Sydney Writers’ Festival presents Something to Talk About: three smart, entertaining public conversations from the country’s preeminent literary institution. After a 2020 where we couldn’t gather together at Sydney Writers’ Festival to celebrate and cogitate as a group, join us for three events that showcase the best of public discourse: imaginings and arguments, polemics and poetry, declarations and conversations.


Douglas Stuart: Shuggie Bain
Sat 16 Jan, 11am
$25 + booking fee

Shuggie Bain is a masterpiece, a debut novel that immediately declares itself as a future classic. Set against the grim backdrop of 80s Glasgow tenements, what could be an unrelentingly bleak account of poverty, alcoholism and violence manages instead to be first and foremost a love story between a boy and his mother. Heartbreaking, tender, powerful, Shuggie and Agnes Bain are unforgettable. Fresh from winning the 2020 Booker Prize, Douglas Stuart, joins us for this very special Sydney Writers’ Festival event you won’t want to miss. Douglas will appear via live stream from NYC and will be in discussion with an onstage moderator.

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Recommended Reading
Sat 16 Jan, 2pm
$25 + booking fee

Under the watchful eye of Sydney Writers’ Festival’s Artistic Director Michael Williams, Jennifer Byrne, Michael Mohammed Ahmad and Benjamin Law, will choose one beloved classic, one obscure international gem, and one Australian release from the past 12 months in danger of being overlooked in the noise of global pandemic. And wherever the conversation leads, their picks will furnish you with the must reads to complete your summer in style and entertainment.

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An Educated Guess: Predictions, Prescriptions & Wild Hopes for the Year Ahead
Sun 17 Jan, 2pm
$25 + booking fee

Experts in every field study the patterns of the past to extrapolate their visions for the future: the road maps and prescriptions, cautions and hopes. So to kick off 2021 – the year after The Unprecedented Year – Sydney Writers’ Festival are going to get into the prognostication game. SWF are asking some of Australia’s smartest, most thoughtful, most imaginative writers to turn their thoughts to what we might reasonably expect from the next 12 months. RN’s Health Report and Coronacast host Norman Swan, acclaimed Indigenous author Gayle Kennedy, multi-Walkley-winning investigative journalist Kate McClymont and award-winning writer Maxine Beneba Clarke and a panel of special guests will read the tea leaves, take some temperatures and share with us their account of things to come.

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Image Prudence Upton, 2018

Carriageworks is a registered COVID-Safe business. To ensure the wellbeing of our visitors, we are following strict guidelines set by NSW State Government and Live Performance Australia. Help us keep everyone safe by reading our COVID-Safe Plan before your next visit.

In line with recent regulations, all visitors are required to wear a mask in the public space, Bay 21 Exhibition and in the theatre spaces. Thank you for keeping our community safe.

Presented by Sydney Writers’ Festival, Carriageworks and Sydney Festival.