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
    • 4.2 • 226 Ratings

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

    Swan on Swan

    Swan on Swan

    Norman Swan and his son Jonathan Swan are two of Australia’s most discerning and dedicated journalistic minds. Over the past year, Australian audiences have looked to Norman, renowned physician, journalist, broadcaster and host of ABC Radio National’s Health Report and ABC’s Coronacast, and Jonathan, former Sydney Morning Herald reporter and now National Political Correspondent at Axios in the US – and host of that viral Trump interview from 2020 – as guiding voices of reason. In this special podcast, they discuss their careers in journalism and whether there’s a Swan family secret to great reporting, with ABC’s Geraldine Doogue. 

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    • 1 hr
    Sarah Krasnostein & Maria Tumarkin

    Sarah Krasnostein & Maria Tumarkin

    After the runaway success of Sarah Krasnostein’s debut The Trauma Cleaner: One Woman’s Extraordinary Life in Death, Decay & Disaster, Sarah spent time in Australia and the US talking to six extraordinary people who held fast to a belief even though it rubbed against the grain of conventional wisdom. Her research culminated in The Believer: Encounters with Love, Death & Faith, a deeply humane and deftly drawn enquiry into the power of belief. Sarah is joined by author of Axiomatic, Maria Tumarkin, to explore the writing process behind her remarkable works, the tension between non-fiction and confession, and the ceaseless lure of curious subjects. 

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    • 49 min
    Whose Country Is It Anyway?

    Whose Country Is It Anyway?

    Literature has played a significant role in the colonial imagination and the domination of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Bundjalung author and Miles Franklin Award winner Melissa Lucashenko (Too Much Lip) and Yuwaalaraay musician and author Nardi Simpson (Song of the Crocodile) have a profound discussion on writing Country with Festival Guest Curator, Gunai/Kurnai, Gunditjmara, Wiradjuri and Yorta Yorta writer, Nayuka Gorrie. As Nayuka reflects, “The way our land and non-human kin have been written formed part of the justification for the control and brutalisation of Country. This is in stark contrast to the way Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people write of Country. No one writes Country like we do.” 

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    • 50 min
    Writing the Invisible

    Writing the Invisible

    Australian authors Kylie Maslen, Fiona Murphy and Jacinta Parsons discuss their memoirs of living with invisible disabilities or chronic conditions and navigating the healthcare system. Kylie’s wry and incisive Show Me Where it Hurts: Living with Invisible Illness details life with chronic pain and mental illness, and was named a stand-out book of 2020 by Guardian Australia. Fiona’s The Shape of Sound chronicles how she overcame shame and secrecy to claim her Deaf identity, drawing praise from Helen Garner, who said, “I devoured this in a day, fascinated, enlightened, moved”. Jacinta’s Unseen trains a microscope on the unique challenges of living with an invisible condition and was dubbed “a generous, brave, moving and deeply insightful work that will change lives for the better” by Clare Bowditch. The three speak with writer, producer, podcaster and illustrator Chloe Sargeant, co-host of the podcast Chronically Fully Sick. 

    Please note that towards the end of this podcast episode, there is a discussion around euthanasia. 

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    • 54 min
    The True History of Peter Carey

    The True History of Peter Carey

    Few authors wield the skill, consistency and imagination of two-time recipient of the Booker Prize, Peter Carey. A consummate writer and keen observer of life, Peter’s novels span continents and centuries, often zeroing in on Australian identity and the cruel and complex history that formed it. His 14 books include award-winning titles such as Oscar and Lucinda, Bliss, Jack Maggs and True History of the Kelly Gang. Hear one of modern fiction’s most celebrated novelists discuss his – and Ned’s – curious and compelling past, the writers he loves and his storied life in writing with Sarah Krasnostein (acclaimed author of The Believer: Encounters with Love, Death & Faith). 

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    • 55 min
    Opening Night Address: Melissa Lucashenko, Tara June Winch and Evelyn Araluen

    Opening Night Address: Melissa Lucashenko, Tara June Winch and Evelyn Araluen

    Three of Australia’s most admired and influential writers from across three generations deliver an extraordinary Opening Night Address. Miles Franklin Award winners Melissa Lucashenko (Too Much Lip) and Tara June Winch (The Yield), and debut poet and essayist Evelyn Araluen (Dropbear), reflect on literature, who gets a voice, and the ways that stories define and shape us as a culture. Together, they invite us to consider what worlds the right words can bring within reach.

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    • 45 min

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5
226 Ratings

226 Ratings

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.

All the time on the world ,

Helen Garner’s Diaries

Such a beautiful conversation between Michael Williams & Helen Garner, which sounded fresh and open. Michael’s economical interview style meant that Helen was centre stage but Michael was also there with warmth, humour and total respect.

Glenally ,

Fantastic content

I live in country Victoria and couldn’t get to the SWF. But these podcasts have been brilliant company on my morning walks. Loved them. Very much appreciated.

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