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Events Legend

Prices per event listed below.


EWF Roadshow: NSWWC

Sat 8 Nov, 10:00 AM

The Emerging Writers’ Festival is thrilled to be returning to Sydney this year to present the EWF Roadshow for the third time at the NSW Writers’ Centre. The full day festival at the Centre is filled with daring contemporary conversations around the art of writing – featuring discussions on pop culture, criticism, mentorship, digital literature and way, way more. The Emerging Writers’ Festival is more than your usual writers festival!

How to book tickets
NSW Writers’ Centre
Online at or by phone (02) 9555 9757

Non-members $90
Members $60
Member concession $50

There is plenty of free parking at the Centre. Lunch can be bought from Mexican food van Mobile Cantina.There will also be a coffee cart providing hot drinks and baked goods.

The NSW Writers’ Centre is located in the grounds of Callan Park, Balmain Road, Rozelle. For directions and public transport options, visit

Full program


The 5 X 5 Rules of Writing, 10am – 11am

Five writers share the writing advice they wish they had known when they were starting out—in the form of five rules for writing, each.It’s 5 X 5 and you will come away with 25 hot tips. Featuring Tom Doig, Delia Falconer, Benjamin Law, Walter Mason, and Laura Jean McKay.

The Responsibility of Writers, 11am – 12pm

Sometimes it needs to be said aloud – writing is an incredibly powerful medium. These writers look at the ethics of writing responsibly, giving voice to the unheard, and the responsibility of storytellers. Feautring Peter Polites, Nakkiah Lui and Eleanor Limprecht. Hosted by Jane McCredie.


When Books Go Big! 12pm – 1pm

What happens when your first book goes better than you expected? This is a conversation about how to keep your head and plan for a career no matter what the outcome of your publishing story. Featuring Bruce McCabe, Jessie Cole and Ingrid Jonach and Lucy Neave. Hosted by Julia Tsalis.

Live Writers’ Group with SWEATSHOP 2pm – 3pm

Everyone recommends joining a writing group for an opportunity to develop your work-in-progress, but how does one actually work? The SWEATSHOP Western Sydney Literacy Movement will workshop their writing live and show you how it can be done. Featuring Luke Carman, Mohammed Ahmad, Fiona Wright, Lachlan Brown and Felicity Castagna.

Pop Topics 3pm – 4pm

“I have come to chew bubble-gum and talk about pop culture. And I’m all out of bubble-gum!” What is it about pop culture that inspires us? These writers are no snobs and take the power of pop as serious as can be. With Steph Harmon, A.H. Cayley, and Wilfred Brandt.

Travel Stories: Here and There 4pm – 5pm

We all love to travel and travel stories are an increasingly popular form. How do you make your overseas jaunt into a story that stands out? These writers are often out of the country, catch them speaking before they go jetsetting again for their next chapter. Claire Dunn, Walter Mason, Tom Doig. Hosted by Ellen Tyrrell.

You Are Here! 5pm – 5.30pm

Over the course of the EWF you’re going to be inspired and overwhelmed and we want to know who you are! Get up on stage and share what you write and what you’re going to go home and write after a weekend of inspiring conversation.


The Look of the Book 12pm – 1pm

Sometimes judging a book by its cover feels so, so right. What if illustrators and designers are our closest allies? Are there interesting ways to collaborate? These graphic talents will discuss why a book’s design is integral to its very being. With Evi O, Leigh Rigozzi, and Zoë Sadokierski.

Normal: A Performative Reading, 11am – 12pm

These four writers all identify as artists with disability, and together they will deliver an innovative performative reading, followed by a Q&A looking at how accessibility can be integral to the creative. Featuring Amanda Yeo, Gayle Kennedy, Georgia Cranko and Gaele Sobott. Proudly supported by Accessible Arts.

Critical Conditions 2pm – 3pm

Critics of criticism say the form has lost its power to persuade audiences. Others say we are entering a new era with the rise of digital criticism. How can creative writers interact with their critical counterparts in useful ways? And can writers themselves ever be truly self-critical? With Susan Wyndham, Delia Falconer, and James Tierney.

Regional Rules 3pm – 4pm

NSW has more writers’ centres than any other state or territory. Meanwhile, regional writers festivals are popping up everywhere. Is it time for writers to consider moving to the country or a regional city outside of Sydney? Featuring Claire Zorn, Lachlan Brown, and Samantha Dagg. Hosted by Portia Lindsay.

Enter the Mentor 4pm – 5pm

Mentorship is often an unacknowledged part of the writing ecology, but seems an increasingly essential support system as the industry gets tougher. Meet two writers currently in the NSW Writers’ Centre’s Indigenous Writers Mentorship Program. Featuring Nardi Simpson and Larissa Behrendt.

Lunch 1pm – 2pm

Over lunch, take the opportunity to have a look at recent work from Australia’s thriving small press scene in an exhibition of comic art hung throughout the Writers’ Centre. Curated and introduced by cartoonist Leigh Rigozzi.

The Control Room

Step into The Control Room where you are in control of the conversation. There is no host. There are only the guest and the audience. They bring the experience, you bring the questions.

11am – 12pm: Jemma Birrell (Sydney Writers Festival)

12pm – 1pm: Walter Mason (Author, Destination Saigon)

2pm – 3pm: Laura Jean McKay (Author, Holiday in Cambodia)

3pm – 4pm: Robert Watkins (Hachette Australia)

4pm – 5pm: Garry Trinh (Blurb)

The Digital Library

Digital Writer in Residence Connor Tomas O’Brien will be building The Digital Library over the course of the day. Park yourself in our intimate library space as Connor tackles four unique projects, from innovative works involving ebooks, videoconferencing international writers, building a Bot and more. Connor will be on hand to discuss experimental digital literature and how you can build skills in the online world too.

