Temples, rice fields and… writers? It may not be the first thing you think of when you think of Ubud, Bali’s cultural capital, but for the last 14 years the Ubud Writers & Readers Festival has brought the legends of the literary world into this lush little town. NOW! Jakarta readers can save 20% on 4-Day and 1-Day Main Program Passes by entering the code MPNJ17 at checkout.

As the festival grows each year, so does the list of world-renowned authors, artists and activists; here we present the highlights that will be descending on Bali from 25-29 October 2017.

With over 150 speakers from 31 countries, the range of interest the festival covers is incredibly broad. From Indonesia to Iran, Canada to South Korea, it truly is an international affair. This year, hailing from Scotland is acclaimed crime writer Ian Rankin, best known for his Inspector Rebus novels, as well as another one of the world’s best-loved authors, Jung Chang, whose family autobiography Wild Swans sold over 10 million copies (although it was banned in China). British writer, journalist and broadcaster Simon Winchester, known for the bestseller Krakatoa: The Day the World Exploded will be joining the line up, alongside Canada’s newest literary star Madeleine Thien, and Saroo Brierley, whose memoir was adapted into the blockbuster film Lion.

The festival celebrates local heroes as well; Indonesia’s most prominent authors and journalists such as Seno Gumira Ajidarma and Leila S. Chudori will once again take to the festival stage. One of the country’s most prolific and respected writers, as well as feminist icon, Nh. Dini will join the festival to share her wisdom.

The festival is a hub not only for lovers of books, but for those with a keen interest in current affairs. Tackling Southeast Asia’s most pressing concerns will be Andreas Harsono, who has covered Indonesia for Human Rights Watch since 2008; Putu Oka Sukanta, the recipient of the inaugural Herb Feith Foundation Human Rights Education Award; factory worker turned writer and social commentator Lijia Zhang and many more.

Another very hot topic in today’s geopolitics is climate change. Discussing this issue will be acclaimed climatologist, Tim Flannery, Head of the Climate Change Unit at the British Embassy Jakarta, Tom Owen Edmunds, and Robert Crocker, a researcher in the field of design for sustainability.

This is of course but a small selection of the festival’s many celebrated speakers – but it doesn’t stop there. The 5-day festival will feature poets, literary lunches, powerful performances and film screenings. The festival is one of the country’s best times for open dialogue, where ideas are traded and shared. It’s one event you should definitely book in your calendars.

For the full programme and ticket information go to www.ubudwritersfestival.com

NOW! Jakarta readers can save 20% on 4-Day and 1-Day Main Program Passes by entering the code MPNJ17 at checkout.

NOW! Jakarta

NOW! Jakarta

The article is produced by editorial team of NOW!Jakarta