Australian literary festivals in 2024

Start planning and bookmarking your 2024 calendar with these literary festivals nationwide.

Please note, as of time of publication (mid-January) some festivals have yet to confirm 2024 dates or release their programs. This list will be amended with festivals added as the year progresses.

January

Mandurah Readers’ and Writers Festival (WA) 11-13 January
This free, three-day festival brings together an array of established and emerging storytellers from across WA.

February

Perth Festival (Literature & Ideas) (WA) 9 February – 3 March
Perth Festival’s Literature & Ideas program extends across the three weeks of the Perth festival.

Festival of the Photocopier and Zine Fair (Vic) 10-11 February
Here’s a festival exclusively for zine fans: creators, readers and collectors.

Banjo Paterson Australian Poetry Festival (NSW) 17-25 February
Banjo Paterson’s 160th birthday will be celebrated in a number of events, including the Molong Poetry Brawl, Poets’ Brunch and Entertainment at Yeoval, and Youth and Adult Poetry Competition at Orange.

Beyond the Book Festival (Qld) 22-23 February (in-person), 26-28 February (virtual)
Formerly known as Voices on the Coast, this festival is Australia’s premier youth literature festival, located in regional Queensland. Since its beginnings in 1996, it has brought some of Australia’s finest established and emerging writers and performers for young people to the area for workshops, book talks, storytelling, poetry and drama.

GenreCon (Qld) 23-24 February
Features a line-up of leading names in Australian and international genre fiction across panels, workshops and special events. This year Patrick Ness will be keynote speaker.

Sydney Muslim Writers’ Festival (NSW) 24 February
A festival for Muslim writers and thinkers to engage in compelling discussions, share their diverse experiences, and celebrate the flourishing literature within the Muslim community. 

Words out West: Western Downs Readers & Writers Fest (Qld) 28 February – 22 March
For readers and writers of all ages on the Western Downs. Michael Robotham will be the keynote speaker, Wendy Harmer will do a presentation and there will be an evening chat with William McInnes, among many other events.

March

Adelaide Writers’ Week (SA) 1-17 March
More details will be released when the full program is announced in early 2024.

Oracles of the Bush (NSW) 4-7 March
Tenterfield’s Oracles of the Bush is a four-day cultural event encompassing live performance of Australian Bush poetry, music and art.

Cairns Tropical Writers Festival (Qld) 8-10 March
Share books, writing and ideas by engaging with authors and joining in workshops, readings, conversations and social events – some free, some paid – all within a stone’s throw of the stunning Cairns Esplanade.

Port Fairy Folk Festival (Vic) 8-11 March
A crossover festival that showcases theatre, film, a writers’ program, roving performances, handmade crafts, great food and family-friendly entertainment.

Blak & Bright (Vic) 13-17 March
Melbourne’s biannual First Nations literature festival, Blak & Bright, is set to return to empower and celebrate First Nations writers and storytellers, with an almost entirely free program.

Brimbank Writers and Readers Festival (Vic) 14-23 March
The Brimbank Writers and Readers Festival (BWRF) is an annual event that encourages a love of reading and literature, celebrates creativity and diversity, and promotes lifelong learning for the Brimbank community. The program includes workshops, author talks, panel discussions, creative writing, storytelling, performance and more. There is no cost to attend events.

Clunes Booktown Festival (Vic) 23-24 March
Running from dawn to dusk in the historic township of Clunes in regional Victoria, this two-day festival is full of author and artist talks, workshops and live entertainment for the whole family. Once again the outdoor book bazaar, with over 100 stall holders, will be on-site.

Somerset Storyfest (Qld) 25-27 March
Storyfest is the writers’ festival for the Gold Coast, the cornerstone of which is its annual three-day event. Offering over 130 workshops, masterclasses, featured authors and more throughout the year, Storyfest nurtures emerging writers and provides opportunities for readers and writers alike.

April

Oracles of the Bush (NSW) 4-7 April
With the theme this year being ‘Thanks for the memories’, Tenterfield’s Oracles of the Bush is a four-day cultural event encompassing live performance of Australian Bush poetry, music and art. 

