NTWF 2024 – Lineup Reveal

We are thrilled to reveal our second lineup announcement for the 2024 NT Writers Festival! Julia Baird, Julie Janson, Dan Box and Debra Dank are heading to Darwin this year to discuss their work and share insights around the festival themes of reverberations.

Julia Baird is an author and journalist, well-known as former co-host of ABC’s The Drum. She writes columns for the Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and the ABC, and is the author of a number of acclaimed books, including the multi-award-winning international bestseller, Phosphorescence. Her latest book, Bright Shining, examines the role of grace in the modern world and has been shortlisted for the Australian Book Industry Award (ABIA) for Non-Fiction Book of the Year.

Julie Janson is a Burruberongal woman of the Darug Aboriginal nation. A playwright, novelist and poet, her plays have been produced at various theatres, including Adelaide Festival Centre and Sydney Opera House Studio. She is the author of a number of acclaimed novels, including Indigenous crime novel, Madukka the River Serpent, and the historical fiction, Benevolence. Her latest novel, Compassion, is the sequel to Benevolence, and tells the life story of one her ancestors, who was put on trial for stealing livestock.

Dan Box is a Walkley Award-winning journalist and bestselling author. He has won awards in both the UK and Australia, including for investigative reporting, feature writing and true crime writing. His latest book, The Man Who Wasn’t There, delves into the case of Zak Grieve, and probes systemic issues around racism, the media and the criminal justice system in the Northern Territory.


Debra Dank is a Gudanji/Wakaja woman whose luminous literary debut, We Come With This Place, won an unprecedented four awards at the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards. We Come With This Place weaves together stories from Debra’s life growing up in Gundanji and Wakaja Country in the NT with the voices and presence of ancestors, family and Country. An educator, Debra holds a PhD in Narrative Theory and Semiotics, and continues to experience the privilege of living with country and with family.


Tyson Yunkaporta, Charlotte Wood, Benjamin Law and Shankari Chandran are among the brilliant artists and storytellers joining us at this year’s NT Writers Festival to explore the theme of reverberations.

Author, scholar, educator, thinker, maker (traditional wood carving), researcher and poet, Tyson Yunkaporta is a member of the Apalech Clan in far north Queensland, and founder of the Indigenous Knowledge Systems Lab at Deakin University. His remarkable books, Sand Talk and Wrong Story, Right Story, apply Indigenous methods of inquiry to complex issues and global crises.


One of the country’s most critically acclaimed writers, Charlotte Wood is the author of ten books – seven novels and three nonfiction works. She has won the Stella Prize and the Prime Minister’s Literary Award, among others. Her latest novel, Stone Yard Devotional, is a moving and meditative exploration of grief, forgiveness and the possibility of solace in a time of looming climate catastrophe.


Benjamin Law is an author, TV and radio broadcaster, screenwriter, and producer. His hugely popular memoir, The Family Law, was made into an award-winning TV series, of which he was the creator and co-writer of three seasons. Other books include Gaysia and Growing Up Queer in Australia (as editor). He is co-creator, co-executive producer and co-writer of the Netflix comedy-drama Wellmania and playwright of the sold-out Torch the Place (Melbourne Theatre Company).


Shankari Chandran is the author of Song of the Sun God, The Barrier and, most recently, Chai Time at Cinnamon Gardens. A moving story about family, memory and the communities we create, as well as a searing exploration of the consequences of racism, Chai Time at Cinnamon Gardens won the 2023 Miles Franklin Literary Award. Her forthcoming novel, Safe Haven, will be published in May. Shankari will appear at the festival via videolink.


The full NTWF line-up will be revealed at our Program Launch on Thu 9 May. Stay tuned for more exciting announcements and to learn when early bird passes go on sale.

Image credit: Alex Vaughen (Julia Baird); James Henry (Tyson Yunkaporta); Carly Early (Charlotte Wood); Saskia Wilson (Benjamin Law).