Drinks on the Verandah 5:30pm

Storytelling in the Garden 6pm – 6:30pm

Unwind to some illustrated readings from up-and-coming writers in our indigenous mentorship program. Held in the Writers’ Centre garden, featuring Janite Barker, Kodie Bedford, Siv Parker, Nardi Simpson, and Robyn Ridgeway, with visual accompaniment provided by some of Sydney’s best comic illustrators.


NSW Writer’s Centre


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The Regional Writers’ Roundtable

Wed 5 Nov, 8:30 AM

Join the EWF team for a breakfast event before hitting the road again. We host an open forum about writing residencies, grants and living regionally. Have your say and get unique writing advice from our visiting writers. Light refreshments will be provided.

Eastern Riverina Arts FREE (bookings essential)
Scissors Paper Pen Lit Breakfast

Thu 6 Nov, 8:30 AM

Canberra literary collective Scissors Paper Pen presents the Roadshow Breakfast of the Year. Sweep the sleep from your eyes and have some coffee with the EWF Roadshow crew. Join the ‘life of a writer’ roundtable, guest star on a podcast, buy a book, and get literary before the day gets real.

Proudly supported by the University of Canberra

Lonsdale Street Roasters FREE (bookings essential)


Caravanserai of Courage

Tue 4 Nov, 7:30 PM

Join us on our first stop of the Roadshow with writers Laura Jean McKay, Tom Doig and Lachlan Brown for an evening of reading – the Caravanserai of Courage – with new art by Tony Curran and a chance to participate in our open mic session. Refreshments will be provided.

Booranga Writers’ Centre FREE (bookings essential)
The Canberra Caravan

Wed 5 Nov, 7:00 PM

The EWF Roadshow hits its second stop in Canberra. Join writers Laura Jean McKay, Tom Doig, Lachlan Brown and our local Canberra recruits Ingrid Jonach and Lucy Neave for an evening of readings, poetry and more.

Join these five debut writers to find out how they published their first books, what opportunities are out there for emerging writers and their experience of writing and publishing.

Presented in partnership with Australian National University.
Supported by Ainslie and Gorman Arts Centres, which are ACT Government arts facilities managed by Gorman House Arts Centre Inc. a not-for-profit association.

Gorman House Arts Centre FREE (bookings essential)
Amazing Babes

Thu 6 Nov, 7:30 PM

Inspired by Eliza Sarlos’s picture book Amazing Babes, we invite an incredible line-up of writers to tell stories about the women who have inspired them, in their writing and their lives. The most popular event of this year’s Emerging Writers’ Festival finally comes to Sydney; this is a night to be inspired and celebrate the women who made us who we are.

Featuring Astrid Lorange, Laura Jean McKay, Pip Smith, Tamar Chnorhokian, Rosanna Beatrice Stevens, Madelaine Lucas, and more.

Giant Dwarf $15 full/$12 concession


Inside the Publishing House

Fri 7 Nov, 12:00 PM

This event is now SOLD OUT!

This unique event will take you inside – literally inside – one of our Australia’s biggest and brightest publishing houses, Hachette Australia. Through the day you will be shown through the entire production process of a book – from acquisition to sales – meeting publishers, editors and marketers throughout. This is a once in a lifetime chance to see behind the scenes of how books get made. Perfect for aspiring editors and publishers, join us for a drink afterwards. Tickets are strictly limited.

Proudly supported by Hachette


12pm: Meet and Greet Lunch
Get ready for a day of bookish adventures inside Hachette Australia and meet your fellow editors who’ll be joining you for the day. We’ll also take you on a tour so you’ll know who has the best office in a publishing house (for your future reference of course).

1pm: Publishing Now
Ever wanted to know what it takes for a book to be successful in Australia? Before you can bring a manuscript to life, you’ve got to know what shines and what doesn’t. Hachette publishers reveal how they commission exciting book ideas and the range of tasks their job entails: from dealing with agents, right through to understanding reading trends and the publishing landscape.

2pm: Keeping the Writers Happy
Having a positive relationship between a writer and editor is essential for a book to reach its highest quality. How do editors navigate these relationships and how far can they push for editorial changes without putting writers offside?

3pm: Hooking Up with Readers
Dress it up, dress it down, how do you make the book go around? The cover and the blurb are the key selling points of a book, but how far does marketing go in grabbing a reader’s attention? Join staff from Hachette’s marketing and sales team as they discuss successful campaigns and what makes a book sell.

Emerging Editors Drinks

Now it’s time to do what editors do best: drink. Continue your discussions with editors and publishers from Hachette and celebrate your eventual takeover of the publishing house.

Hachette Australia $60 full / $50 concession
Electric Literature

Mon 10 Nov, 6:30 PM

Connor Tomas O’Brien, director of the Digital Writers’ Festival, leads an engaging and thought-provoking seminar on writing digital literature. Imagine you were living in the future, with access to any form of technology imaginable. What kind of story would you tell, and how? Explore the interplay between new kinds of screens, networks, and computers – write an algorithmic poem, create a story that masquerades as a videogame, and learn how to best launch your digital work into this brave new world of words!


How to book tickets
NSW Writers’ Centre

Online at or by phone (02) 9555 9757

Non-members $55
Members $35

NSW Writer’s Centre