Brisbane Writers Festival celebrates 60 years in 2022

Brisbane Writers Festival logo in black on yellow background

4 minutes read

The 60th-anniversary Brisbane Writers Festival (BWF) program has been revealed, with a city-wide celebration of more than 200 events taking place over six huge days from 3 – 8 May.

From suburban restaurants to Valley nightclubs, the 2022 program exemplifies BWF’s ‘Where our stories live’ vision, sharing stories that range from the intimate to the epic, told by unique voices from across Australia and the Pacific.

The spaces of our city plus the stories we tell create the place we live, and we hope this year’s Festival does Brisbane proud as it reflects our city’s culture, diversity and literary depth.
Sarah Runcie | CEO

The 60th-anniversary program, curated with input from guest curators Ellen van Neerven, Benjamin Law, Anne-Marie Te Whiu, Michaela Kolowski and Rhianna Patrick, combines BWF fan-favourite formats and programs alongside a range of exciting new initiatives.

“Alongside the return of popular programs Word Play and In Your Suburb, we are excited to launch three new parts of the program at this year’s Festival,” Ms Runcie said.

“Our Country of Focus initiative presents a lavish program of more than 30 Aotearoa New Zealand and Pasifika talents, most of whom are new to BWF audiences.”

Whether it’s spoken word poetry of New Caledonia, vital feminist writing from Samoa, or pocket poetry from Papua New Guinea, we have so much to inspire literary adventuring.
Sarah Runcie | CEO

Another program debuting at BWF 2022 is Brisbane as a Storied City, curated by Nick Earls, which pairs 10 superb writers and poets with the places they have drawn inspiration from, for a collection of intimate events allows audiences to get up close and personal with some of Australia’s top literary talents and thought leaders in unexpected locations.

Highlights include a banquet dinner with Benjamin Law (The Family Law) at Sunnybank’s Landmark Restaurant; Yumi Stynes in conversation with Pig City writer Andrew Stafford at iconic music venue The Zoo; and a special presentation of Clare McFadden’s The Flying Orchestra, featuring Queensland Youth Orchestra, at Brisbane City Hall.

Rounding out our new experiences is our program exploring the intersection between books and visual arts, including the Book Design Exhibit, Books by Artists and Concrete Poetry Exhibit at the State Library of Queensland.
Sarah Runcie | CEO

The six-day Festival also sees an expanded special event series, including a Mother’s Day High Tea at Customs House with bestselling author Sally Hepworth and Those Two GirlsLise Carlaw and Sarah Wills, plus a special picnic event for families, Bluey on the Green, featuring Brisbane’s most famous residents, Bluey & Bingo, live at South Bank Parklands.

 Additional Festival highlights include bookend events First Word and Last Word by one of Australia’s finest Indigenous writers, Tony Birch; the Brisbane debut of internationally-renowned writers’ battle royale Literary Death Match at The Princess Theatre; and acclaimed actor Bryan Brown in his Festival debut to discuss Sweet Jimmy, his first collection of crime fiction short stories.

Adding an extra chapter is the Festival’s new smartphone app, bringing Brisbane’s local anecdotes, yarns and story snippets to life as users visit the very places they occurred.

Word Play, BWF’s program for students from Prep to Year 12, returns with workshops and presentations from 3 – 6 May and Word Play Online, a diverse, curriculum-driven suite of video resources.

Presented in partnership with Brisbane City Council Libraries, the free Love YA returns to Brisbane Square Library on 7 May with author panels, games, giveaways, book signings and workshops spanning genres from fantasy and romance to horror and graphic novels.

In Your Suburb returns in 2022 with renowned authors visiting Brisbane City Council Libraries across the city for a series of free events.

Literary lovers can secure their place on the Festival’s 60th anniversary guestlist with invitations to exclusive events and discounts on Festival tickets, passes and online and special events by becoming a Festival Friend for just $75.

BWF acknowledges the generous support of its donors with special thanks to the Taylor Family. BWF is supported by Queensland Government, through Arts Queensland, part of the Department of Premier and Cabinet. BWF also acknowledges the ongoing support of the Australia Council and the Brisbane City Council.

Brisbane Writers Festival runs from 3 – 8 May 2022. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit or download the app at