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Newcastle Writers Festival

The annual Newcastle Writers Festival is back with stacks of events

This event has now passed. Keep an eye out for details on next year's festival.

Celebrating 11 years in 2024, the Newcastle Writers Festival returns from April 5 to April 7, and this year you can expect a lineup of 150 writers from throughout Australia across 95 free and ticketed events.

Opening night will see Leigh Sales, one of Australia's most accomplished journalists, speaking with Indira Naidoo at Newcastle City Hall about the art and craft of journalism, and its future in an increasingly divided world. 

The year's incredible festival program has once again been been overseen by Founding Director Rosemarie Milsom and Amy Lovat, author and co-founder of bookstore Secret Book Stuff, who joined the organisation as Program Manager in August 2023.

“It is an exciting, diverse program that includes Australia’s most respected writers as well as strong lineup of debut writers,” Rosemarie said.

Newcastle Writers Festival 2024

For the first time since 2019, family events have been scheduled and include Hunter and Central Coast talent Dan Marshall, Sara Acton, Katrina McKelvey, and Liz Anelli. The program will also feature workshops, book launches, readings, panel discussions, one-on-one interviews, literary trivia event, and a special program at the University of Newcastle’s Wollotuka Institute. 

Several Hunter writers will be making an appearance across the festival, including 93-year-old debut writer Rosemary Lewis and romance writer Natalie Murray.

Newcastle Writers Festival 2024

Launched in 2013 by Rosemarie Milsom, a former journalist who spent 20 years working with Fairfax Media in Newcastle and Sydney, the inaugural Newcastle Writers Festival was a resounding success with more than 70 writers participating in 38 sessions. Fast forward 11 years, Newcastle Writers Festival is now one of the largest regional literary festivals in Australia.

A small but dedicated team works hard to present the festival each year, including Program Manager Amy Lovat, Digital Manager Zoe Drew, and acting Story Hunter Coordinator Emma Biddle. The event also would not happen without the more than 160 volunteers who welcome audiences and support the delivery of the event. 

Newcastle Writers Festival 

When: Friday 5 April to Sunday 7 April, 2024
Location: Various venues around Newcastle
View the full Newcastle Writers Festival program.

Newcastle Writers Festival