Newcastle Writers Festival (NSW) 5-7 April
Miles Franklin Literary Award-winner Melissa Lucashenko, New York Times bestseller Sally Hepworth, and journalist David Marr are among 125 writers participating in the Festival. Other guest writers include Charlotte Wood, Nam Le and Christos Tsiolkas.

Man from Snowy River Bush Festival (Vic) 11-14 April
Held at Corryong in the foothills of the Snowy Mountains halfway between Melbourne and Sydney, the Festival is a bush gathering of mountain riders, poets, artists and lovers of the Australian High Country and pioneering spirit, bringing together people from around Australia. The Festival offers a unique experience to competitors and visitors alike to be part of a celebration of traditional bush skills that remain an essential part of Australia’s heritage.

Shakespeare on the River Festival (Vic) 19 April – 5 May
For nearly 30 years, the Gippsland town of Stratford has hosted the Shakespeare on the River Festival, centred on the works and life of William Shakespeare. In 2024 there will be more than 20 events across two weeks, including the Community Players take on The Merry Wives of Windsor, The Bard’s Banquet and the Medieval Market Faire Day.

Swancon (WA) 20-21 April
The longest continuously running science fiction convention in Australia, Swancon celebrates all genres of speculative fiction with panels, discussions and activities across print, TV, art, gaming and other art forms.

Writers at the Woolshed (NSW) 20-21 April
Eight writers and one internationally renowned portrait artist will be featured at the Festival this year.

Sorrento Writers Festival (Vic) 25-28 April
Four days, 80+ events, 100+ writers, journalists, thinkers, historians, playwrights, singers … and a thousand conversations.

A woman in a library with long black hair holding a book and her head turned towards the viewer. She is looking through a circular gap in the books.
Photo: Fran, Unsplash.

May

Melbourne Writers Festival (Vic) 6-12 May
Details of MWF’s 2024 program are yet to be released.

Penola Coonawarra Arts Festival, (SA), 16-19 May
A multi-arts festival that showcases the work of artists, graphic designers, musicians and writers.

Margaret River Readers and Writers Festival (WA) 17-19 May
The biggest regional literary event in Western Australia is back with an exciting program of novelists, journalists, academics and storytellers, both established and emerging. The program is yet to be released.

Sydney Writers Festival (NSW) 20-26 May
Details of SWF’s 2004 program are yet to be released.

Words on the Waves Festival (NSW) 29 May – 3 June
Words on the Waves is a not-for-profit literary festival based on the Central Coast, NSW. With author talks and panels, as well as evening conversation events, a cinema screening, literary cruise, family fun day, schools program and more, the festival offers a diverse range of literary events for both the Central Coast community and visitors to the area.

Brisbane Writers Festival (Qld) 30 May – 2 June
Details of BWF’s 2024 program are yet to be released.

June

Bellingren Readers and Writers Festival (NSW) 7-9 June
A line-up of literary talent, workshops, readings and displays comes to the picturesque town. The full program is still being finalised and will be released closer to the festival date.

Woodend Winter Arts Festival (Vic) 7-10 June
The Woodend Winter Arts Festival is an annual celebration, showcasing the very best of classical music from Australia and internationally, along with a literary and visual arts program. The event takes place across various venues in the village of Woodend in the Macedon Ranges.


Williamstown Literary Festival (Vic) 14-16 June 

The Williamstown Literary Festival (est 2003) brings together readers, writers and book creatives of all sorts for an annual celebration of story-telling, author talks, panel discussions and writing workshops at a historic seaside setting.

Outback Writers’ Festival (Qld) 18-20 June
Set in Winton, Queensland, this year’s festival will have an outback theme.

Northern Territory Writers Festival (NT) 27-30 June
NT Writers Festival 2024 will take place at the Museum and Art Gallery of the NT in Darwin. The theme for the festival is ‘reverberations’.

July

CYA Conference (Qld) 6 July (in-person) 13-14 July (online)
Children, Young Adult and Adult Writers’ and Illustrators’ Conference is a conference for writers and illustrators of all ages, all genres. 

Mildura Writers Festival (Vic) 18-21 July
The annual festival returns to Mildura, in north-west Victoria. The full program is still being finalised and will be released closer to the festival date.

