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Byron Shire
April 23, 2021

Welcome to Byron Writers Festival 2019! 

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Edwina Johnson, Festival Director and Adam van Kempen, Festival Chair

Now more than ever our world needs writers, environmentalists, poets, commentators, politicians, and artists who together can shape stories of hope, courage, and change. At Byron Writers Festival 2019 we proudly bring more than 140 writers together to create a program brimming with diverse voices.

This year the program takes us across challenging terrain: from intergenerational trauma and exploring evil to the crisis of democracy and trolling. It explores the beautiful and the curious as we contemplate jellyfish, the eastern curlew, trees, mathematics, teaching, our high-tech lives, and how we’re shaped by elsewhere.

We examine how to live better, die better; the force of global infernal fires, to growing up queer in Australia. We honour fathers; contemplate the balance between motherhood and creativity, and we sing or are sung to!

All are welcome. And be sure to bring your children to the stellar lineup for Kids Big Day Out on Festival Sunday – more accessible than ever with our new Sunday Family Pass.

Sincere thanks to the generous sponsors and staff, patrons, and volunteers who all make this much-loved Festival possible. We look forward to welcoming you.

Three days with story creators and idea makers

Byron Writers Festival is renowned for its relaxed and friendly vibe, beachside location and compelling conversations. But how do you ‘do’ a Writers’ Festival? Here are some quick facts to help you tailor your Festival experience.

What happens at the Festival?

Byron Writers Festival brings writers and thinkers from many walks of life to Byron Bay. The speakers are acknowledged writers and experts in their fields and their works span a huge variety of topics – they are artists, environmentalists, journalists, philosophers, musicians, politicians, activists and, of course, novelists.  The Festival is set up a bit like a music festival, with six stages featuring panel discussions and conversations with Australian and international guests. Most sessions are 45 minutes to one hour in length, and you can wander between stages as you please.

For refreshments, you can choose from local coffee and food stalls, dining options within Elements Resort, or you are welcome to bring a picnic. Shop to your heart’s content at the splendid bookshop run by our bookseller The Book Room, or browse our marketplace showcasing a select group of local artisans. Most Festival authors will be in the book-signing tent after their sessions.

On Festival Sunday, one marquee is turned over to children’s authors and illustrators so the kids can have a special day meeting their favourite storytellers and participating in free creative workshops. Kids Big Day Out kicks off at 8.30am with Spaghetti Circus roving performers, the prelude to a jam-packed day of entertainment that will set young imaginations on fire.

Do I need to be a writer to enjoy the Festival?

No! Byron Writers Festival is all about stories and ideas and bringing together diverse people, communities, and perspectives. Most people attend to listen to contemporary voices, engage with new ideas, meet other curious-minded people, and fall in love with new books.

What’s the best ticket type for me?

We have created a number of different ticket types, so people from all walks of life can enjoy the stories, discussion and debate that make up the Festival program. You can book tickets and check availability (some ticket types may sell out) at byronwritersfestival.com/tickets.

3-Day Passes give you access to all sessions (121 of them!) happening in the main Festival program across the whole weekend. This pass is a great choice if you would like the time and space to fully immerse yourself in the Festival and wish to attend for more than just one day.

1-Day Passes give you access to sessions happening in the main Festival program for your chosen day – Friday, Saturday, or Sunday. This pass is the best choice if you have limited time but still want the Festival experience.

Most writers appear on more than one day but check out the full program online via byronwritersfestival.com/festival-program to find out on which days your favourite writers will be appearing.

Satellite Events and Workshops are separately ticketed one-off events that take place over the Festival week throughout the Northern Rivers region. Satellite Events feature a curated selection of Festival guests, and some of these events are free. The perfect solution if you can’t make it to the main Festival, or have never been before and are curious to get a taste of the Writers Festival.

Can I take the kids?

Yes! On Sunday 4 August one of the marquees is dedicated to Kids Big Day Out, a wonderful program chock-full of entertainment for kids aged 6–12. The Kids Big Day Out Pass admits one child (6–12 years) and one accompanying adult to the Kids marquee only on Sunday 4 August for $40. Additional children are $20 each, and pre-schoolers are free.

The new Sunday Family Pass admits one child (6–12 years) and two adults to the Festival site on Sunday 4 August for $120. Additional children are $20 each, and preschoolers are free. This pass is a great option if you love the idea of sharing the Kids’ Program with your children but also wish to catch other sessions in the main program.

Children must be accompanied by at least one adult at all times.

All tickets available online at byronwritersfestival.com/tickets.

Recent Writers Festival news and articles:

Gran Slammers premier at Byron Writers Festival

The Grans slammed at yesterdays screening of the first Gran Slam poetry competition at the Byron Writers Festival.


Welcome to Byron Writers Festival 2019! 

Now more than ever our world needs writers, environmentalists, poets, commentators, politicians, and artists who together can shape stories of hope, courage, and change. At Byron Writers Festival 2019 we proudly bring more than 140 writers together to create a program brimming with diverse voices.


You’ll love the Byron Writers Festival if…

Check out what's to love at the Byron Writers Festival on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.


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