1-3 APRIL 2022


First Nations poet and editor Evelyn Araluen, immunologist and Nobel laureate Peter Doherty, debut author Amani Haydar, and international bestselling writer Hannah Kent, will be among 100 artists participating in the 2022 Newcastle Writers Festival from April 1 to 3.

Australia’s high vaccination rate means that next year’s program will include interstate artists such as Professor Peter Doherty, who has led the nation’s reopening strategy in response to COVID-19. Festival director Rosemarie Milsom is particularly excited about Hannah Kent’s participation. She will discuss her most recent book Devotion. “Coincidentally, Hannah’s debut book Burial Rights was published in 2013, which is the same year that the inaugural Newcastle Writers Festival was held. I’ve been trying to lure her here nearly every year since!”

The quality of Australian publishing has blossomed in 2021. “The depth of talent is exciting and this has buoyed me amid the uncertainty,” Rosemarie said. “So many of us have turned to books to help us through lockdown and it’s well and truly time we gather to celebrate the power of literature to comfort and sustain us. We also shouldn’t lose sight of its power to challenge us.”

Guest authors Evelyn Araluen (Dropbear) and Amani Haydar (The Mother Wound) have received critical acclaim for their debut books. “I’ve returned to their work a few times this year and I admire their ability to convey harsh truths about pivotal issues,” said Rosemarie. “I can’t wait to listen to them in April.”  

The full festival program will be available on March 4 and tickets go on sale the same day.

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Newcastle Writers Festival couldn’t run without our volunteers.
We are a non-profit organisation run by a small team on grants and sponsorships, and we rely on our volunteers to help us make the festival happen. We’ve been very fortunate to have wonderful volunteers since the first festival in 2013, and every year brings both reliable returnees and new people signing up. Join all the festival fun and register to volunteer!

Find out more about being a volunteer

Support our future festivals

The festival is passionate about the positive impact of literature on our lives – especially in regard to boosting literacy among young people. NWF is a large event run by a small team and we need your support. The festival is an incorporated association with Deductible Gift Recipient status and all donations of $2 or more are tax-deductible. Please consider a donation.

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Winner of Inaugural Fresh Ink Prize

Wollongong writer Alex Chalwell has been announced the winner of the inaugural Fresh Ink Prize at a special online event. His shortlisted story The Anatomy of Laughter is part of a novel he is working on which is inspired by his five years’ experience as a hospital clown. It centres on a misanthropic recruit to a hospital’s clown program who finds himself the guardian of the elaborate fairy tale easing the anxiety of a young patient.
Read Alex's submission here

Newcastle Writers Festival acknowledges the Awabakal and Worimi peoples as custodians
of the land on which we live and work. We recognise the continuing connection to land,
water and community. We pay our respects to elders – past, present and emerging.

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