Over 400 authors, writers and performers flock to Sydney for a mammoth bundle of talks, signings, workshops and storytelling in May. Clear the diary for these top picks of this year’s program

Vince Gilligan: Breaking Bad

Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan is coming to Sydney to talk about the success of his show, and the importance of good writing. Thu May 1. SECOND SHOW ANNOUNCED

Bankstown Poetry Slam

Fancy yourself a poet? Join in the Bankstown Poetry Slam – Australia’s largest live spoken word competition where the audience becomes the judge. Tue May 20.

Tim Finn: White Cloud

New Zealand singer-songwriter Tim Finn (Crowded House and Split Enz) will perform White Cloud, a musing meditative performance about his family, identity and home. Wed May 21.

The Life and Times of Alice Walker

Best known for her Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Color Purple, Walker is an avid human rights defender who powerfully articulates her ideas through writing. Wed May 21.

Inua Ellams’ Black T-Shirt Collection

Combining spoken word and animation, Black T-Shirt Collection is a passionate fable that explores brotherhood, homophobia and capitalism. Wed May 21.

Eleanor Catton: The Luminaries

The 28-year-old author talks to Steven Gale about the intricate tale that won-over readers and critics worldwide. Thu May 22.

Celebrating the Fictional Woman

Novelist, journalist and short story writer Tara Moss presents The Fictional Woman, part memoir, part feminist essay. Thu May 22.

Festival Club

Stay up late with bedtime stories from the Sydney Story Factory, the Chaser's Empty Vessel and brand-new filth from Eddie Sharp's Erotic Fan Fiction. Thu May 22.

The Madonna-Whore and Other Fictions

Tracey Spicer leads an ensemble of powerful writers aiming to shed light on the labels attributed to women. Fri May 23.

Humour and Debauchery with a Few Manners in Between

Annabel Crabb uncovers humour and debauchery with comic Sandi Toksvig, writer Gary Shteyngart and author Irvine Welsh. Fri May 23.

Christos Tsiolkas: Class and Sport in Australia

Christos Tsiolkas opens up about the pressures of growing up in Australia. Fri May 23.

5 x 15

Five speakers tackle the art of unscripted storytelling in 15 minutes or less – including Emma Donoghue, the author of best-selling novel, Room. Sat May 24.

Cut & Paste

Drag kings, voodoo and a Twitter-request dance party... Playwrights, comics, musicians, poets and novelists are invited to test out their 10-minute ideas in front of spectators. Sat May 24.

Sarah Blasko and Brendan Cowell

Sarah Blasko is joining friend, playwright and actor Brendan Cowell in an exploration of each other's creative methods, inspirations and fears. Sun May 25.

Irvine Welsh: The Sex Lives of Siamese Twins

Irvine Welsh celebrates 21 years since Trainspotting first hit book shelves and he'll talk about the most bizarre, sado-masochistic folies à deux in his new novel The Sex Lives of Siamese Twins. Sun May 25.

MCA Zine Fair

Handmade street press of all shapes and sizes takes over the MCA’s Foundation Hall as part of Sydney Writers’ Festival. Thumb through works from local creatives and make one of your own. Sun May 25.

Where to stay
With talks and workshops all over the city you’ll want to stay in a central location – book into stylish and affordable Vibe Hotel Sydney, located between Townhall and Central station.

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