

Since 1953, Perth Festival has seeded and cultivated decades of cultural growth as the oldest arts festival in the Southern Hemisphere. It is Australia’s premier curated multi-arts festival and one of the greatest in the world, known for commissioning major new works, celebrating the unique qualities of Perth and engaging diverse audiences.

Our aspiration is to create a Festival for all – to present art that speaks to many, which balances popularity with integrity and creates an inescapable sense of celebration for everyone.


Sydney Writers’ Festival is one of the world’s leading and most beloved literary institutions. It is a place for readers, writers and thinkers to share ideas, tell stories and celebrate literature.

Since our first Festival in 1997, we have brought thousands of diverse writers and thinkers from Australia and around the globe together in Sydney. In the company of the world’s best novelists, poets, journalists, public intellectuals, economists, politicians, podcasters and scientists, we’ve discussed some of the most pressing issues of our times. We’ve celebrated prize-winning authors, long-awaited novels from writers at the height of their careers, and have introduced debut authors to eager and enthusiastic new audiences.