A brief roundup of writers festivals in the Asia-Pacific region (last updated 15 Sept 2018). Criteria for inclusion: proceedings must be mainly in English and the locale in the Asia-Pacific region — this includes the west coasts of the Americas, and the north and east coasts of Australia. Does not include comic, anime, zine or poetry festivals, nor book fairs. Where there are no details to hand for a festival, it is tentatively listed under the month it is usually held in.
Litquake, various dates, San Francisco, USA: a bunch of year-round events with an ‘epicenter’ happening in October. This year’s guests includes Amy Tan and Michael Chabon. Check out their calendar at www.litquake.org.
Byron Bay Writers Festival, 3 – 5 Aug, Australia. Watch: https://byronwritersfestival.com.
Cairns Tropical Writers Festival, 10 – 12 Aug, Australia. Watch http://www.cairnstropicalwritersfestival.com
Sunshine Coast Readers & Writers Festival, 12 – 13 Aug, Coolum Beach, Australia. Watch: http://www.sunshinecoastreadersandwritersfestival.com.
Mountain Echoes Literary Festival, 22 – 25 Aug, Thimphu, Bhutan. Watch http://www.mountainechoes.org
Brisbane Writers Festival, 6 – 9 Sep, Queensland, Australia. Watch https://bwf.org.au.
Pebble Beach Authors & Ideas Festival, 28 – 30 Sep, Carmel, California. A powerhouse of thinkers and commentators, ranging well beyond creative writing. Watch http://www.carmelauthors.com/
National Young Writers’ Festival, 23 – 30 Sep, Newcastle, Australia. Program due out now. Watch http://youngwritersfestival.org.
Litquake Festival, 11 – 20 Oct, San Francisco, USA. “Smart, eclectic, 76% free, ten-day gathering.” Luminaries include Ursula le Guin, Michael Chabon & Amy Tan. Program & tickets out now.. Watch www.litquake.org
Vancouver International Writers & Readers Festival, 15 – 22 Oct, Canada. Program and tickets available now. Big line-up includes popular author Jodi Picoult and thriller writer Michael Robotham. Watch http://www.writersfest.bc.ca
Ubud Writers and Readers Festival, 24 – 28 Oct, Bali, Indonesia. Theme: ‘Jagadhita‘ (The World We Create). Line-up of 160 includes Leila Chudori, Hanif Kureishi, Anuradha Roy, Michael Vatikiotis and Dee Lestari. Big leavening of Indonesian writers this time. Program out now & tickets available. Watch www.ubudwritersfestival.com
Bangalore Literature Festival, 27 – 28 Oct, Bengaluru, India. Their website is light-on for details, but you can register now. Watch http://bangaloreliteraturefestival.org
Kauai Writers Conference, 9 – 11 Nov, Kauai Island, Hawaii. Covers fiction, nonfiction, poetry, screenwriting & agent pitch sessions. Line-up includes Kristin Jannah & Scott Turow. You can register now. Program (“schedule”) is on their website. Watch http://www.kauaiwritersconference.com
Irrawaddy Literary Festival, Yangon, Myanmar. A new governing board was created in May, but no details yet of the next festival (2018’s was in Nov). Watch www.irrawaddylitfest.com
Singapore Writers Festival, 2 – 11 Nov. Program out now. Presenters mainly Singaporean, with a smattering of overseas writers. Watch www.singaporewritersfestival.com
Hong Kong International Literary Festival, 2 – 11 Nov, Tai Kwun arts & heritage site. Line-up includes Irvine Welsh and Ma Jian. Program out now. Early bird tickets available. Watch http://www.festival.org.hk/
Wollongong Writers Festival, 23 – 25 Nov, Australia. The theme, What feeds you?, questions what drives creativity and how artists energise themselves. Line-up is shaping up. Program due 28 September. Watch www.wollongongwritersfestival.com
George Town Literary Festival, 22 – 25 Nov, Penang, Malaysia. Theme: The state of freedom. Program details still to come. Watch www.georgetownlitfest.com
DECEMBER 2018: nuthin!
Fairway Galle Literary Festival, 16 – 20 Jan, Galle, Sri Lanka. No other details yet, but you can register. Watch https://galleliteraryfestival.com
ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival, 24 – 28 Jan, Diggi Palace, Rajasthani, India. General registration open now. Program due in 6 weeks. Watch http://jaipurliteraturefestival.org/
There are many other writers festivals throughout South Asia – see http://www.sangamhouse.org/literature-festivals-in-south-asia
San Francisco Writers Conference, 14 – 17 Feb, Hyatt Regency Embarcadero. Goal: “to help writers become published authors”. Keynoters include thriller/romance author Catherine Coulter and writers’ writer Jane Friedman (I recommend her newsletter). Watch http://sfwriters.org
Lahore Literary Festival, Pakistan. No details to hand about 2019 – was on 24-25 Feb last year. Watch http://www.lahorelitfest.com/about-llf
The Bookworm Literary Festival, Beijing, China. No details to hand for 2019. Watch http://bookwormfestival.com
Shanghai International Literary Festival, 14 – 27 March, China. No other details to hand. Watch http://www.m-restaurantgroup.com and click on ‘the M literary festival’.
Newcastle Writers Festival, 5 – 7 April, Australia. No other details to hand. Watch www.newcastlewritersfestival.org.au
Sydney Writers Festival, 29 April – 5 May, Australia. No other details to hand. Watch https://www.swf.org.au.
Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, USC campus, USA. No details to hand for 2019. Watch http://events.latimes.com/festivalofbooks/festival-schedule
Dunedin Writers & Readers Festival, New Zealand: “Probably early May”. No other details yet. Watch http://www.dunedinwritersfestival.co.nz
Auckland Writers & Readers Festival, 14 – 19 May, New Zealand. No other details to hand. Watch http://www.writersfestival.co.nz.
NT Writers Festival, 16 – 19 May, Alice Springs, Australia. No other details to hand. Watch http://www.ntwriters.com.au/
JUNE / JULY 2019: Apparently bibliophiles hibernate during this time.
NOTE: New Zealand Festival Writers & Readers Week, Wellington, is not on till March 2020. Watch https://www.festival.co.nz.