Grace Tame, Richard Fidler, Nakkiah Lui, Pip Williams, Kevin Jared Hosein, Marele Day with many more to be announced.

Byron Writers Festival 2023 (11-13 August) opens an exciting new chapter at the Bangalow Showground on Bundjalung Country. The 2023 festival will feature compelling and diverse voices, familiar names and new talents guaranteed to entertain and inspire.

This year’s festival will showcase the theme ‘Wild Imagination’ and feature 2021 Australian of the Year Grace Tame; beloved broadcaster and author Richard Fidler; celebrated writer, commentator and actor Nakkiah Lui; and international bestselling author Pip Williams. They are joined by international guest Kevin Jared Hosein (Trinidad) author of the breakthrough historical novel Hungry Ghosts and acclaimed Northern Rivers based author Marele Day.

This first announcement of celebrated guests gives a taste of things to come with the full program of more than 120 writers, thinkers and commentators to be revealed on 28 June. Discounted Early Bird 3-day passes are on sale now via

CEO & Artistic Director Zoe Pollock says “In devising this year’s theme I was inspired by the wildness of the Northern Rivers landscape, in particular our rainforests. We are so lucky to have the opportunity to connect deeply with nature every day here in our beautiful region. I believe we are at a pivotal moment in human history. We need to reconnect with our inner wild, and rediscover our place in the world. This year’s program will feature a brilliant line up of authors who do just that through their writing. It is a program of writers and thinkers who dare to imagine wildly and are at the peak of their creativity.”

In 2021 Grace Tame stepped squarely into the public eye as the Australian of the Year and was the catalyst for a tidal wave of conversation and action. Australians from all walks of life were inspired and moved by her fire and passion. Her determination to tell her own story culminates with The Ninth Life of a Diamond Miner, her sharply intelligent, deeply felt, wildly unexpected and often blisteringly funny memoir. With trademark wit and honesty, Tame proves as stirring a writer as she is a speaker.

Writer-broadcaster Richard Fidler is the author of bestselling books The Golden Maze and Ghost Empire, and co-author of the bestselling Saga Land with Kári Gíslason. His
latest The Book of Roads and Kingdoms captures a dazzling era when the caliphs of Baghdad presided over a dominion greater than the Roman Empire at its peak. Fidler also presents ‘Conversations’, an in-depth, up-close-and-personal interview program that is broadcast across Australia on ABC Radio and podcast all over the world to millions of listeners.

Nakkiah Lui is a Gamillaroi and Torres Strait Islander woman and a prolific and celebrated writer, actor and director. She was co-creator of the ground-breaking series, Black Comedy, writer and star of award-winning ABC series, Kiki and Kitty and Preppers and is the co-creator of the hugely popular podcast series, Pretty for an Aboriginal and Debutante. In 2020 Lui launched her own publishing imprint, Joan, with the aim to be a home for stories and storytellers who are redefining the mainstream in a way that is radical, inclusive and bold.

Pip Williams has spent most of her working life as a social researcher, studying what keeps us well and what helps us thrive. Her first novel, The Dictionary of Lost Words, based on her original research in the Oxford English Dictionary archives became an international bestseller. Pip Williams returns to Byron Writers Festival and her many fans to share her talent for historical research and beautiful storytelling with the release of her second novel The Bookbinder of Jericho.

Kevin Jared Hosein is a Caribbean writer and teacher whose novel Hungry Ghosts has seen him hailed as a major new literary voice. Hungry Ghosts is a mesmerising novel about violence, religion, family and class, rooted in the wild and pastoral landscape of 1940s colonial central Trinidad and has been described by writer Evie Wyld as ‘The biggest, most frightening, beautiful and alive novel I’ve read in as long as I can remember’.

Acclaimed Northern Rivers based writer Marele Day is an award-winning author of novels including the bestselling Lambs of God that was adapted into a hit TV miniseries. Reckless, her brilliant memoir released in May this year, recounts the gripping story of how a young Marele is caught up in a shipwreck adventure and forges an unlikely bond with an international fugitive travelling under a pseudonym. For the next thirty years they correspond before reuniting, both older and wiser. Described by literary critic Geordie Williamson as ‘Not only the strangest true crime story you’ll read this year, Reckless is also the most beautifully told.’

Byron Writers Festival Early Bird 3-day passes are on sale from 14 to 21 June through The full 2023 program will be announced on 28 June when tickets to all festival days, feature events and workshops will go on sale.

Key Dates

June 14: First guest announcement. Early Bird 3-day Passes on sale.
June 22: Sunday Locals Passes on sale.
June 28: Full program announced. All tickets on sale.
Aug 11-13: Festival Weekend

About Byron Writers Festival

Held on the lands of the Arakwal Bumberbin peoples of the Bundjalung Nation, we pay respect to the traditional owners of this land and acknowledge them as the original storytellers of this region.

The annual Byron Writers Festival is Australia’s largest and leading regional celebration of storytelling, literature and ideas. The line-up predominantly features Australian writers and thinkers who together share their stories, inspirations and insights. Byron Writers Festival is renowned for its relaxed atmosphere and for delivering a diverse program of panels and conversations that celebrate storytelling in all its forms. This year’s Byron Writers Festival will be held at the Bangalow Showgrounds in the hinterland town of Bangalow, 15 minutes from Byron Bay on beautiful Bundjalung Country. Free shuttle buses will be operating daily from Byron Bay.

Get a taste of the Festival

Never been and heard great things? Discover the highlights with our 2022 photo gallery and podcast series.