Writing On Our Calendar / February 2024

Check out some of the wonderful literary events happening in Sydney and around NSW (and online) this February!

For our monthly Writing On Our Calendar feature, we bring you a round-up of literary events happening in Sydney and around NSW. Check out some of the first writing events and programs in 2024 this February! 

4 February: Brigid The Rebel Concert (Sydney)

This Prankqueans’ concert in Bondi Beach celebrates in music and spoken word the feisty spirit of Brigid the ancient Celtic Goddess and Ireand’s Matriarchal Saint. Stories, poetry, drama, music and song will introduce audiences to the indominatible spirit of an impressive list of Irish Australian women. Convict women as well as those who over time have championed political and social causes will inform an entertaining program of music, song, poetry and drama.

5 Feb: Povo Launch (Sydney)

Join Better Read Than Dead with Sweatshop Literacy Movement to celebrate the release of their new anthology Povo. Featuring presentations and performances by Adam Novaldy Anderson, Forever Tupou, Daniel Nour, Natalia Figueroa Barraso, Yasir Elgamil, Katie Shammas and Winnie Dunn.

5 Feb – 21 Jun: Online Feedback: Children’s Books with Aleesah Darlison (Online)

During this course, prolific children’s author Aleesah Darlison will provide professional feedback on your picture book or early reader/chapter book. Feedback will vary depending on each submission, but it may focus on areas such as storytelling, plot, structure, characterisation, theme or voice.

5 Feb – 21 Jun: Online Feedback: Poetry with Fiona Wright (Online)

Enrol to receive helpful feedback on your poetry from award-winning poet Fiona Wright in an online classroom environment over five months. Submit up to two poems once a month and receive tailored feedback.

5 Feb – 21 Jun: Online Feedback: Creative Non-Fiction with Lee Kofman (Online)

In this online writing course, author Lee Kofman will provide constructive critiques on your essays and creative non-fiction, enabling you to hone your skills over five months. If you’re ready to challenge yourself and develop your skills through constructive critique and independent work, this course is for you.

7 + 29 February: Bondi Literary Salon (Sydney)

Join the Bondi Literary Salon for their two February book clubs, hosted by Simon Pearce at Gertrude & Alice Café Bookstore. On 7 February they will be discussing Zadie Smith’s astonishingly accomplished first novel White Teeth, and on 29 February will discuss Ahmet Hamdi Tanpinar’s Turkish classic The Time Regulation Institute.

10 February: Voice in Contemporary Playwriting with Michelle Law (Inner West Sydney)

In this brand-new course, award-winning playwright and author Michelle Law will guide you through contemporary theatre works with practical exercises in text analysis and dialogue, helping you find and develop your own unique voice as a playwright.

10 February: A Fork in the Road Anthology Launch (Greater Sydney)

The fourth anthology of Writers Unleashed, A Fork in the Road, will be launched in Miranda. The anthology is published by the Fellowship of Australian Writers NSW, for the Sutherland Branch.

11 February: Peter Polites in Conversation (Canberra)

God Forgets About the Poor by Peter Polites is a nuanced, thoughtful and richly evoked portrait of a woman, and the migrant experience, written to Polites’ typically creative style and structure. See him in conversation with Nigel Featherstone.

12 February: BPS Grand Slam (Sydney)

Join Bankstown Poetry Slam at Town Hall for an evening of spectacular spoken word poetry. Get ready for some ground-shaking clicking and stomping as Bankstown Poetry Slam’s highest-scoring poets of the events held in 2023 go head-to-head in teams for two rounds of thrilling poetry and verse.

13 February: Shellharbour City Libraries Poetry Open Mic (Shellharbour)

Speak your truth at the Library Lovers Day edition of Shellharbour City Libraries’ Poetry Open Mic, featuring Rachael Williams. Pick up the mic and share your words and/or just sit back and listen as performers tell their stories, then prepare to be blown away by their feature poet, Rachael Williams. The Shellharbour City Libraries Poetry Open Mic is an ongoing event where beginners and seasoned performers can come together and share their poetry in a warm and welcoming environment.

