Adelaide Writers' Week
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Adelaide Writers' Week

Adelaide Writers' Week, known locally as Writers' Week or WW, is a large and mostly free literary festival held annually in Adelaide, the capital of South Australia. Considered[by whom?] one of the world's pre-eminent literary events, it forms part of the Adelaide Festival of Arts, where attendees meet, listen and discuss literature with Australian and international writers in "Meet the Author" sessions, readings and lectures. It is held outdoors in the Pioneer Women's Memorial Garden.

Each Adelaide Writers' Week includes six days of free panel-sessions presented live in the gardens, later made available online via podcast. Selected sessions are shown live via videolink in some libraries. The programme also features a series of ticketed special events, both at Festival time and throughout the year, and there is a free "Kids' Weekend", at which children's authors present their work for a range of ages and other activities take place.


The first Adelaide Writers' Week was held in 1960 as part of the Adelaide Festival of Arts, and both were held biennially in March until 2012.[1] From 2012, along with the Festival, Writers' Week became an annual event, based on an election promise by Premier Mike Rann.[2] It has grown bigger year by year.


Writers' Week is a mostly free daytime week-long literary festival held mostly outdoors in the shady Pioneer Women's Memorial Garden, north of Adelaide CBD. A few sessions have been held indoors in the evening, usually themed events with a panel of authors on stage.

A major event, it is a part of the Adelaide Festival and run by a dedicated Writers' Week director. Occurring in March, it is often hot, so huge shady structures are erected over the two stages (East and West) and the audience. Plastic chairs, refreshments and rows of portaloos are provided, along with a large tent accommodating book sales. The programme is published in hardcopy and online before the event, which runs a session on both stages simultaneously throughout the day, with short breaks in between.

Each Adelaide Writers' Week includes six days of free panel sessions presented live in the gardens, later made available online via podcast. Selected sessions are shown live via videolink in some libraries. After each presentation, audience members are encouraged to ask questions, and lively debate sometimes ensues. The programme also features a series of ticketed special events, both at Festival time and throughout the year, and there is a free "Kids' Weekend", at which children's authors present their work for a range of ages and other activities are held.


The event took place from 2-7 March. Australian authors included Trent Dalton, Natasha Stott-Despoja, Chloe Hooper, David Stratton, Melissa Lucashenko, Ben Quilty, Eddie Woo, David Marr, David Malouf, Ceridwen Dovey, Sue Blacklock, Lyndall Ryan and Jane Harper.[3]

International authors included Ben Okri, Kassem Eid, Oyinkan Braithwaite, Carl Zimmer, Mohammed Hanif, Nazanin Sahamizadeh, Ndaba Mandela and Marlene van Niekerk. JM Coetzee chaired the session with Van Niekerk.[3]


Adelaide Writers' Week in 2018 featured Mem Fox, Clive Hamilton, Barbara Kingsolver, Eva Hornung, Amal Awad and Jackie French.[4]

Adelaide Festival announced the end of Director Laura Kroetsch's contract with Writers' Week and the arrival of Jo Dyer, former Sydney Writers' Festival CEO.


Adelaide Writers' Week in 2017 featured Caroline Baum, Paula Byrne, Richard Fidler, Emily Maguire, Melina Marchetta and Alejandro Zambra.[5]


Featured international and Australian authors at the 2016 Adelaide Writers' Week included Richard Dawkins, Fiona McFarlane, Drusilla Modjeska, Simon Winchester and Charlotte Wood.[6]


The 2015 Adelaide Writers' Week featured international and Australian authors including James Bradley, Helen Garner, Sofie Laguna, Kate Llewellyn, Susan Mitchell and Nicholas Shakespeare.[7]


Adelaide Writers' Week in 2014 featured international best sellers and emerging writers including Alexis Wright, Andy Griffiths, Margaret Drabble, Elizabeth Gilbert, Alexander McCall Smith and Marcus Chown.


2013 was the first annual Adelaide Writers' Week. The most pronounced theme was that of war stories featuring visiting artists that included Tom Holland, Kevin Powers, Tatjana Soli and Madeleine Thien.


Adelaide Writers' Week in 2012 saw a focus on younger readers hosting the first Kid's Program. A larger non-fiction program was included featuring artists Javier Cercas, Kate Grenville, Les Murray and Alan Hollinghurst.


Adelaide Writers' Week in 2010 featured a collection of established overseas and Australian writers including Richard Dawkins, Audrey Niffengger, William Dalrymple and Robert Dessaix


2008's Writers' Week was held between 2 March and 7 March 2008 and featured a number of prize-winning authors, including Ian McEwan, Peter Carey, Paul Auster, Geraldine Brooks, and Tim Parks. Other notable authors included feminist Germaine Greer, British historian Richard Holmes, Sri Lanka native Roma Tearne, and American author Siri Hustvedt. Australian authors included poet and novelist David Malouf, Robyn Davidson, Tumby Bay native Kate Llewellyn, Matt Rubinstein, Looking for Alibrandi author Melina Marchetta, and actor and novelist William McInnes.


2006's Writers' Week focused on Dutch and Indian writing and was held between 5 March and 10 March 2006. Notable visiting authors included Pulitzer Prize winning author Michael Cunningham, crime novelists Val McDermid, Andrew Taylor and Minette Walters and Indian author Vikram Seth. Australian authors included historian professor Geoffrey Blainey and Adelaidean Peter Goldsworthy


In 2005, visiting authors included Isabel Allende, Margaret Atwood, Ruth Rendell and Neal Stephenson.


Authors included Ruth Rendell, Janette Turner Hospital, Clive James, Don Watson, Anne Enright, John Marsden[8] and JM Coetzee.[9]


Writers' Week took place 3-8 March. Visiting authors included E. Annie Proulx, JM Coetzee, James Ellroy and Adrian Edmondson. Australian authors included Rodney Hall, Tim Flannery, Glenda Adams, Lily Brett, Kate Grenville, Marion Halligan, Gail Jones, singer Paul Kelly, and Tim Winton.[10]

See also

Further reading

  • Buttress, Philip, ed. (2013). "Adelaide". Adelaide: A literary city. University of Adelaide Press. doi:10.20851/j.ctt1sq5x41 (inactive 14 August 2019). ISBN 9781922064639. JSTOR 10.20851/j.ctt1sq5x41. (full text)

External links


  1. ^ "Adelaide Writers Week 2013". Consultation. Adelaide City Council. Retrieved 2013.
  2. ^ "Adelaide Festival of Arts to go annual - SA Premier Mike Rann promises". The Advertiser. 26 February 2010. Retrieved 2019.
  3. ^ a b "Adelaide Writers' Week 2019" (PDF). Retrieved 2019.
  4. ^ "Adelaide Festival 2-18 March 2018" (PDF). Adelaide Festival. Retrieved 2018.
  5. ^ "Adelaide Festival 3-19 March 2017" (PDF). Adelaide Festival. Retrieved 2017.
  6. ^ "Adelaide Writers' Week 2016" (PDF). Adelaide Festival. Retrieved 2017.
  7. ^ "Adelaide Writers' Week 2015" (PDF). Adelaide Festival. Retrieved 2017.
  8. ^ "Writers' Week 2004. Adelaide Festival 2004". Trove. Retrieved 2019.
  9. ^ Debelle, Penelope (3 March 2004). "Coetzee's curt answers". The Age. Retrieved 2010.
  10. ^ "Writers' Week '96" (Poster). Digital Collections. State Library of South Australia. Retrieved 2019.

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