Sydney Times


Revealed: The 2023 Writers’ Week Program!

Written by Aksel Ritenis

Revealed: The 2023 Writers’ Week Program!


Program Revealed!

Truth Be Told

The 38th Adelaide Writers’ Week

Today we reveal Louise Adler’s first Adelaide Writers’ Week program, featuring over 150 literary luminaries who will satisfy our curiosity about how writers live, love and work.

Writers from across Australia and the world will come together in Adelaide’s Pioneer Women’s Memorial Garden to celebrate the art and craft of writing: from the issues that keep us awake at night, to the finer points of the writing process, as they explore this year’s theme, Truth Be Told.

Program Preview

A small taste of AWW23

Local, national and international authors will appear in person and via live stream in the Garden from Saturday 4 March to Thursday 9 March. Among the writers joining us are: British Poet Laureate Simon Armitage; culinary legend Claudia Roden; Eminence Grise of the Arab literary world Ahdaf Souief; award-winning Australian author Heather Rose; comedian and writer Shaun Micallef; leading constitutional lawyer on Indigenous recognition and academic Megan Davis; the doyenne of literary biography Dame Hermione LeeNew York Times bestselling author Sloane Crosley; award-winning Irish author Louise KennedyIrish Times columnist and writer Fintan O’Toole; and award-winning author and authority on spy craft Ben MacIntyre. Explore the full schedule here.


Join us for sessions such as Adventures in the Golden Age of Islam with Richard Fidler and Why The Irish are a Mystery Unto Themselves with Fintan O’Toole and Maxine McKew. Journalists Sumeyya IlanbeyKatharine MurphyMargot SavilleMargaret Simons and Chris Wallace come together for History’s Rough Draft and Shaun Micallef talks to Jon Faine about his successes, his failures, and his abiding love of comedy.

The much-loved Kids’ Day (for ages 2-11) also returns on Saturday 4 March for a magical day of stories, performance and hands-on fun. This year features authors Kate & Jol Temple (Bin Chickens), Amy McQuire (Day Break) and Jason Pamment (Treasure in the Lake), with special guests Mem Fox and Max Gillies celebrating Possum Magic‘s 40th anniversary.


A huge Sunday lineup includes sessions such as Thinking In Dark Times with Samantha Rose Hill and Peter SingerAn Account of a Minor and Ultimately Even Negligible Episode in the History of a Very Famous Family from Pulitzer Prize-winner Josh Cohen and A Writer in Exile with remarkable novelist, journalist and playwright Alhierd Bacharevič in conversation with Maria Tumarkin.

Sunday sees the return of Middle Grade & YA Day (ages 12+), presenting Sean Williams who returns to his hometown to discuss his latest offerings (Honour Among Ghosts and Her Perilous Mansion), alongside the likes of Randa Abdel-Fattah and Sarah AyoubTristan Bancks (Cop & Robber) and Kate Temple (The Dangerous Business of Being Trilby Moffat).


Join some of Australian’s leading thinkers as they ponder the power of the people in Democracy is Broken – But It Can Be Fixed, a series presented by The Australia Institute. With four sessions throughout the day chaired by Radio National’s Paul Barclay, panellists include Richard DennissSally McManusGreg JerichoWayne Swan and Bob Brown, who discuss The Future of WorkBig: The Role of GovernmentNo Enemies, No Friends: Restoring Australia’s Global Relevance and State-Sponsored Greenwash: Offsetting Us Up to Fail. As the sun sets on Monday, David Speers and ABC’s flagship political discussions program Insiders takes over the West Stage, with a couch full of the country’s most astute analysts including Laura TingleJack LatimoreKatharine MurphySamantha Maiden and the Premier of South Australia, Peter Malinauskas.


On Tuesday, In the Presence of Absence is this year’s spotlight on the writing of leading Palestinian writers, poets, and essayists. Home, land, language and loss are the heart of this rich literary tradition which takes on the North Stage, featuring the likes of Susan AbulhawaMohammed El-KurdHasib Hourani and Raja Shehadeh.

