Sydney Writers' Festival returns for 2021

Refugee and author Behrouz Boochani will be one of 400 speakers at the Sydney Writers' Festival.
Refugee and author Behrouz Boochani will be one of 400 speakers at the Sydney Writers' Festival.

An iconic young adult fiction author, a refugee, and a viral sensation are among the headline acts at the 2021 Sydney Writers' Festival.

The festival revealed its 2021 program on Friday, after it was hit by COVID-19 in 2020.

Fifteen overseas guests will join the festival by video, including Kurdish refugee and author Behrouz Boochani, who is now settled in New Zealand.

Judy Blume, the American author of dozens of beloved young adult fiction books, will also appear.

Audience members will hear from Jonathan Swan, the Australian reporter for US outlet Axios, who shot to prominence after confronting US President Donald Trump over his failed response to the pandemic in a viral interview.

Legendary Australian novelist and winner of two Booker Prizes, Peter Carey, will appear in a session called "The True History of Peter Carey".

Popular authors Rachel Cusk and Kazuo Ishiguro will also beam in, as will journalists Evan Osnos and Sue-Lin Wong, and international climate leader Christiana Figueres.

Miles Franklin Winners Tara June Yield and Melissa Lucashenko will speak with debut poet Evelyn Araluen at the festival's opening night address at inner-city venue Carriageworks.

The 23rd Sydney Writers' Festival runs from April 26 to May 2, with 231 events, 400 Australian-based speakers and 15 international writers.

The festival's theme is Within Reach.

"Literature brings ideas and flights of fancy within reach of our everyday life. Brilliant minds bring solutions and possibilities within reach of being realised," Artistic Director Michael Williams said in a statement.

"A festival brings us within reach of one another again."

Australian Associated Press