August

Byron Writers Festival (NSW) 9-11 August
The annual Byron Writers Festival is Australia’s largest regional celebration of storytelling, literature and ideas. The festival is renowned for its relaxed atmosphere and for delivering a diverse program of conversations that celebrate storytelling in all its forms. The 2024 Byron Writers Festival will take place at Bangalow Showground.

Bendigo Writers Festival (Vic) 16-18 August
The regional festival is at the heart of central Victoria. The full program is still being finalised and will be released closer to the festival date.

Sydney Jewish Writers Festival (NSW) 21-25 August
The SJWF celebrates the richness and diversity of contemporary Jewish writing from around the world. It features authors who are Jewish or whose books are of Jewish interest and includes novelists, journalists, screenwriters, performers and writers of non-fiction.

Red Dirt Poetry Festival (NT) 22-25 August
The poetry festival in the heart of Australia that brings in poets from around the territory with visiting interstate and international poets.. The program is yet to be released.

September

Emerging Writers’ Festival (Vic) 5-15 September
Emerging Writers’ Festival (EWF) provides opportunities for emerging writers to develop professionally, and supports them to engage with new and larger audiences.

Whitsundays Writers Festival (Qld), 6-8 September
This Festival will present a mixture of genres from crime to memoir, romance to screenwriting and more, as well as interactive workshops, panel discussions and author talks. There will also be Karaoke Poetry and Cocktails on the Friday evening, the Big Book Club High Tea, a lively event on the Saturday night, a special Sunday Funday for children and families, and a long table local author lunch on the Sunday afternoon.

Write around the Murray (NSW and Vic) 11-15 September
For five days in September, Write Around the Murray (WAM) brings people together in Albury Wodonga for a festival of storytelling.

Northern Beaches Readers Festival (NSW) 27-29 September
Located in the picturesque beachside village of Avalon, 37 kilometres north of the Sydney CBD. 

October

Tamar Valley Writers Festival (Tas) 11-14 October
Set amid vineyards, Launceston’s historic architectural beauty, or with natural bushland as a backdrop the Tamar Valley Writers Festival is a treasured part of Tasmania’s cultural calendar and one of the largest writers’ festivals outside a capital city in Australia.

Queenscliffe Literary Festival (Vic) 18-27 October
This seaside literary festival takes place over the last two weekends of October. The program is yet to be released.

Canberra Writers Festival (ACT), 23-27 October
The festival’s program of events includes master classes, dinners, author talks, panel discussions, workshops, book launches and performances. All set against the backdrop of some of Australia’s most iconic national institutions.

November

Blue Mountains Writers’ Festival (NSW) 1-3 November
Presented by Varuna, the National Writers’ House, the Festival will take place in Katoomba amid the spectacular surrounds of the world heritage listed Blue Mountains. The program is yet to be released.

The Australian Short Story Festival (WA) 8-10 November
An exciting program will include writing workshops, panel discussions, interviews, a literary mock-debate and a great deal of fun, featuring some of the best short story writers from around Australia and from overseas.

December

Australian Literature Festival at the Sea (NSW to Tas) 1-16 December
An opportunity to sail with esteemed writers on board Queen Elizabeth, this five-night roundtrip voyage, sails from Sydney with calls in Tasmania.

The dates of the following festivals are yet to be confirmed: Hobart Writers Festival, Hobart Festival of Women Writers, Headline Writers Festival, Mountain Writers Festival (Vic), Independent Publishing Conference (Vic), BAD Sydney Crime Writers Festival, Football Writers Festival (NSW), National Young Writers Festival (NSW).

Please contact ArtsHub‘s editorial team if you wish to add a confirmed festival (with dates).

Thuy On is Reviews Editor of ArtsHub and an arts journalist, critic and poet who’s written for a range of publications including The Guardian, The Saturday Paper, Sydney Review of Books, The Australian, The Age/SMH and Australian Book Review. She was the books editor of The Big issue for 8 years. Her debut, a collection of poetry called Turbulence, came out in 2020 and was released by University of Western Australia Publishing (UWAP). Her second collection, Decadence, was published in July 2022, also by UWAP. Her third book, Essence, will be published in 2025. Twitter: @thuy_on Instagram: poemsbythuy