Have we got a story for you! Brisbane Writers Festival (BWF) is back in 2023 with a program of plot twists and page-turners from 10 to 14 May.

The 2023 Festival is an unmissable adventure from beginning to end with over 150 live events including author talks, panel discussions, workshops and all-new Literary Salons.

More than 60 Brisbane authors will feature alongside a star-studded line-up of national and international guests.
Australian headline authors include Stan Grant, Grace Tame, Tim Winton and Kate Morton while international highlights include Booker Prize winner Shehan Karunatilaka, Scottish novelist Irvine Welsh and US author Gabrielle Zevin.
BWF’s 2023 Country of Focus is South Korea and guest curator Sung-Ae Lee has developed a program examining the nuanced and coded approach of South Korean authors as they tackle topics still culturally taboo in their homeland.
Lee is joined by guest curators Daniel Browning (Aboriginal First Nations), Samantha Faulkner (Torres Strait Islander First Nations), Matthew Condon (Brisbane Stories), Megan Daley (Word Play) and Karen Lee (LoveYA).
BWF Artistic Director Jackie Ryan said her inaugural 2023 program would spin a rollicking tale of festive entertainment from blockbuster bestsellers to literary luminaries and everything in between.
“After a difficult time for many with fire, flood and plague, we’re looking to put the ‘festive’ in Festival,” Ryan said.
“Festive means different things to different people, of course, so we’ve prepared a literary feast to suit all tastes: we’ve got spies, romance, politics, science, history, poetry, comedy, crime, philosophy, self-help, technology, social issues, monsters, performance, conflict and food – and that’s just the entrée!
“Your literary dishes will be served by some of the most acclaimed writers and emerging talents in their fields. Dig in.”
Irvine Welsh returns to BWF to talk about his latest release, The Long Knives, as well as reflects on his grungy modern classic, Trainspotting, 30 years after its release.
He also lends insight to the Blockbuster Crime panel alongside crime fiction luminaries Tracey Lien, Candice Fox and Garry Disher.

Australia’s traditional storytellers share culture and spark connections with panels and conversations featuring First Nations authors including Lionel Fogarty, Brooke Blurton, Alexis Wright and Lystra Rose.
New Zealand duo Matt and Sarah Brown reveal how their heart-rending book, She is Not Your Rehab, sparked a global movement to break the cycle of intergenerational abuse.
Sharing insight, innovation and inspiration for BWF’s 2023 Country of Focus is a diverse line-up of South Korean authors including Bora Chung, Park Sang Young, Krys Lee and Kim Min Jeong.

A Fine Romance rewrites love stories for a new era and diehard romantics Trent Dalton and Samuel Johnson will sweep Lovers of Love off their feet with affairs of the heart.
Social structures are considered in sessions such as Class, Rich People’s Problems and Green, Teals and Ideals, and politics is assessed in What’s Democracy, Anyway?
Matthew Condon infuses the program with placemaking stories told by Brisbane’s local legends including Walter Sofronoff, Hedley Thomas, Frances Whiting and Susan Johnson.
Stepping on set, Bryan Brown talks about his noir-ish novel Sweet Jimmy, and joins Trent Dalton, Holly Ringland and Witi Ihimaera to discuss adapting books for the screen.
Nobel Laureate Peter Doherty, Inga Simpson and Aaron Fa’aoso examine the inextricable links between national identity and sport in Australia in This Sporting Life.
The five-day festival sees the return of the internationally renowned Literary Death Match as well as an elegant Mother’s Day High Tea at Customs House with special guest Holly Wainwright interviewed by Frances Whiting.
Word Play, BWF’s program for students from Prep to Year 12, returns as well as Love YA, presented in partnership with Brisbane City Council Libraries.
BWF runs from 10 to 14 May 2023 with most events held in the Festival hub at the State Library of Queensland in the South Bank Cultural Precinct.
With a diverse program of author panels, speeches and performances, BWF has a story for everyone. Tickets are on sale from Wednesday 29 March 2023.
For more information and to purchase tickets, visit or download the app at

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