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.
Monthly talks: Disrupted Festival of Ideas, Perth, WA. Presenters include journalists and writers.
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.

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.
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 26 – May 2: Sydney Writers Festival, Sydney, NSW. Gen. lit.
Apr 28: Australian Book Industry Awards (ABIA), Sydney, NSW. Industry.
Apr 30 – May 2 (ONSITE STREAMING): SWF Live and Local, Huonville, TAS. Gen. lit.

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 8: Love YA, Brisbane, QLD. YA. Part of Brisbane Writers Festival. YA
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 14-16: HeadLand Writers Festival, Tathra, NSW. 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)
May 28-29: Readers and Writers Esperance Finale Weekend, Esperance, WA. Gen. lit.

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.
NEW DATE Jun 5-7: Swancon, Perth, WA. Spec fic.
Jun 11-13: Capricorn Coast Writers Festival, Yeppoon, QLD. Gen. lit.
Jun 11-14: Bellingen Writers Festival, Bellingen, NSW. Australian general lit.
Jun 11-14: Words on the Waves, Central Coast, NSW. General lit.
Jun 12 (ONLINE), 14: Australian Fairy Tale Society Annual Conference, Sydney, NSW. Fairy tales.
Jun 16-23: Winterwords, Beechworth, VIC. Gen. lit.
Jun 16-26 ONLINE: Emerging Writers Festival, Melbourne, VIC. Gen. lit.
Jun 17-26 ONLINE: Brimbank Writers and Readers Festival, various locations within Brimbank city, VIC. Gen. lit.
Jun 18-20: StoryFest, Milton region, NSW. Gen. lit.
CANCELLED Jun 18-20: Williamstown Literary Festival, Williamstown, VIC. General lit.
Jun 18 – Jul 4: FAWQ Readers and Writers Festival, Moreton Bay region, QLD. Gen. lit.
Jun 19-20: Supanova, Sydney, NSW. Pop culture.
Jun 19 – Jul 4 (online): Glen Eira Storytelling Festival, Glen Eira, VIC. Series of events. Gen. lit.
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 25-27: A Literary Weekend at Blarney Books, Port Fairy, VIC. 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.
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 2-3: Perth Comic Arts Festival, Perth, WA. Comics.
Jul 3-4: Oz Comic-Con, Melbourne, VIC. Pop culture.
Jul 10: Rockingham Writers Convention, Rockingham, WA. Industry.
Jul 10-11, Aug 7-8: Woodend Winter Arts Festival, Woodend, VIC. General lit.
Jul 14-16: Whitsunday Voices Youth Literature Festival, Mackay, QLD. Children, YA, schools.
Jul 16-18 (inc. ONLINE): Mildura Writers Festival, Mildura, VIC. General lit.
Jul 16-18: Yarra Valley Writers Festival, Healesville, Vic. Gen. lit.
Jul 20-24 (ONLINE): Association for the Study of Australian Literature (ASAL) Conference, online. Oz lit, academic.
Jul 23-25: Burdekin Readers and Writers Festival, Ayr, QLD. Gen. lit.
Jul 30-31: Shoalhaven Readers & Writers Festival, Nowra, NSW. Children’s.
Jul 30 – Aug 1: Corrugated Lines, Broome, WA. Gen. lit.
Jul 31: Orange Readers and Writers Festival, Orange, NSW. Gen. lit.
Jul 31 – Aug 1 (ONLINE): 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.
Melbourne Spoken Word and Poetry Festival, Melbourne, VIC. Spoken word, poetry, slam.
Phillip Island Festival of Stories, Phillip Island, VIC. Gen. lit.

August

Aug 1-8: StoryArts Festival Ipswich, Ipswich, QLD. Children’s.
Aug 6-8: Byron Bay Writers Festival, Byron Bay, NSW. Gen. lit.
Aug 7-8: Woodend Winter Arts Festival, Woodend, VIC. General lit.
Aug 12-15: RWA Conference, Gold Coast, QLD. Romance
Aug 13-15: Cairns Tropical Writers Festival, Cairns, QLD. Gen. lit. (Biennial)
Aug 13-15: Romance Writers of Australia conference, Gold Coast, QLD. Romance.
Aug 18-22: Canberra Writers Festival, Canberra, ACT. General lit.
Aug 20-22: Kimberley Writers Festival, Kununurra, WA. General lit.
Aug 21-22: 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 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.
Sydney Jewish Writers Festival, Sydney, NSW. Jewish.
Australasian Medical Writers Association Annual Conference, Melbourne, VIC. Medical.
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 10-19: Perth Poetry Festival, Perth, WA. Poetry.
Sep 14: Australian Reading Hour, national. Reading promotion.
Sep 24-26: Newcastle Writers Festival, Newcastle, NSW. General lit.
Sep 30 – Oct 3: Big Sky Readers and Writers Festival, Geraldton, WA. General lit.
Sep 30 – Oct 17: Melbourne Fringe, Melbourne, VIC. Lit performance element.

Watch for:

WestWordsFest, Dubbo, NSW. Gen. lit, genre.
Blak & Bright: The Victorian Indigenous Literary Festival, Melbourne, VIC. Indigenous.

October

Oct 1-4 (inc. ONLINE): National Young Writers Festival, Newcastle, NSW. Focus on writers 18-35.
Oct 2-4: Conflux, Canberra, ACT. Spec fic.
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: National Bookshop Day. Events around the country to encourage book buying.
Oct 9: Giiyong Festival, Jigamy, NSW. Indigenous.
Oct 16-17: Book Links StoryArts Brisbane, Brisbane, QLD. Children’s, industry.
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:

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.
CJ Dennis Festival, Toolangi, VIC. Poetry.

November

Nov 5-7: Australian Short Story Festival, Adelaide, SA. Short stories.
Nov 5-7: Terror Australis Readers and Writers Festival, Huonville, TAS. Crime, mystery.
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.
Nov 24-26: Australasian Association of Writing Programs annual conference, Sippy Downs, QLD. Academic.

Watch for:

Story Week, online. Gen. lit.
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

Mar 11-14: Port Fairy Folk Festival, Port Fairy, VIC. Musician cross-over, songwriters, poets.
Apr 1-3: Supanova, Melbourne, VIC. Pop culture.
Apr 8-10: Supanova, Gold Coast, QLD. Pop culture.

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.
Queensland Poetry Festival, Brisbane, QLD. Poetry, spoken word.

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