Adelaide Writers’ Week announces full program for 2021

After a year like no other, Adelaide Writers’ Week will contemplate the Unstable Ground on which we stand as it launches its full program today. Across six days from Saturday 27 February to Thursday 4 March, 147 writers, poets, journalists, historians, scientists, politicians, academics and chairpersons from around the world will come together live and virtually for the 36th edition of Adelaide Writers’ Week.

An additional 73 local and international names have been announced today as part of the stellar line-up which sees Adelaide Writers’ Week, the third from Director Jo Dyer, as one of the first literary festivals to return live in 2021. An expanded Australian line-up will appear live in the Pioneer Women’s Memorial Garden while international authors will appear in the Gardens via real-time digital livestream from their home countries.

Among those writers announced today are: British economist and sociologist Noreena Hertz and Australian authors Sarah Krasnostein, Briggs, Laura Tingle, Stuart Rintoul, Meg Mason, Nardi Simpson, Laura Jean McKay, Christine Jackman, Andrew Pippos, Richard Beasley, Rachael Mead, Jonica Newby and Louise Milligan (the full list of participants are listed below).

Those announced today join previously highlighted participants including Pulitzer Prize-winning author and journalist Anne Applebaum (POL), Booker Prize-winner Richard Flanagan (AUS), New York Times best-selling author Sigrid Nunez (USA), renowned chronicler of the future William Gibson (USA/ CAN), crowd favourite Trent Dalton (AUS), Australia’s 27th Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Australia’s 29th Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

Acknowledging the many events, celebrations and occasions missed or compromised in 2020, Writers’ Week is pleased to announce (Re) Launch: Live and Local! at 6:15pm on Saturday February 27. This event will celebrate eight South Australian authors and their books who missed out on in-person launches in 2020. Come and celebrate the work of Patrick Allington, Durkhanai Ayubi, Danielle Clode, Royce Kurmelovs, Rachael Mead, Katharine Tamiko Arguile, Pip Williams and Karen Wyld. From memoir to debut novels, to sly satire, magic realism and more – this is an evening that gives this diverse range of books and their authors a moment in the spotlight.

For the first time, Writers’ Week gives audiences the opportunity to experience a select number of events from the comfort of their own home with the ticketed series Curated Dozen: From Our Place to Yours. Featuring headline authors, as well as some of the provocative and inspiring discussions, these twelve sessions will be streamed live and can be viewed online from anywhere across Australia and beyond with tickets purchased in advance on a Pay What You Can basis.

Also new in 2021, the Plane Tree Stage will be active all week. Alongside events for younger readers on the weekend and the ABC Adelaide’s live broadcasts, Writers’ Week presents two brand new series. On Monday, audiences are invited to Be the Change they wish to see in the world, as some of Australia’s leading activists including Sally Rugg, Briggs and co-founder of the School Strikes 4 Climate movement Jean Hinchliffe, reveal how to be effective change-makers by providing practical and inspiring advice on how to turn frustration into action, and become part of the solution to our world’s myriad urgent problems.

On Tuesday The Business of Being a Writer invites everyone no matter whether they’re a published writer, an aspiring author, or are simply curious to take a behind-the-scenes look at the business of publishing. Co-presented with Fremantle Press and hosted by their Publisher and author of How to be an Author Georgia Richter, this series comprises four panel sessions featuring experienced authors and book industry professionals, packed with information, advice and practical tips about what aspiring writers should be thinking about when they are not actually writing.

Director of Adelaide Writers’ Week Jo Dyer says:

After the challenges and frustrations of the last twelve months, there is a real hunger amongst authors and audiences to gather as a community and celebrate literature and ideas. Despite the pre-Christmas COVID scares, we are optimistic that all our Australian participants will be able to join us in person in the Garden as we come together to contemplate the state of the world and the state of our reading, asking the big questions like, ‘What just happened?’ and ‘What happens next?’. We are very much looking forward to hearing an array of answers from the collection of fine, curious and incisive minds in our line-up, and reconnecting with our audience after the past year.

Writers’ Week reprises its successful early evening program Twilight Talks, which this year is an all-Australian line up over two nights. Guests can relax with a glass of wine before hearing from a line-up of the most provocative, engaging and erudite Writers’ Week authors, with live chat show Authorial Voice hosted by Sami Shah on Monday and Unstable Ground hosted by Jo Dyer on Tuesday.

When the Writers’ Week showcase for slam poetry and spoken word performance Hear Me Roar! was launched in 2019, it found an immediate audience and is now a fixture of the Writers’ Week Sunday programming.  In 2020, Writers’ Week partnered with Writers SA to present Deaf Storytelling Live!, an Auslan-interpreted showcase of Deaf storytelling that became a surprise hit of the Festival. Writers’ Week will again partner with Writers SA in 2021 to bring back this great showcase of Deaf storytelling as See Me Through My Hands, and will also partner to present the inaugural First Words, a showcase of First Nations writing featuring writers and performers Ali Cobby Eckermann, Natalie Harkin, Dominic Eliseo, Alexis West, Steven Pappin, Celestine Rowe, and MC Edoardo Crismani.

With the support of Office for Ageing Well and Seniors Card, Writers’ Week will once again livestream selected sessions (Monday March 1 to Thursday March 4 inclusive) to schools, libraries and retirement villages around South Australia free of charge to ensure as many members of the community have access to the event as possible. In addition, Adelaide Writers’ Week will also be streamed into a select number of medi-hotels, allowing quarantined guests the opportunity to access Writers’ Week from their room.

Adelaide Writers’ Week has been made possible by the generous support of Channel 9.


Pioneer Women’s Memorial Garden, King William Road, Adelaide
Saturday 27 February – Thursday 4 March
FREE ENTRY| COVID-Safe Check in required

For Younger Readers
Kids’ Day: Saturday 27 February, 9.30am – 3.15pm
Middle & YA Readers’ Day: Sunday 28 February, 10am – 4.30pm
FREE ENTRY| COVID-Safe Check in required

Plane Tree Stage
Writing for Performance: Sunday 28 February, 11.30am-5pm
Be the Change: Monday 1 March, 12pm – 5pm
The Business of Being A Writer: Tuesday 2 March, 12pm – 5pm
FREE ENTRY| COVID-Safe Check in required

Twilight Talks
Pioneer Women’s Memorial Garden, King William Road, Adelaide
Monday 1 March, 6.30pm: Live chat show Authorial Voice
Tuesday 2 March, 6.30pm: Unstable Ground
FREE ENTRY| COVID-Safe Check in required

Curated Dozen
Tickets are available on a Pay What You Can basis, with a recommended minimum price of $15 per event. For details of events and to book tickets go to:

Peter J Snee

Peter is a British born creative, working in the live entertainment industry. He holds an honours degree in Performing Arts and has over 12 years combined work experience in producing, directing and managing artistic programs & events. Peter has traversed the UK, Europe and Australia pursuing his interest in theatre. He is inspired by great stories and passionately driven by pursuing opportunities to tell them.

Peter J Snee

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *