Byron Writers Festival Announces First Round of Guests

Sand Art by Craig Gascoigne Photo by Evan Malcolm

The Byron Bay Writers Festival roll call starts with…
William Finnegan, Cheryl Strayed, Magda Szubanski and Charlotte Wood


Byron Writers Festival 2016 will feature Pulitzer Prize winner William Finnegan, Cheryl Strayed, Charlotte Wood and Madga Szubanski in a stellar line-up of more than 150 writers, poets, journalists, politicians and thinkers who will converge on the iconic coastal town of Byron Bay from 5-7 August to celebrate the Festival’s 20th Anniversary.

Festival Director Edwina Johnson says it is a coup to attract lauded US journalist and author William Finnegan to the Festival. “There is appealing synchronicity too in the fact that his Pulitzer Prize winning memoir Barbarian Days carries the sub-title: A Surfing Life.”

Discounted Early Bird tickets go on sale on 18 May and if history is any indication, they will sell fast. “Last year, we had sell-out days on Festival Friday and Saturday, so I encourage everyone to order tickets early to avoid disappointment.”

Finnegan will be joined by fellow American author Cheryl Strayed whose bestselling memoir Wild was made into an Oscar-nominated film. Her books have been translated into 40 languages.

Australian authors will include the provocative and fearless writer Charlotte Wood whose unflinching novel The Natural Way of Things recently won the Stella Prize. She will share the limelight with one of Australia’s best known and most loved performers, Magda Szubanski. Szubanski recently won the NSW Premier’s Literary Award for non-fiction for her remarkable memoir Reckoning that tells not only her own life story but of the bravery of her Polish family in WW2.

Site Lilly Pads Photo By David Young
Site Lilly Pads Photo By David Young

The Festival unfolds from 5-7 August 2016 with workshops commencing on 1 August. Early Bird tickets are only on sale until 14 June, unless sold out prior. The full Festival Program will be announced on 15 June.

“Byron Writers Festival is renowned for its sense of community and treasured by those who attend,” says Johnson “Its power lies in the evocative expression of real and imagined stories that strike chords and captivate because they are authentic, and are told by exceptional thinkers, writers and communicators. Now is the time to secure your seats at Australia’s most popular regional literary Festival. We invite you to join us at 2016 Byron Writers Festival to discover where stories take you.

Early Bird Tickets now on sale at