Truth Be Told: Adelaide Writers’ Week 2023

One of Australia’s premier literary festivals, and predominantly free, in 2023 Adelaide Writers’ Week runs from 4 – 9 March at the Pioneer Women’s Memorial Garden.

One of Australia’s premier literary festivals, and predominantly free, is the 2023 Adelaide Writers’ Week. A jam-packed week of panel sessions presented live in the gardens, and made available online via podcast. Offering both writers and readers a unique opportunity to spend time sharing ideas and literary explorations.

With over 100 Australian and international authors joining either in-person or live stream, confirmed authors include Australia’s Jane Harper, Shaun Micallef, Sally Hepworth and Peter FitzSimons; Ireland’s Dervla McTiernan and John Boyne; and the UK’s Alexander McCall Smith.

New Director Louise Adler says:

“The thread that weaves through the 2023 program of literary luminaries, writers on their way and novitiates is the notion of truth – truths we acknowledge, truths we feel are debatable and those beyond debate. The world has finally reopened, and we are discovering our social selves, our pleasure in gathering together. I can think of no better place to celebrate what we share and what we understand than Adelaide Writers’ Week. “

Free events include:

Kids’ Day – Saturday 4th March

Join us for a jam-packed program designed for the youngest of book readers, including free art workshops, storytelling, live performance, creative play and a 40th anniversary celebration of beloved author Mem Fox’s Possum Magic.

Middle Grade and YA Day – Sunday 5th March

Selected sessions for readers over 12 years include beloved authors Sean Williams, Tristan Bancks, Jared Thomas, Sarah Ayoub and more. The program also sees the return of Hear Me Roar! with performances from international and local poets. 

Insiders – Monday 6th March, 6:30pm

(Please note a change from the printed Adelaide Festival program: this event is now free and will be held at the Pioneer Women’s Memorial Garden at 6.30pm)

Join David Speers and a couch full of the country’s most astute analysts to dissect the week in politics at a special live Insiders event, including a live interview with SA Premier, Peter Malinauskas. 

Two special ticketed events take place at Adelaide Town Hall

A Celebration of the Life and Work of Tom Stoppard

Thursday 2 March, 7pm

Aged only 29 when his first major play, Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead, was staged at the National Theatre in 1967, Sir Tom Stoppard’s career has spanned over 50 years as one of the greatest playwrights of our age. 

Following the screening of a pre-recorded conversation between Stoppard and his biographer, Dame Hermione Lee, moderated by Professor Glyn Davis AC, the playwright will appear via livestream from London for a live conversation together with internationally acclaimed playwright Suzie Miller (Prima Facie) and multi award-winning theatre director Simon Phillips. 

Find out more here

David Hare Live

Sunday 5 March, 7:30pm

Sir David Hare is, in the words of The Washington Post, “the premier political dramatist writing in English”. He is a writer of conviction; his focus is on the ills of the world and he has long challenged audiences yearning for solace to think again about the world we live in. We are thrilled to have persuaded him to come to Adelaide Writers’ Week to read his powerful autobiographical monologue, Beat the Devil, originally performed in London by Ralph Fiennes.

Sir David will then be joined on stage by Australia’s Ironist-in-Chief Don Watson, whose latest book is The Passion of Private White and who has written the best-selling titles Recollections of a Bleeding Heart, Death Sentence and The Bush, for a conversation about the pleasures of writing about truth, lies and public lives.

Find out more here

Heather Rose

Sunday 5 March, 10:45am

West Stage

Award-winning novelist Heather Rose’s memoir, Nothing Bad Ever Happens Here, has a title that certainly piques readers’ interest, but the words between the covers reveal a deeply personal, confronting story quite different to what you might expect. The book contains meditations on grief, healing, love and creativity that follow the course of the author’s life. In conversation with Lenore Taylor, Editor of The Guardian Australia, Rose traces the threads that bind her childhood griefs to her adult writing life.

Find out more here

Richard Fidler

Saturday 4 March, 10:45am

East Stage

In The Book of Roads & Kingdoms, Richard Fidler charts the story of the medieval travellers who journeyed to the edges of the known world during Islam’s Golden Age, travelling through China, India, Africa and Byzantium. In conversation with Nicole Abadee, he talks about the flourishing cultural life of Imperial Baghdad, the literary accounts of its wanderers and the devastating fall of this dazzling lost world.

Find out more here

Sunday 5 March, 5pm

East Stage

Join Richard Fidler and Sarah Kanowski from ABC Radio’s Conversations for a reading confessional. Whether it’s airport novels, fan fiction, fantasy, or cookbooks, Fidler and Kanowski will encourage their panel of special guests to confront the brutal reality that is their reading life.

Find out more here

The free printed guide can be picked up at selected Adelaide libraries and bookshops, and is also available online

Adelaide Writers’ Week

4 – 9 March 2023

Pioneer Women’s Memorial Garden


  • Staff Writer

    Made up of a small, tight knit team of writers and contributors who are passionate about all things FIFTY+ and the New Age. We love Adelaide and wider South Australia and sharing with you all of the l...


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