13 February: West Side Poetry Slam (Western Sydney)

West Side Poetry Slam is a monthly hybrid open mic night where you can sign up on the night and perform an original piece of writing to open minds, hearts, and arms. Audience members score with a fun line of feedback and you could win a support feature slot at the next slam. Featuring Dai Moret and Had.

14 February: Susannah Fullerton presents Murder, Bloody Murder (Greater Sydney)

Crime fiction has become ever more popular. Why do we love to read of murder and see the villain caught? What it is about crime fiction that’s so intensely satisfying? Discover the top five crime writers and their works with Susannah Fullerton, leading authority on 19th and 20th-century writers, and find out why they are so good and why they have lasted, at Sutherland Library.

14 February: Reading Between the Lines: Cruising by William Friedkin (Inner West Sydney)

Reading Between the Lines is a series of monthly literary discussions led by special guest presenters from universities. Cruising is an infamous 1980 film flop about an undercover detective (Al Pacino) investigating the serial murders of gay men in New York’s leather scene. Protested by gay rights groups upon release, what can the film tell us 40 years later about the intersections of queer communities, policing, and safety?

15 February: Poetica Petit Poetry Night (Sydney)

Poetica in partnership with Woollahra Council hosts a special poetry night each month. This special night of words and music is a more intimate affair for attendees, with a different feature poet and musician each time. Poetica MC Miriam Hechtman will also interview the feature poet live about their craft and poetry life. There will also be an open mic section, with enthusiastic audience participation each time.

16 February: Rudy Francisco Live (Greater Western Sydney)

Rudy Francisco is one of the most recognisable names in international spoken word poetry. Rudy Francisco has shared stages with prominent artists such as Gladys Knight, Jordin Sparks, Musiq Soul Child, and Jill Scott, and is the author of Helium and I’ll Fly Away. He is also an Individual World Poetry Slam Champion, a National Poetry Slam Champion and appeared on NBC’s The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon. Rudy will be performing for an hour and signing books afterwards.

17 February: Introduction to Self-Publishing with Michael Winkler (Inner West Sydney)

More writers than ever before are exploring self-publishing as a viable method of getting their words out into the world. But what is the process of self-publishing your work, and how can you maximise the chances of it being seen? Michael Winkler, award-winning author of Grimmish—the first ever self-published book shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Award—will guide you through all you need to know for your next steps in self-publishing.

17 Feb – 18 May: MISC. Artist Program for LGTBQIA+ teens (Sydney)

Register for free arts practice workshops through a queer lens for LGTBQIA+ teens and their friends. From a queer choir to a draw’n’sip (alcohol free), deepen or pick up a new creative skill and make some authentic community connections along the way. Workshop participants are drawn from an expression of interest process for young artists seeking development and support.

17-25 February: Banjo Paterson Australian Poetry Festival (Orange)

Join the communities of Orange and Cabonne in Central West NSW for 9 days of bush poetry events for their annual Banjo Paterson Australian Poetry Festival. Banjo Paterson was born in Orange on 17 February 1864 and what more fitting way to celebrate than to gather the best bush poets from across Australia in competition, entertainment and storytelling.

18 February: Spoken Word Poetry Workshops (Sydney)

Discover the power of words and unleash your inner creative writing voice, in a series of empowering and inclusive creative writing and presentation workshops presented by Western Sydney’s Slam experts Bankstown Poetry Slam in collaboration with the iconic Sydney Opera House. Learn to share your stories and perspectives in a welcoming environment, leaning on experienced artists who will guide you to find your authentic voice through the power of slam poetry.

21-27 February: Research for Writers Eliza Henry-Jones (Online)

Feeling intimidated by the idea of researching your novel? Perhaps you’re delving into historical fiction for the first time, or you’re unsure of where to start finding out about your latest character’s unusual profession. Join this online course with author Eliza Henry-Jones to develop and enrich your research for writing skills. This course is packed with practical tips, examples, activities and resources that you’ll be able to utilise and adapt for countless future projects, both fiction and otherwise.

