Sydney Writers' Festival officially kicks off tonight with an opening address by author Mohsin Hamid titled, "Life in the Time of Permawar". SWF may be held over just one week, but this annual festival gives us food for thought and matters to debate for months to come.
This year's festival features some of our most revered writers from around Australia and from overseas speaking on aspects of life and literature.
There is a program of talks on "curiosity", a program for children and young people and discussions on subjects such as the changing nature of publishing and how it affects what and how we read.
Last year we launched our Creative City policy and action plan, aimed at strengthening and enriching a uniquely "Sydney" culture. Sydney Writers Festival embodies many of the qualities we seek for our Creative City. In the excitement it creates, in the quality of its offerings and in its inclusive and accessible atmosphere.
That's why we are proud to be a long-term supporter of the festival. The City is flying Festival banners in Pitt Street Mall and has erected a giant billboard quoting Matt Haigh's wonderful words from "Reasons to Stay Alive". It's a great collaboration between the City, developers and the Festival and it's getting people talking.
I hope you'll head out to Walsh Bay, or one of the other festival venues around town - including Sydney Town Hall, City Recital Hall and our libraries - to delve into the happiness, surprise, grief and humour that great writing offers.
Click here for the full program: http://www.swf.org.au/