NT Writers Festival


Bringing people together to share story, language and culture, NT Writers Festival is a four-day festival shaped by place, that speaks to and from the heart of Australia and the Northern Territory.


The festival, whilst annual, is held alternately in Darwin and Alice Springs. With a thousand miles between locations, the festival shifts from the tropics to the desert, from coastal to inland, from Larrakia to Arrernte country, creating a character which reflects the diversity – environmental, cultural and social – of the Northern Territory itself.


Northern Territory Writers’ Centre acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we work, meet and live across the Northern Territory.  We recognise Australia’s First Nations people as the first and rightful storytellers and keepers of knowledge of our land and pay our respects to elders –  past, present and emerging.


NT Writers Festival – Darwin takes place 14-17 May 2020. Our schools’ program runs May 18-22.

The theme of the 2020 festival is: Gunamidirra garawa birditj or when the tides turn.

Gunamidirra garawa birditj, Larrakia for when the tides turn explores our moments of change. In Gulumerrdjin, Larrakia country, the sea and rivers reach onto the land. Places flux with cycles of monsoon and dry. How are we made and remade? What can we change and what do we hold on to? How do we hold loss alongside possibility? In 2020, join writers and storytellers for a four-day celebration of books, language and stories asking us to consider the marks we leave behind, and how we face and create change.

Thanks to Bilawara Lee, the Larrakia elder who assisted with the language.

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The perfect small festival…exactly the right atmosphere to explore big and complex ideas in the company of generous minds. All in a location reminding us that stories are the foundation of every civilisation.’ Morris Gleitzman

‘There are few writers’ festivals in Australia that I would argue are unique – that mould into the landscape and cannot exist anywhere else – but this is the exact nature of the NT Writers’ Festival.’ Michael Mohammed Ahmad

‘I have been to quite a few writers’ festivals, but this one made the deepest impression by far.’ Arnold Zable