• What are the dates for the 2023 Newcastle Writers Festival?

    The 2023 Newcastle Writers Festival will run from Friday 31 March to Sunday 2 April.

    The program will be released 17 February and tickets are on sale from 9am the same day.

  • Where can I view the 2023 Festival Program?

    The full 2023 program will be available on 17 February on our website. We are not printing the traditional full-colour booklet. We are committed to reducing our environmental impact and given the uncertainty of organising an event during a pandemic, there are likely to be program changes leading up to the festival. Updates are more easily communicated via our website.

  • Where can I get a hard copy of the 2023 festival program?

    A downloadable schedule will be available from 17 February on our website.

  • Are there any free events at the festival?

    Yes! We offer about 30% of our program for free. Admission to the free events is provided on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. Bookings are not taken for these events. You are encouraged to arrive early as free events are extremely popular and seats are limited.

  • Can I buy tickets at the door?

    Tickets are available at the door, though we encourage you to allow plenty of time to visit the main festival box office in the Civic Theatre foyer. Tickets can also be bought at the Conservatorium of Music.

  • Are there any events for children?

    Our Schools Program will be held during Book Week in August. A wonderful lineup of writers and illustrators will be announced in May so stay tuned for updates.

  • Will you have Covid-safe measures in place?

    For the safety and wellbeing of all customers, you must not visit our venues if you:

    • Feel unwell with or are displaying any Covid symptoms, such as fever, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, loss of smell or loss of taste
    • Have tested positive for Covid in the past seven days
    • Are awaiting the results of a Covid test
    • Are currently required to self-isolate.

    Please maintain a physical distance of 1.5 metres from those who are not part of your household.

    We strongly encourage guests to wear facemasks indoors.

    All volunteers have undertaken Covid-safe training. Please be amenable to any directions you receive from volunteers regarding physical distancing.

    Please use hand sanitiser at venues, especially in the main festival bookshop in NUspace.

    Sit in your allocated seat. Just before the session begins, you may be invited to spread out if seats are available.

  • Can I volunteer at the festival?

    Volunteer registration is closed for 2023.

  • Where does the festival take place?

    Most events will take place in the Civic precinct, which is located between Hunter and King Streets close to Civic Park.

    The main venues are:

    • The Conservatorium of Music Concert Hall, cnr Auckland and Laman streets. It is accessible by wheelchair.
    • The University of Newcastle NUspace building, cnr Hunter and Auckland streets. It is accessible by wheelchair and you can view a map of the building on their website.
    • Playhouse, part of the Civic Theatre complex at 375 Hunter Street. It is accessible by wheelchair.
    • Smaller events will be held nearby at Watt Space Gallery (wheelchair accessible), The Press Book House (a couple of stairs), and the Longworth Institute (wheelchair accessible).
  • How do I get to the festival?

    The festival is easily accessible from the Newcastle Interchange by light rail and bus. For information about bus, ferry, and train services, visit the Transport NSW website

    We strongly encourage you to leave your car at home as on-street parking will be difficult to find.

    It is a busy weekend in Newcastle and arterial roads will be congested. Please give yourself plenty of time to travel before the start of your session – more so if you intend to buy tickets at the box office.

    Please note that Honeysuckle, Newcastle foreshore, and Memorial Drive will be affected by Newcastle Running Festival road closures on Sunday morning, 2 April. See here for details.

  • Will there be an information desk at the festival?

    Yes. There will be information desks in the main Festival hub inside the University of Newcastle NUspace building. Lost property, information about the program, venue and other general information will be available here.

  • How long do the events last?

    Most events last one hour. Some special events are 90 minutes to two hours long. End times for each event will be included in the program.

  • Can I buy books at the festival?

    The festival has its own dedicated bookseller – MacLean’s Booksellers – located on Level 2 in NUspace. Books for relevant sessions will also be for sale at the Conservatorium of Music, Playhouse, Watt Space, and satellite events. Audience members will be able to purchase books by authors appearing in the festival in the bookshop.

  • Can I get my books signed at the festival?

    Yes. Book signings will take place immediately following events in the key venues.

  • Will any festival events be recorded?

    This year, we will be live streaming five events. These are clearly marked in the program. Tickets are available for these sessions at a reduced price. You will be emailed a link a couple of hours prior to the start of the session and you will be able to access the live stream. Please check your spam folder if the link hasn’t arrived.

    There will be film and sound recordings of some of the events for archival and publicity purposes. It is possible that audience members’ images will be included from time to time in the filming. Should you wish not to be filmed, please advise an usher. No flash photography or recording by attendees is permitted.

  • What provisions will be in place at the festival for those with disabilities?

    All main venues are accessible by wheelchair. The exception is The Press Book House. Please refer to our Accessibility information. Auslan Interpreters will be available by request for pre-arranged sessions, or you can bring your own. Please see here for more details.

  • Where can I enquire about lost property?

    All lost property from the festival will be available at the Information Desk in the NUspace foyer.  If you lost something at the venue, please email admin@newcastlewritersfestival.org.au and include the following details:

    • What did you lose?
    • Where did you lose it?
    • When did you lose it?
    • What event were you attending?
    • Anything else that might help them find your property

Have we missed something?

Get in touch with us with your query and we will assist you. If your matter is urgent, please say so in the subject field of your email.