The organisers of Ubud Writers & Readers Festival (UWRF) have just announced the full line up of authors who will be speaking at the 12th festival which is due to be held from 28 October until 1 November in Bali’s cultural capital, charming Ubud. This year’s literary fest will play host to 160 of the world’s leading authors, thinkers, artists, advocates and social commentators, coming together from more than 25 countries across the globe.


Exploring the theme ’17,000 Islands of Imagination,’ the first glance at the festival programme includes intimate literary lunches, workshops, night parties, poetry slams and food tours, with more to be announced in the coming weeks.

Heading the line-up will be American literary giant and Pulitzer Prize laureate Michael Chabon, award-winning British foreign correspondent Christina Lamb, founders of the acclaimed Lonely Planet series Tony and Maureen Wheeler, and celebrated Pakistani author of How to get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia, Mohsin Hamid.

Hot names on the literary-award scene, the Festival will play host to recently long-listed for the Man Booker Prize for his novel The Fishermen Chigozie Obioma, winner of the 2015 Miles Franklin Award Sofie Laguna, and 2015 Stella Prize winner for her debut novel The Strays Emily Bitto.


Masters of merging the boundaries between fact and fiction are Nigerian-American author of the acclaimed novel Open City Teju Cole, contemporary Australian writer and historical commentator Drusilla Modjeska and experimental Mexican author of Faces in the Crowd Valeria Luiselli.

Not afraid to tackle the world’s big issues, South African philanthropist and daughter of Desmond Tutu, Mpho Tutu will also join the programme, along with Indonesian campaigner for Papuan social justice, Andreas Harsono, acclaimed novelist and editor of The Indian Express, Raj Kamal Jha, and Indonesian political journalist, Seno Gumira Ajidarma.

Bringing women’s voices to the forefront of the UWRF stage will be controversial writer on love and marriage in modern India, Ira Trivedi and the fiery Indonesian feminist, Ayu Utami.


Exploring the festival’s lighter side will be Australian comedian and one-half of the comedy duo Fear of a Brown Planet, Nazeem Hussain, co-writer of the popular New Zealand television series bro’Town, Oscar Kightley, and acclaimed Indonesian producer, director and stand-up comedian Raditya Dika.

Founder & Director of the not-for-profit Festival, Janet DeNeefe, said that whilst the UWRF might be held in Indonesia, it’s a platform for people from all walks of life to come together and discuss the topical issues that affect us all.

“In an increasingly frantic and globalised world, creating a space where we can meet, listen and learn with people is more important than ever before,” she said. “UWRF is immensely proud to be a platform for voices of all backgrounds, experiences and passions to come together and share their stories with the world”.

Tickets to the UWRF are now on sale via the website.

NOW Bali Editorial Team

NOW Bali Editorial Team

This article has been written or uploaded by NOW! Bali's in-house editorial team.