Ubud Writers Festival, Southeast Asia’s largest literary event

Ubud Writers & Readers Festival 2015
Ubud Writers & Readers Festival 2015

For literary and book enthusiasts, there’s no better time to visit Bali than for the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival, Southeast Asia’s largest and most exciting literary event. This year’s festival is scheduled to run from October 28 to November 1.

Last year, this event attracting over 26,000 literature-lovers. “It’s not the most popular in terms of audience size but among the authors it’s kind of a darling of the festivals because it’s a really lovely experience,” said Janet De Neefe, UWRF founder. But her idea –when initiated this event twelve years ago– is clear: she wanted to “reclaim” Bali from the terrorists and celebrate the world of ideas.

The festival itself is named ‘one of the six best literary festivals in the world!’ by Harper’s Bazaar UK.

One of the most popular travel blogs in Asia, Travelfish, described UWRF as “Southeast Asia’s literary event of the year“. Check-out the blog’s suggestions for getting the most out of the festival, which can be a very intense, fast moving four days and nights of panels, events and fun.

If you are keen, you can secure your spot at Southeast Asia’s largest and most exciting event here!

The UWRF has announced their First Release of writers, thinkers and artists:


Anchee Min

Anchee Min is the author of eight books including the memoirs Red Azalea and The Cooked Seed and historical novels Becoming Madam Mao, Empress Orchid..


Andreas Harsono

With a passion for human rights issues spanning religious violence, freedom of expression and Papua, this journalist also wrote the anthology Journalism is My ‘Religion’.


Chigozie Obioma

Chigozie Obioma was born in Nigeria. A recipient of Hopwood awards in fiction and poetry, his works have appeared in Virginia Quarterly Review and Transition.


Eka Kurniawan

This author of eight published books – several of which have been translated into foreign languages, including the forthcoming Beauty is a Wound and Man Tiger.

Web_Emily Bitto

Emily Bitto

Emily Bitto’s debut novel, The Strays, won the 2015 Stella Prize for women’s writing. Emily lives in Melbourne where she runs a bar called Heartattack and Vine.


Galuh Wandita

Together with the East Timorese community, Galuh has worked extensively on humanitarian issues in the region, going on to key appointments at the Timor-Leste truth commission…

Web_Graeme Simsion

Graeme Simison

Graeme Simison is a Melbourne-based writer. His first novel, The Rosie Project began life as a screenplay before being adapted into a novel.

Web_Hyeonseo Lee

Hyeonseo Lee

Hyeonseo Lee is a North Korean defector living in Seoul, South Korea. She recently published her memoir, The Girl With Seven Names, in numerous countries throughout the world.


Linda Christanty

This author and journalist received the Southeast Asian Writers Award in 2013, and has penned Maria Pinto’s Flying Horse, Selma’s Secret, Don’t Write That We Are Terrorists

Web_Mazin Qumsiyeh

Mazin Qumsiyeh

Professor Qumsiyeh teaches and conducts research at Bethlehem and Birzeit Universities and is director of the main clinical cytogenetics laboratory.


Mohsin Hamid

Mohsin Hamid is the author of three award-winning novels, Moth Smoke, The Reluctant Fundamentalist, and How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia.

Web_Nam Le

Nam Le

Born in Vietnam and raised in Australia, Le’s collection The Boat was translated into 14 languages and received over a dozen awards.


Nia Dinata

Born in Jakarta, and studying in Pennsylvania and New York, Nia has since worked on various projects, mostly for TV.


Okky Madasari

Founder of the ASEAN Literary Festival, Okky’s 2012 novel Maryam revolved around people who are displaced due to their beliefs.


Putu Oka Sukanta

Putu Oka Sukanta, born in Bali in 1939, is a writer and editor of fiction and non-fiction. He has written novels, poetry, collections of stories.


Raj Kamal Jha

Raj Kamal Jha is Chief Editor of The Indian Express which has won the International Press Institute’s India Award for Excellence in Journalism three times.


Seno Gumira Ajidarma

Seno’s works reflect the undying rebel in his heart, tackling political oppression and state-sponsored violence, a dangerous taboo during the New Order regime.

Web_Sofie Laguna

Sofie Laguna

Sofie Laguna is an award-winning author for children and adults. Her many books have been published throughout the US, the UK and in translation throughout Europe and Asia.


The Wheelers

Tony and Maureen Wheeler founded Lonely Planet Publications in 1973, after having travelled overland from Europe to Asia and arriving home with 27 cents to spare.

Web_Valeria Luiselli

Valeria Luiselli

Valeria Luiselli was born in Mexico and grew up in South Africa. She is the author of the internationally acclaimed novel Faces in the Crowd.


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