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Ubud Writers & Readers Festival 2013 (11 – 15 October)

This year the Ubud Writers & Readers Festival brings with it the spirit of coming home, pulling together the best Indonesian, South East Asian and international voices as it celebrates its 10-year anniversary from 11-15 October.

This October, the Festival will welcome more than 180 brilliant writers, performers, artists, musicians and visionaries to the magical setting of Ubud, to speak across all forms of storytelling – from travel writing to songwriting, plays, poetry, comedy and graphic novels.

Joining the line-up – and in his first Festival appearance in the region ­– is bestselling UK authorSebastian Faulks (Birdsong, A Possible Life), Lionel Shriver (We Need to Talk about Kevin), publishing entrepreneur and Lonely Planet co-founder Tony Wheeler, legendary Australian cartoonist Michael Leunig will make an appearance and Festival favourite Richard Flanagan will return. The Festival will also welcome 2013 Man Booker long-listed authors Ruth Ozeki (A Tale for the Time Being) and Tash Aw (Five Star Billionaire) as well as India’s ‘first literary popstar’ Amish Tripathi. Other international guests include David Vann (Legend of a Suicide), two-time Miles Franklin winner Kim Scott (That Deadman Dance), American talent Nami Mun, and one of France’s most prolific writers Alain Mabanckou.

These international names will be joined by a world-class line-up of Indonesia’s finest and most successful writers and thinkers. Preeminent Indonesian poet and man-of-letters Goenawan Mohamad, award-winning writer Ayu Utami, bestselling writer and celebrity singer Dewi Lestari, celebrated filmmaker Garin NugrohoLaksmi PamuntjakAhmad Fuadi and more than 45 others ensures the 2013 Festival represents the best of Indonesian literature.

In 2013 the Festival will honour Indonesia’s women’s rights pioneer R.A Kartini with its theme ‘Through Darkness to Light / Habis Gelap Terbitlah Terang’. Taken from the title of a book of letters that Kartini wrote before her death in 1904 and which formed an important basis of the women’s liberation movement in Indonesia, the theme is also a fitting way to commemorate how far the Festival – and Bali – has come in the past 10 years.

The 2013 Festival will also celebrate dangerous ideas and the lengths that writers are prepared to go for their beliefs. Mexican journalist Lydia Cacho is an internationally awarded writer who has endured torture, rape and incarceration for exposing politicians involved in international child sex-trafficking networks. Together with Egypt’s progressive female thinker Mona Princeand Indonesia’s leading expert on the jihadi movement, Solahudin, these writers join with former Sinn Féin director of publicity Danny Morrison in what is sure to be a compelling session about dangerous ideas and how to communicate them.

Along with the 75 panel discussions of the main program held daily at the Festival’s three main venues, more than 40 other venues across Ubud will play host to special events.  The full program will see 18 book launches, 15 literary workshops, 16 special events and 6 film screenings, including an exclusive preview of the new film JALANAN, a raw and often shocking portrait of Indonesia’s capital city. Free children’s and youth programs including a special workshop with bestselling children’s book writer Morris Gleitzman ­will engage visitors of all ages.

Over the five days and nights, Ubud will come alive with a live music and performances, food and art markets and parties that run late into the night. Special highlights will include a tribute night to Kartini, the now infamous UWRF Poetry Slam, a new Twilight Festival with music and drinks overlooking Ubud’s stunning panoramas, The Kitchen with daily cooking demonstrations from Indonesia’s top chefs, a Street Party showcasing Balinese dance and music, and the freeClosing Night Party at Blanco Renaissance Museum.

Expect fascinating cross-cultural conversations, high profile international authors, and the opportunity to discover new and exciting local voices at this year’s Ubud Writers & Readers Festival.

The full program, with all guest speakers and session details is launched today, 13 August – view full program online here.

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