Editor Group is proud to support the Sydney Writers’ Festival again in 2022. As part of this support, we edit and proofread the program, and we are also enthusiastic attendees!

True to its theme of ‘Change my mind’, many of the Festival’s events invite festival-goers to open their minds to new ideas. The program touches on everything from the current political landscape to the stranger-than-fiction tales scammers and con artists spin, the expectation for women to make nice, and new works from some of the greatest writers of our time.

Here are our top picks for Sydney Writers’ Festival 2022. Whether you’re interested in news, politics or fiction, you’re sure to find something that appeals.

Opening Night Address

May 17, 6.30–8pm

Sydney Town Hall

First Nations storytellers Ali Cobby Eckermann, Jackie Huggins and Nardi Simpson reflect on how their minds have changed throughout their remarkable careers.

Jennifer Egan: The Candy House

May 18, 8–9pm

Carriageworks, Bay 17

Jennifer Egan’s The Candy House returns to the same territory as her Pulitzer Prize–winning novel, A Visit from the Goon Squad, exploring the nature of authenticity, privacy and meaning in a world where our memories can be shared with others.

Real China

May 19, 10–11am

Carriageworks, Bay 25

Writing under the pen name Hao Qun, Murong Xuecun is one of China’s most celebrated authors. His latest book, Deadly Quiet City: Stories from Wuhan, Covid Ground Zero, tells real stories of intimate experiences with an epic global tragedy.

Manners Maketh the Woman

May 19, 2–3pm

Carriageworks, Bay 17

Grace Tame’s refusal to smile when she met the Prime Minister earlier this year led to fierce debate about the expectation for women to ‘make nice’. In this session, television journalist Narelda Jacobs and authors Wendy McCarthy (Don’t Be Too Polite, Girls), Kaz Cooke (You’re Doing it Wrong: A History of Bad & Bonkers Advice to Women) and Antoinette Lattouf (How to Lose Friends and Influence White People) discuss why anger and honesty from women in public life remains taboo.

Prose and Cons

May 19, 4–5pm

Carriageworks, Bay 21

From Netflix’s The Tinder Swindler to Inventing Anna, stranger-than-fiction tales of scammers and con artists make for great television. But the lived experience for victims can be devastating. In this session, journalists Kate McClymont, Angus Grigg, Stephanie Wood and Greg Bearup take a deep dive into the lies of some of Australia’s greatest fakes.

Change My Mind Storytelling Gala

May 19, 8.30–9.30pm

Sydney Town Hall

Twelve extraordinary storytellers, including 2021 Booker Prize–winning author Damon Galgut, much-loved children’s author Morris Gleitzman, Malaysian-Australian Omar Musa, Miles Franklin Literary Award winner Amanda Lohrey and First Nation’s poet Jazz Money share stories about a mind being changed.

Sarah Walker on the Joys of Being Absolutely Shithouse at Sport

May 20, 1.15–1.45pm

Carriageworks, Bay 22

Writer, artist and photographer Sarah Walker (The First Time I Thought I Was Dying) discovered the importance of physical activity in managing mental health when she was grappling with anxiety. She also discovered how liberating it is to be dreadful at something.

Friends, Romans, Countrymen: Great Oratory and Speechifying

May 20, 6–7pm

Carriageworks, Bay 20

Well-crafted speeches don’t just convey information. They can also inspire and persuade, as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s recent address to the US Congress proved. In this session, a group of gifted orators recreate their favourite speeches to remind us of the power of the spoken word.

Damon Galgut & Michelle de Kretser

May 20, 6–7pm

City Recital Hall

South African author Damon Galgut discusses his 2021 Booker Prize–winning novel, The Promise, and its themes of family, death, religion, racism and injustice with his close friend, Miles Franklin–winning author Michelle de Kretser (Scary Monsters).

Hanya Yanagihara: To Paradise

May 20, 8–9pm

City Recital Hall

Hanya Yanagihara discusses To Paradise, her first novel since her critically acclaimed saga of survival and suffering, A Little Life, defied predictions that it wouldn’t sell to become a bestseller. Fans of Hanya are unlikely to be disappointed by this even more ambitious follow-up, which follows three central characters across three centuries and explores themes including love, loss and the promise of utopia.

Jackie Huggins & Chelsea Watego

May 21, 10–11am

Carriageworks, Bay 20

Historian and activist Jackie Huggins and fellow First Nations’ writer Chelsea Watego discuss their groundbreaking collections examining Australia’s past and present. Jackie’s anthology, Sister Girl, offers an insider’s view of the histories, values and struggles of Indigenous Australians, while Chelsea’s collection of essays, Another Day in the Colony, exposes the ongoing colonial violence experienced by First Nations people.

Keeping Tech in Check

May 21, 12–1pm

Carriageworks, Bay 21

Technology and AI are helping to transform almost every aspect of our lives, from how we communicate to how we diagnose and treat chronic disease. But they are also exposing us to a raft of new problems, including algorithm bias, cyber scams and fears that technology is damaging public discourse. In this session, thought leaders Elise Bohan, Toby Walsh and Angie Abdilla discuss the promises and perils of tech in 2022.

George Haddad on the Kmart Aesthetic

May 21, 1.15–1.45pm

Carriageworks, Bay 22

Kmart’s affordable furniture and homewares give everyone the opportunity to put their own stamp on home decorating. Or do they? In this session, furniture recycler, writer and artist George Haddad (Losing Face) considers the lack of cultural flourish evident in Australian homes due to the continuing popularity of Kmart’s pale-timber Scandi-inspired style.

The New Economic Order

May 22, 12–1pm

Carriageworks, Bay 25

In the past two years, COVID-19 has put enormous pressure on budget bottom lines and highlighted problems including economic inequality, stagnant wages and pressure on civil liberties. Professor Rosalind Dixon, Ross Gittins and Judith Sloan discuss whether we should embrace a radically different economic future.

Liane Moriarty & Caroline Overington

May 22, 2–3pm

Carriageworks, Bay 17

Having sold more than 22 million copies of her novels, Liane Moriarty is one of Australia’s most successful and loved authors. In this session, she speaks about her most recent book, Apples Never Fall, the rush to adapt her works for TV, and her other work with fellow author and Literary Editor of The Australian, Caroline Overington (The Cuckoo’s Cry).

 

 

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Sydney Writers’ Festival returns in May 2022

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