Australian literary festivals in 2023. Start planning your 2023 arts calendar with these literary festivals nationwide. Please note, as of time of publication (mid-January) some festivals have yet to confirm 2023 dates or release their programs. This list will be added to as the year progresses.
Australian Literary Festivals in 2023
Q-Lit (Vic) – various dates
This Queer Victorian Festival of Words is new and aims to celebrates the work of all LGBTQIA+ storytellers: writers of fiction and non-fiction, graphic novelists, singer-songwriters, playwrights/screenwriters, mixed media creatives, children’s authors, academics and poets.
The free festival will launch in Ballarat, Shepparton and Traralgon in January, Collingwood in February, and Geelong and Warrnambool in April. As a wholly Victorian festival there is a strong emphasis on including the voices of those from the community who live regionally and encouraging them in the involvement of Q-Lit’s larger Melbourne-based festival in the latter part of 2023.
Festival of the Photocopier and Zine Fair (Vic) 11-12 February
Australian Literary Festivals. Here’s a festival exclusively for zine fans: creators, readers and collectors.
Enqueer (NSW) 19 February
The festival features queer writers exploring the ethics of selling trauma in a capitalist world as well as the psyche of young adult writing.
Banjo Patterson Australian Poetry Festival (NSW) 17-26 February
The Banjo Paterson Australian Poetry Festival includes: events in Molong, Yeoval, Millthorpe and Orange; events held in wineries, pubs, museums, historic sites, schools, a family market day with walk-up bush poetry as entertainment and displays activities at Yeoval in conjunction with the exhibition Banjo Paterson – more than a poet.
GenreCon (Qld) 18-19 February
Features a line-up of leading names in Australian and international genre fiction across a weekend of panels, workshops and special events. This year Garth Nix will be keynote speaker
Perth Festival (Literature & Ideas) (WA) 10 February – 5 March
Perth Festival’s Literature & Ideas program extends across the three weeks of the Perth festival.
Voices on the Coast (Qld) 23-25 February
This is a literature festival for regional Queensland youth. Since its beginnings in 1996, the Festival 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.
Cairns Tropical Writers Festival (Qld) 24-26 February
This biennial event brings together the regional community of writers and readers with Australian and international authors, with a backdrop of two World Heritage areas: the Great Barrier Reef and the Wet Tropics Rainforest.
Words out West (Qld) 1-29 March
For readers and writers of all ages on the Western Downs. There will also be a writers’ retreat, with a creative writing masterclass for the adults and, for the first time, a tailored youth short story workshop for high-school aged writers.
Mansfield Readers and Writers Festival (Vic) 4-5 March
A new regional Victorian festival bringing authors and literary luminaries to Mansfield in north-east Victoria, Taungurung Country.
Adelaide Writers’ Week (SA) 4-9 March
As usual, Adelaide Writers’ Week sessions will be held in the Pioneer Women’s Memorial Garden. The main Writers’ Week program is free; however, the special 2023 evening events do have a cost. Please see event pages for more information.
Port Fairy Folk Festival (Vic) 10-13 March
A crossover festival that showcases theatre, film, a writers program, roving performances, handmade crafts, great food and family friendly entertainment.
KidLitVic (Vic) 25 March
Everything you’ve ever wanted to know about children and YA books. There will be panels, workshops, assessments, illustrator showcases and more.
Clunes Booktown Festival (Vic) 25-26 March
The annual festival in the Victorian Goldfields has yet to release any information on its 2023 season.
Oracles of the Bush (NSW) 3 March – 2 April
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) 31 March – 2 April
Best-selling authors Craig Silvey and Pip Williams are among 100 artists participating in the 10th Newcastle Writers Festival. The event will also be moving from City Hall to the University of Newcastle’s NUspace building as part of a new three-year partnership between the two organisations.
Oz Comic-Con (WA) 1-2 April
Oz Comic-Con hosts authors as well as guests from film, TV, illustration and comics etc, spanning across many fandoms and franchises. At Oz Comic-Con attendees have the chance to meet the guests, taking part in photograph and autograph opportunities, as well as attending guest panels.
Swancon (WA) 15-16 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.
Supanova (Gold Coast Qld) 15-16 April, (Vic) 22-23 April, (NSW) 17-18 June, (WA) 24-25 June, (SA) 4-5 November, (Brisbane Qld) 11-12 November
A fan convention focusing on science fiction and fantasy film and TV, comic books, anime, gaming and collectables.
