100 episodes

Australia's largest celebration of literature, stories and ideas. Bringing together the world's best authors, leading public intellectuals, scientists, journalists and more.

Sydney Writers' Festival Sydney Writers' Festival

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.3 • 264 Ratings

Australia's largest celebration of literature, stories and ideas. Bringing together the world's best authors, leading public intellectuals, scientists, journalists and more.

    Danielle Celermajer & Jonica Newby

    Danielle Celermajer & Jonica Newby

    “This notion that we could write without it being saturated with what it feels like to be faced – confronted – with the threat to what makes our lives possible, to think that one could write that without an emotional response, without it being saturated with emotion, is to write as if we were writing about what was happening on the moon, not here on Earth.” – Danielle Celermajer

    Danielle Celermajer’s Summertime: Reflections on a Vanishing Future is a different kind of nature writing; it’s a philosophy, elegy, meditation. In the aftermath of last year’s bushfires, Danielle asks what we are losing in this shared, ravaged world. In her book Beyond Climate Grief, science reporter Jonica Newby considers what a personal, emotional, human response might be to global catastrophe. The two discuss these themes and their personal journeys of courage and hope in the face of disaster and uncertainty, with Suzanne Leal.

    Please note, there is discussion of mental health topics and climate grief in this podcast. 

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 55 min
    A Lie Agreed Upon

    A Lie Agreed Upon

    “Am I Australian? Am I Canadian? Am I Jamaican? I’m all of them. And they exist inside me. And all I had to do was be responsible to that person that was inside me. So in a way, it kind of gave me that grounding…I found myself. And it had nothing to do with a country. It had to do with my own spirit and the ancestors with me.” – Sienna Brown

    In the right hands, a story set in the past can shed new light on the present, set the imagination loose and make for a page-turning read. But what are an author’s responsibilities (and burdens) when it comes to telling the truth? A panel of celebrated authors of historical novels unpack the tricky business of sorting facts from fiction when putting the past to the page. Featuring 2020 ARA Historical Novel Prize winner Mirandi Riwoe (Stone Sky Gold Mountain), Sienna Brown (Master of My Fate) and Miles Franklin Award winner Steven Carroll (O) with historian Clare Wright (You Daughters of Freedom).

    Please note, topics such as the history and experiences of racism, including slavery, are discussed in this podcast episode. Racial slurs are also discussed as examples of historical discrimination. 

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 55 min
    SWF Within Reach Gala: Trent Dalton

    SWF Within Reach Gala: Trent Dalton

    For our 2021 Festival, an all-star line-up of guests came together to deliver a speech on the Festival theme, Within Reach. Speakers celebrated the power of writing to generate empathy, imagination and action. In this special highlight, bestselling author of Boy Swallows Universe and All Our Shimmering Skies Trent Dalton delivers one undeniable truth wrought by the pandemic: that he quite likes to wrap his arms around people. Enjoy this humorous and hopeful homage to the hug. 

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    • 9 min
    Hilary Mantel: The Final Wolf Hall

    Hilary Mantel: The Final Wolf Hall

    “You write an extraordinary decapitation,” begins this enthralling conversation on the sixteenth century, royalty and the craft of writing historical fiction. In 2020, the third and final volume of Hilary Mantel’s magisterial Wolf Hall trilogy, The Mirror & the Light, brought her retelling of Thomas Cromwell’s rise and fall to an end over 900 astonishing pages. While her collection of essays Mantel Pieces, also published in 2020, spanned from her celebrated piece ‘Royal Bodies’ (linking Anne Boleyn and Kate Middleton) to some of the finest literary criticism around. Hilary joined Sydney Writers’ Festival from the UK to share her insights and literary methods with ABC Radio National’s Jonathan Green. 

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 54 min
    Simple Pleasures

    Simple Pleasures

    In a world that has felt chaotic, uncertain and inescapably busy, what simple acts help us find joy amongst it all? ABC Radio Sydney’s Sarah Macdonald asks a line-up of beloved writers how they capture moments of wonder and peace in their day – whether it’s growing their own garden, enjoying a cup of tea, writing or looking at the stars. Host of ABC’s The Drum and author Julia Baird; author, comedian and broadcaster Sami Shah; and author Krissy Kneen (The Three Burials of Lotty Kneen) share the grounding rituals and perspectives that grant them pleasure in life.  

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 54 min
    Ceridwen Dovey & Emily Maguire

    Ceridwen Dovey & Emily Maguire

    Ceridwen Dovey and Emily Maguire shed light on their riveting new novels, both electrifying tales of trust and consequences, with Bridie Jabour. A murder mystery and study of modern manners, Ceridwen’s Life After Truth tells of former Harvard classmates whose weekend reunion is rocked by the death of a fellow alumnus. Emily is a Miles Franklin Award shortlisted writer whose latest novel, Love Objects, is the insightful, compassionately drawn story of a young woman whose aunt is imperilled by compulsive hoarding. Together, the two discuss the writing process, midlife opportunities (rather than midlife crises), and the power of fiction to generate empathy.

    “More and more I feel that in fiction we are all rehearsing for real life...it continues to astound me that as humans we have no real way of knowing what is going on in anybody else’s mind and yet we still manage to come together and try so hard to communicate between one another, there’s something heartbreaking about that. And for me that’s what fiction is...it’s the most profound tool we have at our fingertips to get into each other’s experiences.” – Ceridwen Dovey

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    • 56 min

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5
264 Ratings

264 Ratings

rolypolyeastereggs ,

Outstanding podcast

Thankyou for this wonderful podcast. Excellent presentation by Eleanor & the caliber of wonderful Bernard & Julien . Such decent professional men who have the courage of their convictions.
🙏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏🙏

Siobhan TM ,

Excellent Podcast- Five Star Rating

Blowing the Whistle.

Wendyseana ,

Applause

Simply the SWF is totally up there with the best in the satisfaction of humane intelligence. Never heard one, and to be truthful I haven't heard loads, that I didn't want to applaud.

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