After being struck by the COVID cancellations of 2020, the 23rd Sydney Writers’ Festival is shaping up for a bold return.
From Monday 26 April to Sunday 2 May 2021, the Festival will host 231 live events featuring more than 400 Australian-based speakers and 15 international writers (via video) who will be considering this year’s Festival theme, Within Reach.
This array of emerging, established and legendary voices will be heard in person at Carriageworks, City Recital Hall, Sydney Town Hall, Riverside Theatres, Chatswood Concourse, and across 17 suburban and regional library networks via live broadcasts from the State Library of NSW.
Outside Sydney, the Live and Local program will broadcast Carriageworks’ main stage events to more than 40 community centres and libraries across the country.
This year, the Festival will offer more than 50 free events across the city. For ticketed events, prices range from $5 for Family Day events, $10 for All-Day YA sessions and between $15 and $50 for premium events. Bookings will be essential for all events this year.
On the release of his first Sydney Writers’ Festival program, Artistic Director Michael Williams – who joined the Festival in August 2020 – said, “Our theme this year, Within Reach, highlights the astonishing writers who are shaping Australian literature right now. It recognises those authors who show us an Australia that is not monolithic or static but varied, curious and challenging. We have gathered the many diverse and exciting writers who are right here, within our reach – asking questions, raising their voices and defining this culture.
“For all its inbuilt optimism, our theme is not without healthy scepticism, and we’ve refused to relegate conversations to the too-hard basket. Solutions to the problems we’re currently facing – the climate emergency, the global refugee crisis, racism, the failures of public discourse, the death of political accountability – sometimes feel out of reach, so we’ve gathered thinkers, writers and experts we trust to show us the way.
“Literature brings ideas and flights of fancy within reach of our everyday life. Brilliant minds bring solutions and possibilities within reach of being realised. A festival brings us within reach of one another again,” said Williams.
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