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UNSW x Sydney Writers' Festival 2023

22 – 28 May 2023
7.00am – 11.00pm AEST
Sydney Writers Festival Logo
Explore events featuring UNSW academics and researchers!
Sydney Writers Festival Logo

Sydney Writers’ Festival will take place from 22–28 May 2023. With a massive program featuring 262 Australian speakers and 18 international speakers, experience a week of literary culture showcasing the best of public discourse as readers, writers and thinkers converge to share ideas, tell stories and celebrate books.  

UNSW Sydney is the exclusive university sponsor and proud Premier Partner of the Sydney Writers’ Festival. Featuring UNSW academics and researchers on Sydney Writers’ Festival stages, and events at the UNSW Kensington Campus, this partnership brings together a shared vision of creativity, curiosity and thought leadership. 

Explore the Sydney Writers’ Festival events featuring UNSW academics and researchers below, and don’t forget to register for the UNSW Kensington Campus event, Jenny Odell: Resisting the Attention Economy

Explore UNSW special offers here.


23 May 2.00pm 3.30pm
Sydney Writers' Festival | In Conversation with the Winners of the NSW Premier’s History Awards 2022.
24 May 6.30pm 7.45pm
Sydney Writers' Festival | In a world where our value is often determined by our productivity and busyness, doing nothing may be our most important form of resistance.
25 May 11.00am 11.45am
Sydney Writers' Festival | World-leading AI expert and Machines Behaving Badly author Toby Walsh delivers a Curiosity Lecture on the ethical considerations and unexpected consequences that new technologies pose in the world. 
25 – 28 May 12.00pm 4.30pm
Sydney Writers' Festival | Come and meet our festival guests as they unfold their beginnings in five-minute readings.
25 May 1.00pm 1.45pm
Sydney Writers' Festival | Author and English Professor Brigitta Olubas shares insight into Shirley Hazzard, her illuminating biography of one of Australia’s greatest ever novelists.
25 May 5.00pm 6.00pm
Sydney Writers' Festival | In the wake of flood, fire, plague and ChatGPT, Joëlle Gergis, Norman Swan, and Toby Walsh consider what shocks lie ahead and how we can prepare. With host Julianne Schultz.
26 May 11.00am 11.45am
Sydney Writers' Festival | When you have been navigating the world with an invisible disability like autism or ADHD, what does it mean to put a label on it?
26 May 1.00pm 1.45pm
Sydney Writers' Festival | World-leading epidemiologist Raina MacIntyre examines pandemics through the lens of history and how we can navigate the new frontiers of biosecurity.
26 May 7.30pm 8.30pm
Sydney Writers' Festival | Booker Prize-winning author Shehan Karunatilaka, acclaimed playwright S. Shakthidharan, and novelist Shankari Chandran discuss the ripple effects of the Sri Lankan Civil War in the cultural canon and their own storytelling with Roanna Gonsalves.
27 May 10.00am 11.00am
Sydney Writers' Festival | Comedian Tom Ballard, writer Alison Pennington team up to examine why Millennials and Gen Z are getting such a raw deal and what can be done about it, alongside economist Richard Holden. With host Jessica Irvine.
28 May 1.00pm 1.45pm
Sydney Writers' Festival | Professor of Psychology and author Ben Newell shares insights from his book Open Minded: Searching for Truth about the Unconscious Mind, upending commonly held notions about the human mind.
28 May 4.30pm 5.30pm
Sydney Writers' Festival | AI expert Toby Walsh and journalist Tracey Spicer tackle the big questions about living with AI with Erik Jensen.