Sorrento Writers Festival (Vic) 27-30 April
A brand new festival making its debut this year. Details to be announced.
Bendigo Writers Festival (Vic) 4-7 May
The regional festival at the heart of central Victoria will be populated by 120 writers over 70 events.
Melbourne Writers Festival (Vic) 4-7 May
Australian Literary Festivals. Details of MWF’s 2023 program are yet to be released.
Penola Coonawarra Arts Festival (SA) 10-13 May
The program will be released in March.
Brisbane Writers Festival (Qld) 10-14 May
The full program will be launched in March.
Queenscliffe Literary Festival (Vic) 12-28 May
This seaside literary festival takes place over three weekends and includes a free children’s program.
Margaret River Readers and Writers Festival (WA) 12-14 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.
NT Writers Festival (NT) 1-4 June
A four-day festival that emphasises Australia’s cultural and linguistic diversity, bringing people together to share stories, language and culture. This year the Festival will take place at the Olive Pink Botanic Garden in Mparntwe/Alice Springs.
Capricorn Coast Writers Festival (Qld) 2-4 June
The program will be launched in April.
Bellingen Readers and Writers Festival (NSW) 9-11 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) 9-12 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.
Emerging Writers Festival (Vic) 14-24 June
EWF provides opportunities for emerging writers to develop professionally, and supports them to engage new and larger audiences.
StoryFest (NSW) 16-18 June
StoryFest is a celebration of storytelling in all its forms: oral, written, prose, poetry, song or film. The Festival will be on again in Milton, Mollymook and Ulladulla.
Mildura Writers Festival (Vic) 13-17 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.
Football Writers’ Festival (NSW) 15-17 July
Authors, journalists, broadcasters, and commentators from 11 countries form the international line-up for the 2023 Football Writers’ Festival which will take place in Sydney days ahead of the opening match in Australia of the Women’s World Cup.
CYA Conference (Qld and online) every weekend in July
For writers and illustrators of stories for children, young adults and adults, the 2023 conference will be the first hybrid conference with in-person classes on the second weekend in July at TAFE South Bank, and online classes on the third and fourth weekends.
RWA Conference (NSW) 11-13 August
The Romance Writers of Australia Conference has a new website in progress.
Words in Winter (Vic) dates TBC
Words in Winter is an annual literary and arts festival held in August each year in the Hepburn Shire and surrounding districts. The festival has yet to release its dates or program.
CapriCon (Qld) 2 September
This festival focuses on pop culture including steampunk and cosplay.
Write around the Murray (NSW and VIC) 13-17 September
For five days in September, Write Around the Murray brings people together in Albury-Wodonga for a festival of storytelling. The full program has yet to be released.
National Young Writers’ Festival (NSW) dates TBC
The festival has yet to release its dates or program.
Port Fairy Literary Weekend (Vic) dates TBC
Blue Mountains Writers Festival (NSW) 20-22 October
The festival has yet to release its program.
Hobart Writers Festival (TAS) dates TBC
The festival has yet to release its dates or program.
HeadLand Writers Festival (NSW) dates TBC
Headland Writers Festival is a new literature event for the Far South Coast featuring conversations with authors, industry forums, workshops, performances, live music and more. The festival has yet to release its program.
IF Maitland Festival (NSW) 21-30 October
The annual IF Maitland Festival comprises two festivals – an indie (writers’) festival and an arts festival – which run concurrently in Maitland NSW.
Australian Short Story Festival (SA) 9-12 November
The program is yet to be released.
Mountain Writers Festival (Vic) 5-6 November
The Mountain Writers Festival is a weekend writers’ festival, produced by the Macedon Ranges Literary Association (MRLA). The festival has yet to release its program for 2023.
BAD Sydney Crime Writers Festival (NSW) 16-19 November
The BAD Sydney Crime Writers Festival is an annual event that explores what crime can tell us about human beings today and in the past. Speakers include writers, reporter, filmmakers and professionals from the justice system such as detectives, judges and psychologists. Australian Literary Festivals.
Independent Publishing Conference (Vic) dates TBC
Hosted by the Small Press Network, this conference looks at small to medium publishers with workshops, panels and keynotes from within the industry. The conference has yet to release its dates or program.
Fish Creek Festival of Children’s Stories (Vic) 18-19 November
This regional Victorian Festival is for all children, and for those who are young at heart.