Michael Williams

Artistic Director, Sydney Writers Festival

Michael Williams is Artistic Director of Sydney Writers’ Festival. He spent the preceding decade at the Wheeler Centre for Books, Writing and Ideas in Melbourne; as its founding Head of Programming in 2009, and then as its Director from September 2011. A regular host and interviewer for literary and ideas events around Australia his background is in publishing and broadcasting. He has hosted two shows on ABC Radio National – Blueprint for Living (2015-2016) and Talkfest (2017-2018) – was a regular on ABC TV’s The Book Club, and remains a regular guest on ABC radio and TV. Michael has also worked as a Breakfast presenter for Melbourne’s 3RRR, as a member of the Australia Council’s Literature Board, in publishing in Australia and New York, and has written extensively for The Guardian, The Age, Sydney Morning Herald and elsewhere. He is currently also host of Guardian Australia’s monthly book club. He has been part of the Melbourne Prize’s Literature judging panel since 2009.

Alice Pung


Alice Pung is an Australian writer whose award-winning books include Unpolished Gem, Laurinda and Her Father’s Daughter. Her latest book is One Hundred Days.

She is the current Artist in Residence at Janet Clarke Hall, the University of Melbourne.

She also writes for all major publications including The Age, Good Weekend, The Monthly and Saturday Paper.

Declan Fry


Born on Wongatha country in Kalgoorlie, Declan Fry has written for The Guardian, Saturday Paper, Overland, Liminal, Australian Book Review, Cordite, Kill Your Darlings, Westerly and elsewhere. His Meanjin Quarterly essay ‘Justice for Elijah: A Spiritual Dialogue With Ziggy Ramo, Dancing’ received the Peter Blazey Fellowship. He has been the recipient of a Lord Mayor’s Creative Writing Award for memoir and shortlisted for the Judith Wright Poetry Prize. He is a graduate of UWA, where he studied European and Asian literature. He currently lives on unceded Wurundjeri country with his partner and their cat, Turnip.