Sydney Writers Festival 2024

Join Scribe authors Nathan Mete, Jennifer Croft, Niki Savva, Jake Adelsetin, and Antony Loewenstein at the 2024 Sydney Writers Festival.

Retro Sydney Slide Night | Wednesday 22 May 5.30–6.30pm

You may recognise @retrosydney_ as Nathan Mete’s wildly popular Instagram account that celebrates Sydney through the decades.

Now adapted into a book, this stunning collection of images from the 1950s through to 2000 comes with fascinating insights into the iconic sights and scenes of the city’s Golden Age. Retro Sydney 1950–2000 captures the city’s most significant post-war milestones and highlights its development and transformation into an international metropolis.

Pay tribute to our harbour home by celebrating the quirky, glamorous, exciting, menacing and wonderful times of retro Sydney at this slide night and talk.

First Fictions | Thursday 23 May 1–2pm

Jennifer Croft, Bri Lee and Louise Milligan have earned widespread acclaim in the realms of translation, non-fiction and investigative journalism, respectively.

Now, these authors are branching out into novels for the first time in their illustrious careers, revisiting themes in their previous writing to create stunning, gripping and beguiling works of the imagination.

Separate fact from fiction with Jennifer, Bri and Louise as they discuss the pleasures and pitfalls of braving a new genre.

Found in Translation | Thursday 23 May 3–4pm

Translators are the publishing industry’s unsung heroes, uniting authors with readers beyond the borders of their native language.

Award-winning polyglots Jennifer Croft, Daniel Hahn and Stephanie Smee have introduced Anglophone audiences to some of the most celebrated writers in French, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Ukrainian, including Nobel Laureates such as Olga Tokarczuk and José Saramago.

Explore the fine art of literary translation and the joys of reading diverse fiction from around the globe.

The Secret Lives of Politicians | Saturday 25 May 3–4pm

What goes on behind the scenes of Australia’s most public figures?

Under the spotlight of public scrutiny, the names and faces of Australian politics have fallen in and out of favour in recent years. Who are the people behind the politics? How did they get to be where they are, and where will they go next?

Join key political commentators Lech Blaine, Margot Saville and Niki Savva as they examine the rise and fall of the Coalition, and dare to ask the question – what comes next?

Jake Adelstein: Tokyo Noir | Saturday 25 May 7.30–8.30pm

Jake Adelstein has spent decades reporting on Japanese organised crime and is the only American journalist to be admitted to the insular Tokyo Metropolitan Police Press Club.

These unique experiences informed his memoir, Tokyo Vice, which was adapted into an HBO Max series starring Ansel Elgort, the second season of which premiered in February. Jake returns to Japan’s seedy underworld with this hotly anticipated follow-up Tokyo Noir, which is equal parts history lesson, true crime exposé and darkly comic memoir.

Hear Jake and host Peter Hartcher discuss what it’s like when you’re in too deep to distinguish the story you chase from the story you are living.

Barrie Cassidy and Friends: State of the Nation | Sunday 26 May 10–11am

Relive all the thrills and spills of the year in Australian politics with veteran journo Barrie Cassidy and his hand-picked squad of the country’s sharpest pundits.

From the supermarket wars and cost of living crisis to the hottest year on record and unexpected (or expected) resignations,it’s all up for dissection as they take the pulse of the nation. Barrie shares the stage with political journalists Bridget Brennan, Amy Remeikis, Niki Savva and Laura Tingle.

Dark Technologies | Sunday 26 May 3.30–4.30pm

Machines lead the charge on today’s battlefields, but what does this mean for the people caught in the crossfire?

Learn from journalist Antony Loewenstein, whose Walkley Award–winning investigation, The Palestine Laboratory: How Israel Exports the Technology of Occupation Around the World, uncovered the widespread commercialisation and global deployment of Israeli weaponry tested in Palestinian territories. Antony is joined by AI expert Toby Walsh, whose new book, Faking It: Artificial Intelligence in a Human World, explores how AI impersonates human intelligence.

Join them in this vital conversation with host Michael Richardson about the intersection of technology, conflict, occupation and surveillance.

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