A rich program of fascinating topics and conversations will also spread across the East and West stages throughout day, featuring the likes of British Poet Laureate Simon ArmitageLara FeigelCraig Silvey and Kim Mahood among many, many others. Sloane CrosleyLaura Kipnis and Diana Reid come together to discuss human connection in the 21st century in Modern Relationships.


On Wednesday, a focus on the relationship between editor and author takes over the North Stage as some of our finest editors talk with their bestselling authors about the editorial process in My Editor and Me or Should That Be Me and My Editor?

The Terrible Truth About Climate Change brings Joelle GergisPeter Singer and Gaia Vince together to discuss why “the apocalypse is not a done deal“. Geoff Dyer muses On Endings with Jonathan Green, and Sara Peretsky live streams in from Chicago for Don’t Try To Silence V.I. Warshawski.


Another huge day of conversations and creativity with far too many writers and sessions to list here! Grace Tame discusses speaking truth to power with Louise Milligan in “May These Words Bring You Home”John Boyne reflects on the difficulties of fictionalising the historical in History Lessons with Jonathan GreenInala Cooper explores what self-determination means for First Nations people in Holding White Australia to Account; and Thinking Writing Now brings together Shannon BurnsGillian HagenusGemma Parker, Alex Sutcliffe, Jane Turner Goldsmith and Patrick Flannery on working as a creative writer today.

Ticketed Highlights

Ticketed highlights include A Celebration of The Life and Work of Sir Tom Stoppard on Thursday 2 March at Adelaide Town Hall – a virtual conversation between one of the greatest playwrights of our age, his biographer Dame Hermione Lee, and Secretary of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Professor Glyn Davis AC. Following this is a conversation with Sir Tom, together with internationally acclaimed playwright Suzie Miller and award-winning theatre director Simon Phillips.

On Sunday 5 March, at Adelaide Town Hall, David Hare Live is a ticketed event featuring Sir David Hare reading his COVID monologue Beat the Devil and discussing politics and writing with Don Watson.

Director’s Choice

Streamed from our place to yours

A selection of AWW sessions to stream in the comfort of your own home. This is the perfect way for those living outside of Adelaide, people stuck at work, or those who can’t choose between events on the day to still access some wonderful sessions.

Tickets for Louise Adler’s curated Director’s Choice sessions are available on a Pay What You Can basis and include: Simon Armitage in conversation with 7.30’s Sarah Ferguson; readings by Shaun MicallefJulia CimafiejevaMax Gillies, and Sarah Holland-Batt; crime writing sensation Jane Harper who joins critic Beejay Silcox in The Aussie of Queen of Noir; and Simon Holmes a Court with Ross Garnaut and Marian Wilkinson discussing The Planet’s Clock is Ticking.

Key Information

Useful links to help you plan your 2023 Writers’ Week
  • View the planner HERE for a printable overview of the sessions and note that the previously named Plane Tree Stage is now the North Stage.
  • View the complete list of Community Live Streaming locations brought to you thanks to Office for Ageing Well and Seniors Card HERE.
  • Keep up-to-date with any schedule and lineup changes HERE.
Writers’ Week 2023 is proudly supported by Presenting Partner Hello SA and Major Partners Channel 9, ECH and The Advertiser. We extend a huge thank you to all of our supporters and partners, who you can find listed HERE, in addition to the generous philanthropic support of The Literati and MUD Literacy Club.

6 days | 160 writers | 130 sessions
2 Nobel Laureates | 1 Poet Laureate
2 Knights | 1 Dame
4 Booker Prize Winners

We acknowledge the land we live, work and learn on is the traditional land of the Kaurna People of the Adelaide Plains. We pay respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders. This land has been a place of movement, music and storytelling for over 60,000 years. We take pride in honouring those traditions.

Adelaide Festival, Level 9, 33 King William St, Adelaide SA 5000, Australia


About the author

Aksel Ritenis

Publisher and Custodian of the Sydney Times

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