Festival Program

City Program

Julia Baird and Trent Dalton: On Wonder

Thu 9 Sep, 8.30pm
Athenaeum Theatre

Due to COVID-19, this event has been cancelled.

Conserving a sense of wonder allows us to transcend the mundane, reminds us of our humanity and has even been linked to better health. In this highlight Festival event, two of Australia's most celebrated authors and journalists Julia Baird and Trent Dalton speak with Michael Williams about the role of wonder in their lives and where they seek and find it personally and professionally. Baird's Phosphorescence is a meditation on 'awe, wonder and things that sustain you when the world goes dark'. Dalton's All Our Shimmering Skies is 'a love letter to Australia and an ode to the art of looking up'.

Supported by ARA


1 hour


Event artists

Dr Julia Baird hosts The Drum on ABC and writes columns for The New York Times and The Sydney Morning Herald. Julia’s bestselling biography of Queen Victoria was published in several countries to critical acclaim. In 2020, she published the instant bestseller Phosphorescence, which won the ABIA Book of the Year.

Trent Dalton is a staff writer for the Weekend Australian Magazine. His debut novel, Boy Swallows Universe, broke records to become the fastest selling Australian debut novel ever and is currently being adapted for screen and stage. His second novel, All Our Shimmering Skies, became an instant number one bestseller when it was published in 2020.

Michael Williams is the artistic director of the Sydney Writers’ Festival and the former director of the Wheeler Centre.

More events like this one

City Program

Other Ways the World Could Be

Sun 12 Sep, 4pm
Cancelled Wishlist

ABC RN’s Paul Barclay speaks with Griffith Review’s, Hey, Utopia! contributors about the realities and revelations of our increasingly unreal times. Featuring writers Julian Meyrick, Kristen Rundle and David Threlfall.


Local Libraries: Fiona Murphy

Sun 12 Sep, 10.30am
CancelledFree Wishlist

Award–winning writer Fiona Murphy discusses her thoughtful debut The Shape of Sound, in which she delves into the cost of concealment and claiming her Deaf identity after 25 years of secrecy.

City Program

Dear Son

Sat 4 Sep, 10am
Cancelled Wishlist

Dear Son editor Thomas Mayor and contributor Jack Latimore speak to Shelley Ware about their contributions to the collection of letters written to sons, fathers and nephews in celebration of First Nations manhood.

Cancelled Wishlist

Three generations of Asian-Australian women doctors share their stories of navigating the medical system. Featuring Emotional Female author Yumiko Kadota, Melissa Kang and Melanie Cheng.