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Newcastle Writers Festival

Newcastle Writers Festival

First held in 2013, the annual Newcastle Writers Festival has grown bigger yearly. It now draws writers of all ages from far and wide to participate in various writing-themed activities and events.

The Festival provides a priceless opportunity to hear tips and inside stories from successful authors through presentations, panel discussions, literary lunches, and breakfasts.

Newcastle Writers Festival 2024 Dates, Program, Times, Event Schedule

The 2024 Newcastle Writers Festival program is the largest since the Covid disruption and features 150 writers across 95 free and ticketed events from April 5 to 7 in Newcastle’s Civic precinct, Cessnock and, for the first time, Port Stephens.

The program features workshops, book launches, readings, panel discussions, one-on-one interviews, a dinner, a literary trivia event, and a special program at the University of Newcastle’s Wollotuka Institute.

Family events have been scheduled for the first time since 2019, including Hunter and Central Coast talent Dan Marshall, Sara Acton, Katrina McKelvey, and Liz Anelli. Several other Hunter writers are appearing across the festival, including 93-year-old debut writer Rosemary Lewis and romance writer Natalie Murray.

Respected ABC journalist Leigh Sales is the special opening night guest and will speak to Indira Naidoo on 5 April at Newcastle City Hall about the art and craft of journalism and its future in an increasingly divided world. Other journalists in the program include Daniel Browning, Julia Baird, Antony Loewenstein, David Marr, Louise Milligan, and Hedley Thomas.

Popular identities who will also be speaking about their recent books include actors Bryan Brown and Pia Miranda, musicians Deborah Conway and Jim Moginie, Wendy Harmer (in Newcastle and Cessnock), Richard Glover, and Newcastle baker Reece Hignell.

The significant lineup of First Nations writers includes Graham Akhurst, Jane Harrison, Yvette Henry Holt, Melissa Lucashenko, Ellen van Neerven, Kirli Saunders, Melanie Saward, and Worimi elder Warren Taggart. Literary heavyweights include Tony Birch, Bernadette Brennan, Kate Grenville, Katharine Lumby, New Zealand writer Emily Perkins, Christos Tsiolkas, and Charlotte Wood. Debut writers include Madeleine Gray, Andre Dao, Jessica Kirkness, and Jazz Money.

Several awards are also presented at the Festival. You can also attend numerous book launches by established authors. Best of all, many of the sessions are free and will provide you with thought-provoking ideas that you can use in your writing.

Festival events are spread across major venues in Newcastle, like City Hall, the Museum, the University, the Civic Theatre, and popular local eateries. Most venues are close to each other, and parking availability and fees in the city centre are pretty reasonable. You can also walk, cycle, or catch public transport. Various accommodation options are also available to make your Newcastle stay enjoyable.

Newcastle is about a 2-hour and 15-minute drive north of the Sydney CBD. It also has its own airport if you need to get there quickly or if you’re travelling from further away. Newcastle is also well-serviced by public transport, so you can catch a bus or train there if necessary.

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Please refer to the event schedule in the image gallery above for event dates, times, and venues

Please visit our website for more information on the Newcastle Writers Festival.
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Most events are free

Please refer to the event schedule in the image gallery above for event prices

Please visit our website for more information on the Newcastle Writers Festival.

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