Sydney Writers Festival program 2022

26 March 2022

The program for the 2022 Sydney Writers’ Festival was unveiled on Thursday, and refreshingly for the lockdown-fatigued is choke full of face-to-face, in person events. Spread across venues including Sydney Town Hall, City Recital Hall, and Carriageworks, the festival opens on Monday 16 May, and concludes on Sunday 22 May 2022.

In addition, numerous other “neighbourhood” events, will be held in other areas, both in and out of Sydney, hosted at places including the State Library of NSW, WestWords Parramatta, Ashfield Town Hall, Chatswood Library on The Concourse, Penrith City Library, and Wollongong Art Gallery. Top up your Opal card, you could be covering a bit of ground.

The opening night address takes place at Sydney Town Hall on the evening of Tuesday 17 May, and features Ali Cobby Eckermann, Jackie Huggins, and Nardi Simpson.

Nearly four hundred Australian and international authors and writers, along with actors, sports people, academics, and many others, are scheduled to participate in proceedings, including Emily Bitto, winner of the 2015 Stella Prize, Michael Mohammed Ahmad, Maxine Beneba Clarke, Mick Elliott, former Australian footballer Adam Goodes, Muireann Irish, Bri Lee, Charlotte McConaghy, J.P. Pomare, Teela Reid, Yumi Stynes, and Murong Xuecun, also known as Hao Qun.

The theme of this year’s festival, explains artistic director Michael Williams is change my mind. How perfectly apt, because what is writing, if not transformative?

Change my mind with a stanza or a couplet, a jarring dissonance, a beautiful echo or a rhyme. Change it with a flight of fancy, an intricate, imagined world, a compelling character I’ll never meet but never forget. Turn it upside down with searing rhetoric, impeccable research, the knock-out argument that has me questioning everything I know and all that I believe.