North Coast

Byron Writers Festival (26-28 August 2022) reveals first guests. Early Bird tickets on sale.

Trent Dalton, Indira Naidoo, Ben Quilty, Evelyn Araluen, Jesse Cole, Yves Rees.

Byron Writers Festival 2022 (26-28 August) opens an exciting new chapter with a new Artistic Director Zoe Pollock and a beautiful new site at North Byron Parklands. The 2022 Festival will feature popular and provocative voices, familiar names and new talents guaranteed to entertain and spark vibrant conversations. 

International bestseller Trent Dalton, award-winning contemporary artist Ben Quilty and one of Australia’s most popular broadcasters, author Indira Naidoo are just some of the leading lights heading to Byron Bay to inspire audiences. The Festival also announces 2022 Stella Prize winning poet Evelyn Araluen, acclaimed Northern Rivers author Jessie Cole and award-winning author and historian Yves Rees.

This first announcement of celebrated guests gives a taste of things to come with the full program of more than 140 writers, thinkers and commentators to be revealed on 13 July. Early Bird tickets for this year’s Festival are on sale now via
Festival Director Zoe Pollock says “I am delighted to be bringing a stellar line up of writers and storytellers to the Byron Shire in my first year as Artistic Director.  Some of our best authors have published new books since the festival was last live so it’s been fantastic fun selecting who to invite. We’ve got a sizzling line up to announce in July and a thought provoking and stimulating array of conversations to share. The authors we are announcing today are a just taste of the talent and diversity we will be presenting this year. In short, it’s great to be back.”
One of Australia’s most loved authors Trent Dalton gained international recognition with his bestselling, semi-autobiographical novel Boy Swallows Universe followed by All Our Shimmering Skies, a novel that journeys deep into the heart of Australia. For his latest book Love Stories, Dalton spent weeks on a Brisbane street corner with an old Olivetti typewriter and asked people to tell him a love story. The result is a warm, wise, poignant, funny and moving book about love in all its guises, told by Australians from all walks of life.
Born and raised on Dharug country, Evelyn Araluen is a descendant of the Bundjalung Nation and is an exciting, vibrant young voice in Australian writing. Her debut collection of poetry and prose Dropbear was awarded the 2022 Stella Prize, the first time a collection of poetry has won this coveted prize celebrating female authors. Dropbear confronts the tropes and iconography of an unreconciled nation with biting satire and lyrical fury. 
Ben Quilty is one of Australia’s most famous living artists. From the dangerous coming of age rituals of young Australian men, to the complex social history of his country, he is constantly critiquing notions of identity, patriotism and belonging. A celebrated war artist, Quilty’s latest series of work, and the accompanying book Free Fall, revisits the iconic images taken by photojournalist (and cousin) Andrew Quilty of the 2005 Cronulla riots and explores the modern phenomenon of Ultimate Fighting Championships. 
During her thirty-year award-winning journalistic career, Indira Naidoo has hosted and reported for some of the country’s most distinguished news and current affair programs. A passionate advocate for environmental and food sustainability issues, she is author of the bestselling The Edible Balcony and The Edible City. Her latest book A Space Between the Stars, written after the death of her sister, is a beautiful tribute to love, loss and the magical power of nature to heal. 
Local Northern Rivers author Jessie Cole has garnered acclaim for her novels Darkness on the Edge of Town and Deeper Water. Tim Winton described her memoir Staying as ‘A wounded, lovely, luminous book about grief, trauma and the strange healing potential of words’. Cole’s latest book Desire is an unabashed, thrilling exploration of the very nature of desire, a story about vulnerability and strength, loss and regeneration. A memoir of the body, Desire is a visceral book in which feeling and longing are laid bare. 
Dr Yves Rees is an award-winning writer and historian, a Lecturer in History at La Trobe University, co-host of Archive Fever podcast and presenter of a regular history segment on ABC Radio Melbourne. Their memoir All About Yves tells their moving journey of re-becoming, at the same time laying bare the messiness of bodies, gender and identity. It shares the challenges and joys of being transgender in Australia today, and reveals how trans experiences like Yves’ can teach all of us about what it means to be human.
Byron Writers Festival Early Bird tickets are on sale now through The full 2022 Program will be announced on 13 July when tickets to all Festival days, Satellite Events and Workshops will go on sale.
Key Dates:
June 15: Early Bird 3-day Passes, first guest announcement
June 30: Sunday Locals Passes.
July 13: Full program announced – all tickets on sale
Aug 26-28: Festival Weekend