Allen & Unwin Authors: 2020 Writers' Festivals


Here at Allen & Unwin we’re immensely proud of our authors for quickly adapting to our current circumstances, as festivals transitioned from the physical world to the digital space. Real-life festivals may have been put on pause for 2020, but don’t worry—our major festival partners have continued their programs online.

You can now support A&U’s authors from the comfort of your own home. Details have been included below, with much more to come throughout the year:


The Big Weekend of Books – ABC RN:

Michaela Kalowski has curated a brilliant selection of books and authors to feature in ABC RN’s The Big Weekend of Books digital festival, running Saturday 20th of June – Sunday 21st of June.

If you missed it, don’t worry—you can tune in via the Listen App or listen live via the ABC RN website.

Our very own Christos Tsiolkas was in conversation with Sarah L’Estrange, which you can catch up on here.


The Sydney Writers’ Festival:

The team at the 2020 Sydney Writers Festival has uploaded several excellent podcasts with A&U authors to their website.

The SWF Podcast is also available on Spotify, Omny and iTunes. Since its launch in 2015, the podcast has been downloaded over one and a half million times by the SWF’s enthusiastic subscriber base—so if you haven’t listened yet, now’s your chance!

Heather Rose in conversation with Eimear McBride: listen here

Chris Hammer: listen here

Sophie Hardcastle: listen here

Cassandra Pybus: listen here

If you would like to share on social media, Sydney Writers’ Festival are on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as @SydWritersFest.


The Melbourne Writers’ Festival:

The Melbourne festival will run from the 7th – 16th of August 2020, in a wholly online format.

The theme for this year’s festival will be ‘Attention’, questioning who we give our attention to, how crises and other major world events shift our consumption habits and make us reconsider how we connect with each other, and—most importantly—how we celebrate the books that hold our attention.

Jessie Tu, upcoming writer of the dazzling and original debut A Lonely Girl is a Dangerous Thing was the first to confirm her attendance for the digital festival, followed by stunning debut novelist Erin Hortle (The Octopus and I).

Check back here for more updates!


The Canberra Writers Festival:

The Canberra festival will run from the 12th – 16th of August 2020 in the digital space.

Donna Ward (She I Dare Not Name) will be in conversation with Suzanne Leal (The Deceptions) on Thursday 13th of August, 12.30 pm - 1.30 pm. You can watch the live stream here from the comfort of your own home.

Gabbie Stroud (Dear Parents) will be in conversation with Paul Browning on Friday 14th of August, 10.30 am - 11.30 am here.

Charlotte Wood (The Weekend) in conversation with David Raubenheimer and Stephen J Simpson, Friday 14th of August, 12.30 pm - 1.30 pm here.


BAD Sydney Crime Writers Festival:

Tony Jones (In Darkness Visible) has accepted the invitation to this year’s BAD Sydney Crime Writers Festival—an annual event held to explore what crime can tell us about humanity, both contemporary and historical.


History Illuminated Festival:

History Illuminated celebrates NSW History Week in September with the theme: History: what is it good for?

From stories about our past, to shaping our futures, or how the practice of history enriches our lives in many ways, presenters have the opportunity to share their research and the story behind their book, and why history matters to them.

Kirsty Manning (The Lost Jewels), David Dufty (Radio Girl), and Mark Dunn (The Convict Valley) have already been locked in, so book your tickets asap.