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First guests announced for 2019

We are thrilled to announce the first of 120 guests for the 2019 festival, which will be held from April 5 to 7 in the Civic Precinct. The full program will be released on February 22 online and in print.

Heather Morris is the author of the best-selling novel, The Tattooist of Auschwitz, based on the incredible true story of Lale Sokolov’s journey from prisoner to chief tattooist at the Nazis’ most notorious concentration camp. Lale’s life was forever changed the day he looked into the eyes of a young girl, Gita, as he tattooed her left arm. It is a powerful story of resilience and the power of love, a common theme for 2019.

Award-winning artist Ben Quilty is not afraid to speak his mind and has advocated for the rights of refugees, Australians on death row, soldiers affected by PTSD, and artists. He is the editor of Home: Drawings by Syrian Children.

Journalist Trent Dalton is known for his compelling features for the Weekend Australian Magazine but his daring debut novel, Boy Swallows Universe, has also been capturing headlines.

Poetry is a much-loved feature of the Newcastle Writers Festival and among the guests is Queenslander Anisa Nandaula, a runner-up Australian Poetry Slam champion.