Book Club / Culture

Voices of note: Sydney Writers’ Festival returns with mission to change your mind

Who's your most beloved Australian author? Public figure? Chances are they're attending Sydney Writers' Festival 2022. Returning for its' 25th year, the program is scheduled to run from May 16 – 22 under the banner of 'Change My Mind'. It's a daring suggestion, one that invites and challenges attendees to show up with empathy and a willingness to listen and be changed. Intended as a tonic for our increasingly online world, where conversation is flattened and the perspective heard is from the person with the loudest voice.

Venues across Sydney, such as Carriageworks, City Recital Hall and Riverside Theatre, will host a slew of authors, writers, journalists and notable figures where they will lead both free and ticketed conversations about the state of current affairs, ideas and naturally, books. Hear from 'Your Favourites' Favourites' in this series that sees a beloved Australian writer interview the author of their favourite novel from the past year. Mehreen Faruqi will talk with Dr. Michael Mohammed Ahmad, Evelyn Araluen with Ennis Cehic and Maxine Beneba Clarke with Amani Haydar, to name a few.

International voices like the brilliant Hanya Yanagihara and Booker Prize-winning author Dalmun Galgut will appear in person to discuss their new novels. While Claudia Rankine, Rebecca Solnit and a handful of other global authors will appear join via video link.

For a taste of new Australian debuts, expect to hear from Bridie Jabour on Trivial Grievances, Diana Reid on Love & Virtue, Clementine Ford on How We Love. Bri Lee will speak to Yassmin Abdel-Magied on her collection of essays, Talking About A Revolution. While Omar Sakr will takes us through Son of Sin, George Haddad is set to speak on Losing Face and Larissa Behrendt talks After Story. 

As the weekend approaches, things will loosen up at Carriageworks with its Festival Club Stage. Maeve Marsden curator of Queerstories will bring queer voices to the forefront. Meanwhile, Nakkiah Lui will lead an evening of radical storytelling. With an election around the corner and the possibility of it occurring during Sydney Writers' Festival, Fran Kelly and Barrie Cassidy will deliver an evening of much needed comedic relief.

Fans of YA will appreciate the All-Day YA sessions, while the wholesome and heartwarming Family Day is set to go ahead as planned on the Sunday with appearances from Adam Goodes, Sean Micallef, Morris Gleitzman plus.

Tickets for Sydney Writers' Festival 2022 are on sale now. For more information on free events and accessibility head to the Sydney Writers' Festival website.

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Images: @sydwritersfest