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Julia Gillard in Newcastle

Join the Newcastle Writers Festival's first live event of 2021 on 13 February featuring former prime minister Julia Gillard, who will discuss her most recent book Women and Leadership: Real Lives, Real Lessons, co-written with economist Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. Women and Leadership is a lively and readable analysis of the influence of gender on women’s access to positions of leadership, the perceptions of them as leaders, the trajectory of their leadership and the circumstances in which it comes to an end.


The Hon Julia Gillard AC will discuss the lessons that can be learned from women leaders as well as an agenda for change that allows women to take control and combat gender bias.

The conversation will be hosted by Newcastle Writers Festival director Rosemarie Milsomand will be part of City of Newcastle's arts festival NEW ANNUAL. The event will be held from 6pm in The Arena NEX. All health guidelines will be followed. Tickets are $30 (plus fees and charges).

There is a chance that more tickets will be available to our special event with Julia Gillard on Saturday, 13 February, at 6pm. The NSW Premier is likely to ease covid restrictions for indoor venues next week. We encourage you to join the waitlist as there may only be 24 hours' notice. You will receive a direct offer if seats become available.

2021 program submissions now open

Are you an established or emerging writer? Do you have a new book on the way? Are you keen to host a masterclass or present a reading? The Festival is now accepting submissions for the 2021 program. We welcome ideas from Hunter Region writers as well those from further afield and please consider that we have additional opportunities to participate this year thanks to Create NSW funding. You may want to be part of the Stories to You podcast series from March, or the Emerging Writers Program in June.

  • Take the time to read through previous programs, which are available on the website. Make sure your idea hasn’t already featured and note the type of sessions in the program.

  • Keep your proposal succinct and please include details about your location and that of other featured writers (if there are any).

To submit a proposal, please complete our straightforward online form between 11 January and 22 February. If you require assistance to complete your submission, please email

Join the NWF Team

Newcastle Writers Festival is thrilled to have received Create NSW funding to appoint three guest curators in 2021: First Nations Curator; Poetry Curator; and an Emerging Curator. There is scope for the successful applicants to shape the Stories to You podcast series, the inaugural emerging writers program, and the main festival program in September. We look forward to introducing more artistic voices to our audience. Expressions of Interest are being accepted until 5pm, 26 February. Role descriptions and details about how to apply are available - click here.


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