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Ubud Writers and Readers Festival 2021

October 8, 2021 - October 17, 2021

Ubud Writers and Readers Festival, Bali

The Ubud Writers and Readers Festival (often called the Ubud Writers Festival), one of the best literary festivals in the world, is held in the central Bali town of Ubud in October and will celebrate what has become Southeast Asia’s leading festival of words and ideas.

A yearly pilgrimage for word lovers worldwide, the Ubud Writers Festival transcends cultural and physical borders, inviting both artists and audiences to enjoy and participate in public discussions, intimate literary lunches, live performances and hands-on workshops where budding writers can learn new skills and get feedback from experts.

This year’s festival will be held both on and offline and will include the award-winning Scottish writer Cal Flyn, Indonesian poet Joko Pinurbo, and Palestinian journalist Mohammed Moussa.

Ubud Writers and Readers Festival, Bali
An author’s favourite pastime: signing books. Photo credit Wayan Martino

What to expect at the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival 2021

The theme of this year’s edition is “Mulat Sarira”, meaning self-reflection.

“We have been shaped by a new normal and, with it, human values of care, co- operation and compassion have been brought to the forefront, while we are left contemplating to which parts of normal do we wish to return?” says Janet DeNeefe, UWRF Founder and Director.

“The theme invites compelling conversations from literary luminaries, emerging writers, activists, acaDrawn from a Balinese-Hindu philosophy, Mulat Sarira is the spiritual principle of examining one’s actions, thoughts, and values to ultimately build the deepest sense of self-understanding and interconnectedness in pursuit of Dharma, the Truth. demics and journalists, to discuss the importance of self-reflection and how the power of storytelling can connect us across cultures.”

Ubud Writers and Readers Festival, Bali
One of many live music events at the festival. Photo credit Stanny Angga

Held with a strict COVID-19 health protocol and with social-distancing measures throughout, the 18th UWRF will feature celebrate national and international writers, and emerging artists and activists.

For more on this town in Central Bali, check out our Things to Do in Ubud: a Town Hiding in Plain Sight.

The Ubud Writers and Readers Festival has been named by the UK newspaper The Telegraph as one of this year’s five best literary events.

Ubud Writers Festival 2021 Lineup

A full list of speakers can be found here.

Anuradna Roy, UWRF, Bali
Anuradha Roy presenting her book. Photo credit Wirasathya Darmaja
Ubud Writers and Readers Festival, Bali
Leisurely book browsing at the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival. Photo credit Anggara Mahendra

Ubud Writers and Readers Festival origins

Brainchild of Australian-born Janet DeNeefe, the Ubud Writers Festival grew out of a healing project in response to the 2002 Bali bombings. Wanting the world to see that Bali could move on after the bombings, DeNeefe set off to develop the festival which, after starting small in 2004, has now evolved into one of the world’s most celebrated literary and artistic events.

Ubud Writers Festival: Emerging Writers

Emerging Indonesian writers will also be presented in an anthology offering visitors a unique insight into Indonesian language, culture, history and mythology. Click here for details of the Emerging Writers Program.

UWRF, Bali
Attending talks at one of the festival’s cosy venues. Photo credit Wayan Martino

Accommodation in Ubud and Flights

To find the best accommodation in Ubud and worldwide flights, please search via our comparison engine, which scans all the major booking sites.

Further information on the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival 2019

For details of ticket prices and purchases, venue location, how to get there and other festival details, visit the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival 2021 website.

Cover photo credit: Agung Abi



October 8, 2021
October 17, 2021
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Various venues in Ubud
Ubud, Bali,Indonesia
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