Australia boasts some of the world’s largest and most diverse literary festivals, offering everything from general interest to genre-specific favourites such as Swancon and Supanova. Get your diary out, the literary year starts here.
Perth Writers Festival
What to expect: A program paying ‘homage to the vintage objects of print culture such as books, maps and letters, and [embracing] the new storytelling media’.
Adelaide Writers Week
February 28 – March 5
What to expect: ‘Australia’s largest and oldest literary festival, offering both writers and readers a unique opportunity to spend time sharing ideas and literary explorations’.
Festival of Golden Words
What to expect: ‘Covering literary fiction, popular fiction, biography, comedy, current affairs, history, military, sport, poetry, wine and food, stage and screen, and self-publishing, with a strong concurrent children’s and young adults programme.’
Eye of the Storm
Alice Springs, NT
What to expect: ‘[T]he 2015 Eye of the Storm writers festival is shaping up to be an extraordinary event that touches on universal themes that are close to the heart of Central Australian communities.’
Sydney Writers Festival
What to expect: ‘Australia’s largest annual celebration of literature and ideas…the third largest event of its kind in the world’.
Margaret River Readers & Writers Festival
Margaret River, WA
What to expect: ‘Celebrating literature and promoting Margaret River and surrounds as destinations.’ This year’s theme is Seasons.
Yamba Writers Festival
What to expect: ‘The Clarence region has an abundance of writers, poets and thinkers and some, along with the featured writers at the Festival, have published works over many years in both Australia as well as internationally.’
Noosa Long Weekend
What to expect: ‘An arts festival with a strong strand of literature – in a beautiful environment’.
Byron Bay Writers Festival
Byron Bay, NSW
What to expect: ‘Australian writing, with recognition of Australia’s geographical location through the inclusion of Indonesian and Asian authors.’
Melbourne Writers Festival
What to expect: Celebrating 30 years in 2015, the festival ‘will take audiences on a literary tour of Australia and all corners of the globe’.
Brisbane Writers Festival
What to expect: ‘Energy and “casual intellect”’ bringing together ‘readers, writers, innovators and provocateurs’.
Digital Writers Festival
What to expect: Run by the team behind Melbourne’s Emerging Writers Festival, expect some similar faces from young local authors and online journals.
Australian Romance Readers Convention
What to expect: The festival ‘will bring together romance readers, authors and publishers and provide an opportunity to talk about all things related to romance fiction.’
Somerset Celebration of Literature
Gold Coast, QLD
What to expect: ‘Over 30 acclaimed authors from around Australia hold interactive sessions and workshops for both children and adults.’ YA and schools focus.
Historical Novel Society of Australia
What to expect: ‘Both the imagination and dedication of historical novelists present an authentic world which can enrich a reader’s understanding of real historical personages, eras and events.’
What to expect: ‘A speculative fiction convention that is invested in all kinds of media’ with ‘panels and discussion about games, film, literature, and graphic novels.’
Write Edit Index
What to expect: ‘Australian conference for editors, indexers and publishing professionals.’
Emerging Writers Festival
May 26 – June 5
What to expect: ‘[A] place where creativity and innovation are celebrated, where new talent is nurtured and where diverse voices from across Australia are represented.’
What to expect: ‘[S]peculative fiction and pop culture fan convention celebrating creativity across genre and media. From hard-edge science fiction to high-flown fantasy, comic books to film noir, high culture to sub-culture.’
Voices on the Coast
Sunshine Coast, QLD
What to expect: ‘Leading Australian and International authors, illustrators, poets and performers’ talking and workshopping with students and adults.
National Play Festival
What to expect: ‘[F]our days of new Australian plays, artist talks, masterclasses and industry discussions’ as well as a partnership with State Theatre Company SA.
Romance Writers of Australia Conference
What to expect: ‘[P]rovides unique networking opportunities for writers, editors, agents and other publishing industry professionals with a keen focus on romance publishing.’
What to expect: National school-based events hosted by Children’s Book Council of Australia. This year’s theme: Books Light Up Our World.
National Young Writers Festival
What to expect: ‘[T]he country’s largest gathering of young and innovative writers working in both new and traditional forms’.
October 30 – November 1
What to expect: ‘GenreCon provides an opportunity for writers, editors, agents and other genre fiction professionals to come together for three days of networking, seminars, workshops, and more.’
Crime and Justice Festival
What to expect: ‘There is no other festival that combines the crime fiction genre with discussions on the law, social justice, human rights and general social commentary.’
Melbourne: April 10-12
Gold Coast: April 17-19
Sydney: June 19-21
Perth: June 26-28
Adelaide: November 20-22
Brisbane: November 27-29
What to expect: ‘[C]omic books, animation/cartoons, science-fiction, pulp TV/movies, toys, console gaming, trading cards, fantasy, entertainment technology, books, internet sites and fan-clubs’ and the Madman National Cosplay Championship.
Perth: April 11-12
Adelaide: April 18-19
Melbourne: June 27-28
Brisbane: September 19-20
Sydney: September 26-27
What to expect: ‘Oz Comic-Con boasts a show floor packed with exhibitors, autograph and photograph sessions with the hottest celebrities and one-of-a-kind panel events’.
The above list represents only a snapshot of the many literary festivals held throughout Australia, with some major centres still yet to release dates. Keep checking festival websites for the most current details, and find further information at the following sites.
A comprehensive and up-to-date list on author Jason Nahrung’s website:
An extensive searchable inventory on the Literary Festivals site:
A narrower list but more specific detail on the Australian Government site: