2021 Australian Literary Festival Calendar

calendar
An ongoing listing of literature-related events in Australia. Feel free to contact me with additions and corrections.

Watch for: previously held or pending, with dates or information to be confirmed for current year (TBC).

2021

Reach out (events lists):

Writers looking to hone their craft and connect with their peers, reach out to local groups. For example, some of my local:

If an internet search isn’t helpful, try your state or district writers centre for contacts and support. Industry body the Australian Association of Authors also may offer professional advice and connections.

WRITERS CENTRES (your first port of call for inquiries literary):

2021 EVENTS ARE BEING HELD UNDER THE CLOUD OF ONGOING COVID-19 RESTRICTIONS AND DETAILS MAY CHANGE SUDDENLY.  

Various events rather than a single one

Monthly: Melbourne Jewish Book Week, St Kilda, VIC. Jewish literature.
Talk series: Rose Scott Women Writers’ Festival, Sydney, NSW. Gen. lit, by women.
March to July: Maleny Celebration of Books, Maleny, QLD. Gen. lit.

January

Jan 31 ONLINE: Mass Con, Adelaide, SA. Speculative fiction, pop culture.

February

Feb 5-28: Perth Festival, Perth, WA. Includes gen. lit.
Feb 8-10 ONLINE: ALIA Information Online conference, Sydney, NSW. Libraries.
Feb 13-21: Orange Banjo Paterson Festival, Orange, NSW. Bush poetry, Banjo.
Feb 20 ONLINE: Festival of the Photocopier and Zine Fair, Melbourne, VIC. Zines
Feb 25-27 + Mar 1-5 ONLINE : Voices on the Coast, Sunshine Coast, QLD. Schools (YA, children’s) focus.
Feb 27: GenreCon, Brisbane, QLD. Romance, crime, speculative fiction, industry. (Biennial)
Feb 27 – Mar 4 (ONLINE COMPONENT): Adelaide Writers Week, Adelaide, SA. Gen. lit. stream.

Watch for:
Queensland Poetry Festival, Brisbane, QLD. Poetry, spoken word.
Rock & Roll Writers Festival, Brisbane, QLD. Music.
Woollahra Poets’ Picnic, Sydney, NSW. Poetry, spoken word.

March

Mar 5-7: Stories of Influence, Lake Tyers, VIC. Gen. lit.
Mar 6-7: Oz Comic-Con, Sydney, NSW. Pop culture.
Mar 11-13: Noosa Alive, Noosa, QLD. Gen lit stream.
POSTPONED TO 2022: Kids & YA Festival, Sydney, NSW. Kids, YA.
Mar 13-14: Oz Comic-Con, Brisbane, QLD. Pop culture.
Mar 13-20: Somerset Storyfest (was Somerset Celebration of Literature), Gold Coast, QLD. Children’s, YA, gen lit.
Mar 19: Read To Me Day, international. Share the love.
Mar 19-28: Tasmanian Poetry Festival, Launceston, TAS. Poetry.
Mar 24-26: Emergence creative festival, Margaret River, WA. Multi-media, cross-disciplinary. (Biennial)
Mar 25-28: Oracles of the Bush, Tenterfield, NSW. Bush poetry.
Mar 26-28: Melbourne Art Book Fair, Melbourne, VIC. Art/illustrated books.

Watch for:
Scone Literary Festival, Scone, NSW. Gen. lit.
John O’Brien Festival, Narrandera, NSW. Bush poetry.
Bookfest: Goulburn Reader Writer Festival, Goulburn, NSW. Gen. lit.
Canberra Womens Writers Festival, Canberra, ACT. Women, gen. lit.

April

Apr 8-11: Man from Snowy River Bush Festival, Corryong, VIC. Bush poetry.
Apr 10-11: Supanova, Melbourne, VIC. Pop culture.
Apr 16-18: Jane Austen Festival Australia, Canberra, ACT. All things Jane.
Apr 17-18: Supanova, Gold Coast, QLD. Pop culture.
Apr 23-24: Fresh Ink Emerging Writers Program, Newcastle NSW. Emerging.
Apr 23 – May 8: Shakespeare on the River, Stratford, VIC. Things Shakespeare.
Apr 24-26: Swancon, Perth, WA. Spec fic.
Apr 26 – May 2: Sydney Writers Festival, Sydney, NSW. Gen. lit.
Apr 28: Australian Book Industry Awards (ABIA), Sydney, NSW. Industry.

Watch for:

Australian Storytellers Festival, Fremantle, WA. Kids, YA focus.
Ipswich Poetry Feast Poets Breakfast, Ipswich, QLD. School focus.

May

May 1-2: Boonah Writers Festival, Boonah, QLD. Gen. lit.
May 1-2: Clunes Booktown Festival, Clunes, VIC. Gen. lit.
May 3-9: Scribblers, Claremont, WA. YA, children’s.
May 7-9 (inc. ONLINE): Brisbane Writers Festival, Brisbane, QLD. Gen. lit.
May 7-9: Bendigo Writers Festival, Bendigo, VIC. Gen. lit.
May 14-16: Penola Coonawarra Arts Festival, Penola and Coonawarra, SA. Gen. lit. stream.
May 14-16: Margaret River Readers & Writers Festival, WA. Gen. lit.
May 14-30 (weekends): Queenscliffe Literary Festival, Queenscliff, Point Londsdale, VIC.  Gen. lit.
May 17-23: Library and Information Week, national. Libraries.
May 19: National Simultaneous Storytime, national. Encouraging reading.
May 22-23: Jugiong Writers Festival, Jugiong, NSW. Gen. lit. (Biennial)

Watch for:

Bayside Readers and Writers Festival, Highett, VIC. Gen. lit.

June

Jun 4-6: Denmark Festival of Voice, Denmark, WA. Includes poetry, spoken word, readings, talks.
Jun 5: Creative Kids Tales Writers Festival, Gymea, NSW. Childrens.
Jun 11-13: Capricorn Coast Writers Festival, Yeppoon, QLD. Gen. lit.
Jun 11-13: Woodend Winter Arts Festival, Woodend, VIC. General lit. Also May 9, Jul 11, Aug 8
Jun 11-14: Bellingen Writers Festival, Bellingen, NSW. Australian general lit.
Jun 12 (ONLINE), 14: Australian Fairy Tale Society Annual Conference, Sydney, NSW. Fairy tales.
Jun 12: KidLitVic, Melbourne, VIC. Kids and YA, industry.
Jun 16-26: Emerging Writers Festival, Melbourne, VIC. Gen. lit.
Jun 17-26: Brimbank Writers and Readers Festival, various locations within Brimbank city, VIC. Gen. lit.
Jun 18-20: StoryFest, Milton region, NSW. Gen. lit.
Jun 18-20: Williamstown Literary Festival, Williamstown, VIC. General lit.
Jun 19-20: Supanova, Sydney, NSW. Pop culture.
Jun 20-22 (plus online): Australian Booksellers Association (ABA) Conference and Trade Exhibition, Melbourne, VIC. Industry.
Jun 22-24: Outback Writers Festival, Winton, QLD. Gen. lit.
Jun 26-27: Oz Comic-Con, Adelaide, SA. Pop culture.
Jun 26-27: Supanova, Perth, WA. Pop culture.
Jun 28-30 ONLINE: IPEd national editors conference. Editing, industry. (Biennial)

Watch for:

Continuum, Melbourne, VIC. Spec fic, pop culture.
Henry Lawson Heritage Festival, Gulgong, NSW. Bush poetry and all things Henry.
Glen Eira Storytelling Festival, Glen Eira, VIC. Series of events. Gen. lit.
Association for the Study of Australian Literature (ASAL) Conference, TBC. Oz lit, academic.
WordFest, Melbourne, VIC. Author talk series. Gen. lit.

July

Jul weekends ONLINE: Children’s and Young Adult Writers and Illustrators (CYA) Conference, Brisbane. Children’s and YA.
Jul 3-4: Oz Comic-Con, Melbourne, VIC. Pop culture.
Jul 10: Rockingham Writers Convention, Rockingham, WA. Industry.
Jul 16-18 (inc. ONLINE): Mildura Writers Festival, Mildura, VIC. General lit.
Jul 16-18: Yarra Valley Writers Festival, Healesville, Vic. Gen. lit.
Jul 23-25: Burdekin Readers and Writers Festival, Ayr, QLD. Gen. lit.
Jul 30 – Aug 1: Corrugated Lines, Broome, WA. Gen. lit.
Jul 31: KidLitVic, Melbourne, VIC. Kids and YA, industry.

Watch for:

Rare Book Week, Melbourne, VIC. Gen lit. Includes Rare Book Fair
Telling Tales in Balingup, Balingup, WA. School kids 4-14.
Whitsunday Voices Youth Literature Festival, Mackay, QLD. Children, YA, schools.
Melbourne Spoken Word and Poetry Festival, Melbourne, VIC. Spoken word, poetry, slam.
Shoalhaven Readers & Writers Festival, Nowra, NSW. Children’s.
Phillip Island Festival of Stories, Phillip Island, VIC. Gen. lit.
Perth Comic Arts Festival, Perth, WA. Comics.

August

Aug 6-8: Byron Bay Writers Festival, Byron Bay, NSW. Gen. lit.
Aug 12-15: RWA Conference, Gold Coast, QLD. Romance
Aug 13-15: Cairns Tropical Writers Festival, Cairns, QLD. Gen. lit. (Biennial)
Aug 18-22: Canberra Writers Festival, Canberra, ACT. General lit.
Aug 20-21: Mudgee Readers’ Festival, Mudgee, NSW. General lit.
Aug 21: Writers Unleashed (Sutherland Shire Writers Festival), Gymea, NSW. Gen. lit.
Aug 21-27: Book Week, national school-based events hosted by Children’s Book Council of Australia.
Aug 20-22: Kimberley Writers Festival, Kununurra, WA. General lit.
Aug 26-29: NT Writers Festival, Alice Springs, NT. Gen lit.
Aug 28: CapriCon, Rockhampton, QLD. Steampunk, pop culture.
Aug 30 – Sep 4: Indigenous Literacy Week, nationwide. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander focus.

Watch for:

Words in Winter, Daylesford and surrounding towns, VIC. Series of general lit events.
Romance Writers of Australia conference, Fremantle, WA. Romance.
Sydney Jewish Writers Festival, Sydney, NSW. Jewish.
Australasian Medical Writers Association Annual Conference, Melbourne, VIC. Medical.
Orange Readers and Writers Festival, Orange, NSW. Gen. lit.
Salisbury Writers’ Festival, Salisbury, SA. General lit.
Armadale Writers Festival, Armadale, WA. General lit.

September

Sep 3-12: Melbourne Writers Festival, Melbourne, VIC. General lit.
Sep 8-12: Write Around the Murray, Albury, NSW. Gen. lit.
Sep 10-12: BAD: Sydney Crime Writers Festival, Sydney, NSW. Crime.
Sep 24-26: Newcastle Writers Festival, Newcastle, NSW. General lit.
Sep 30 – Oct 17: Melbourne Fringe, Melbourne, VIC. Lit performance element.

Watch for:

Australia Reads, various. Includes Australian Reading Hour on Sep 17. Reading promotion.
Love YA, Brisbane, QLD. YA. Part of Brisbane Writers Festival.
New Norcia Writers Festival, New Norcia, WA. Gen. lit.
WestWordsFest, Dubbo, NSW. Gen. lit, genre.
Perth Poetry Festival, Perth, WA. Poetry.
Blak & Bright: The Victorian Indigenous Literary Festival, Melbourne, VIC. Indigenous.

October

Oct 1-4: Conflux, Canberra, ACT. Spec fic.
Oct 1-4 (inc. ONLINE): National Young Writers Festival, Newcastle, NSW. Focus on writers 18-35.
Oct 2-4: Write On Festival (formerly Flash Fiction Fun Weekend), Canberra, ACT. Industry.
Oct 8-10: Omega Writers Conference, Kingscliff, NSW. Christian.
Oct 8-10: Hobart Writers Festival, Hobart, TAS. Gen. lit. (Biennial)
Oct 9: Giiyong Festival, Jigamy, NSW. Indigenous.
Oct 22-24: Blue Mountains Writers Festival, Katoomba, NSW. Gen. lit.
Oct 22-24 (ONLINE): Historical Novel Society Australasia (HNSA) Conference, Parramatta, NSW. Historical fiction. (Biennial)
Oct 29-30: Celebrate Reading National Conference, Fremantle, WA. Kids.

Watch for:

Big Sky Readers and Writers Festival, Geraldton, WA. General lit.
National Bookshop Day. Events around the country to encourage book buying.
Heroines Book Month, Thirroul and district, NSW. Spec fic, historical.
Mountain Writers Festival, Macedon, VIC. Gen. lit., nature and place focus.
Coal Creek Literary Festival, Korumburra, VIC. Gen. lit.
Writers Group Convention, Brisbane, QLD. Writing.
Odyssey Literary Festival, Melbourne, VIC. Genre, industry.
Stories of Influence, Lake Tyers, VIC. Gen. lit.
Digital Writers Festival, Melbourne, VIC. Gen. lit.
Terror Australis Readers and Writers Festival, Cygnet and surrounds, TAS. Crime, mystery.
CJ Dennis Festival, Toolangi, VIC. Poetry.

November

Nov 5-7: Australian Short Story Festival, Adelaide, SA. Short stories.
Nov 6-7: Supanova, Brisbane, QLD. Pop culture.
Nov 13-14: Supanova, Adelaide, SA. Pop culture.
Nov 8-28: Design Canberra – National Design Writing Conference, Canberra, ACT. Design + writing.
Nov 19-21: Word for Word: National Non-Fiction Festival, Geelong, VIC. Creative non-fiction, non-fic.

Watch for:

Story Week, online. Gen. lit.
Disrupted Festival of Ideas, Perth, WA. Presenters include journalists and writers.
Australasian Association of Writing Programs annual conference, TBC. Academic.
Independent Publishing Conference, Melbourne, VIC. Indie publishing, inc. academic and student streams.
Poetry on the Move, Canberra, ACT. Poetry.
Hobart Writers Festival, Hobart, TAS. Gen. lit. (Biennial)
Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Conference, Sydney, NSW. Children’s. (Biennial)
Goulburn Comic Con, Goulburn, NSW. Comics. (Biennial)
The Children’s Book Council of Australia National Conference, TBC. Kids, YA, industry. (Biennial)
Two Fires Festival, Braidwood, NSW. Inspired by Judith Wright; activism and arts/lit. (Biennial)
Speculate: the Victorian speculative writers festival, Melbourne, VIC. Spec.fic.
National Play Festival, Sydney, NSW. Theatre. (Biennial)
Abbotsleigh Literary Festival, Sydney, NSW. Student focus. (Biennial)
Reading Matters, Melbourne, VIC. YA. (Biennial)
Quantum Words Perth, Perth, WA. Science, creativity. (Biennial)

December

TBC

2022

Watch for:
Tamar Valley Writers Festival, Beaconsfield region, TAS. Gen. lit. (Biennial)
untitled Literary Festival, Stonnington, VIC. Gen. lit.
Red Dirt Poetry Festival, Alice Springs, NT. Poetry, spoken word. (Biennial)
Kids & YA Festival, Sydney, NSW. Kids, YA.

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