23 February: Not Another Poetry Slam (Inner West Sydney)

EnQueer presents NOT ANOTHER POETRY SLAM as part of the Big Gay Entree Festival at the Factory Theatre, Marrickville. The event will bring together a group of incredible poets, performance artists, spoken wordsmiths and writers to read their work in a slam that is touching, introspective, edgy and sexy. Lineup includes Sarah Jessica Carpark, Jazz Money, Luke Patterson, Paris Rosemont, and Omar Sakr, emceed by Michael Sun.

23 February: Lifeline’s Giant Book Fair (North Sydney)

On offer in the Civic Pavilion at the Chatswood Concourse over three enormous days will be more than 70,000 books in over 50 categories – including latest releases and classic fiction, art, architecture, study guides and texts for High and Primary schools, sci-fi, literature, history, travel and foreign languages, crafts and cookery for young and old, poetry, psychology, graphic novels, CDs and DVDs and an enormous number of other non-fiction favourites. They also have the usual fascinating array of special and collectable books.

23 February: Queerstories (Western Sydney)

Queerstories celebrates the culture and creativity of the LGBTQI+ community one true story at a time, each guest is invited to share the story they want to tell, but are never asked to; unexpected tales of pride, prejudice, resilience and resistance. Guest speakers include Sarah Carroll, Sepora, Jaycee Tanuvasa, Sam King, Alison Xinyi Guo and Rhian Mordaunt.

24 February: Sydney Muslim Writers Festival (Inner West Sydney)

This vibrant event serves as a dynamic platform for Muslim writers and thinkers to engage in compelling discussions, share their diverse experiences, and celebrate the flourishing literature within the Muslim community. The Sydney Muslim Writers’ Festival promises an inclusive experience for all lovers of books.

28 February: Inqueering Minds Book Club (Sydney)

Better Read’s Inqueering Minds Book Club will explore the beauty and complexity of LGBTQIA+ literature through time, meeting on the fourth Wednesday of each month. At their February meeting they will be discussing Insomniac City by Bill Hayes and Dykette by Jenny Fran Davis.

28 February: Author Talk with Karen Viggers (Wollongong)

Karen is the bestselling author of The Orchardist’s Daughter. Karen’s fifth book Sidelines examines the behaviour of parents on the sidelines of the sporting field. Karen Viggers is a writer, literary critic and the co-host of the podcast Secrets From the Green Room, which speaks with writers and bookish people about books and writing.

29 February: Enough Said Poetry Slam ft. Nicole Smede (Wollongong)

Enough Said Poetry Slam is a slamily where you can share your poems/words/stories/etc, listen to other people share theirs, click for your faves and maybe even win a prize. Their first slam of 2024 is both a leap-year slam AND an opportunity to indulge in some Valentine’s love poems, so get your notebooks out and share your poems or come along to enjoy the show. Their February featured poet is Nicole Smede.

29 February: Bread & Butter Poetry Slam (Inner West Sydney)

A poetry slam is an open mic for poetry where the points matter. Judges are randomly selected from the audience to determine their slam champion for each month. Bread & Butter Poetry Slam is the Inner West’s newest, most oven-fresh poetry night.

29 February: Books and Conversation with Suzie Miller (Inner West Sydney)

Celebrating books and readers, Petersham Bowling Club hosts a monthly series of in-depth and relaxed conversations with authors about their latest work, and their body of work, their writing process and the ideas that inspire them. See Michaela Kalowski interview Suzie Miller, contemporary international playwright, screenwriter and librettist.

More from Writing NSW

Check out our full range of writing courses in Sydney, our online writing courses and our feedback programs to see how we can help you on your creative writing journey. Find out about our grants and prizes, as well as writing groups across NSW, and sign up to our weekly newsletter for writing events, opportunities and giveaways.

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