Brisbane Writer's Festival Launch - Get a Nightlife

Impressive line-up at 2019 Brisbane Writer’s Festival

Over 160 internationally renowned writers, thinkers and opinion makers will storm the State Library of Queensland for the 57th annual Brisbane Writer’s Festival from 5 to 8 September 2019.

In celebration of the stories that have defined Australia and in recognition of the UN Year of Indigenous Languages, this year’s line-up will herald the original story-tellers of Australia. 

First Nation speakers include Danzal Baker (Baker Boy), Tony Birch, Melissa Lucashenko, Uncle Jack Charles and Claire G. Coleman. These special guests will explore how Australia’s first story-tellers conveyed narrative both now and in the past.

“The written word hasn’t always been the primary way to tell a story,” said Festival CEO and Artistic Director Zoe Pollock. “Indigenous Australians have been yarning, weaving, painting, singing and dancing the stories of this land for thousands of years and right up into our present day.”

The Brisbane Writer’s Festival welcomes special guests who use their medium to dwell on the big issues facing the world today; climate, race, gender and digital. Guests such as Jaspar Fforde, Ann Weisgarber, Joanne Ramos and many others will join the line-up to inspire and inform Brisbane audiences on making a change in the world through the power of language and communication.

Young Adult fiction has been given its own platform at this year’s festival with ‘Love YA’ returning for a full day of free programming on Sat 7 September.

“Love YA is a day to celebrate everything that makes Young Adult fiction so compelling,” said Pollock. “This year we’re shifting focus to look at community and responsibility and the universality of love with some of Australia’s best LGBTQ+ writers including, Claire G. Coleman, Alison Evans, Benjamin Law, Jax Jacki Brown and Michael Earp.”.  

The 2019 opening event will kick off at the State Library of Queensland with rapper, dancer, actor and visual artist Banzal Baker, aka Baker Boy setting the tone for a weekend of inspiration, intrigue and information. Joining him will be writer, actor and comedian Steven Oliver (A Chance Affair), Omar Sakar (The Lost Arabs), Australian slam poetry championships winner Solli Raphael and Indigenous slam queen Melanie Mununggurr Williams.

Baker Boy - Brisbane Writer's Festival
Baker Boy will perform at the 2019 Brisbane Writer’s Festival.

While the English language has remained largely the same over the past decade, the methods we use to communicate have changed dramatically. This year’s festival includes an immersive literary experience inspired by Alexis Wright’s monumental work, ‘Carpentaria’, and performances created by playwright and theatre-maker, Alethea Beetson, in an experience designed for all ages.

The Brisbane Writers Festival has also announced a collaboration with Brisbane’s iconic designer, Anna Spiro, who will create a special space where festival-goers are able to catch up with friends, read and soak up the atmosphere of learning and creativity.

No page is left unturned at this year’s Writer’s Festival, with something on offer for all ages and experience levels.

“This is an incredible opportunity to hear from the people with nuanced insight into the fast-changing world that we all share,” said Pollock. “I invite you to join us and have your say.”

For all the information you need about events and listings, visit the official Brisbane Writer’s Festival website at

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