NT Writers’ Festival – Alice Springs


The NT Writers’ Festival returned to Alice Springs this year and ran from 18-21 May, on the cusp of the desert winter.

In 2017 storytellers, songwomen and writers came together under the theme Crossings | Iwerre-atherre.

Home to the Arrernte people, Alice Springs or Mparntwe is set against the breathtaking backdrop of the McDonnell Ranges, that carry the stories of giant caterpillar ancestors. Alice Springs is also a place of crossings – story, language, culture, knowledge systems. Here we are reminded daily that this is a storied landscape, and all stories, all writing, is written across and comes into conversation with country.

In Arrernte, the local Indigenous language, iwerre-atherre means two roads meeting, neither blocking nor erasing the other; two-way learning or travelling together.

Thanks for joining us for this exploration of all kinds of crossings – linguistic, cultural and geographic; borders and boundaries; migrations, movements and diasporas.

Dani Powell
2017 Festival Director



Previous Festivals

Since 1998 the NT Writers’ Centre has presented the NT Writers’ Festival annually, alternating between Darwin (Wordstorm) and Alice Springs.

With a thousand miles between locations, the festival shifts from the tropics to the desert, from wet to dry, from coastal to inlandfrom Larrakia to Arrernte country, creating a kind of contrasting tone or character between festivals which reflects something of the diversity – environmental, cultural and social – of the Northern Territory itself.

The Festival is unique in Australia for profiling Indigenous Australian, South-East Asian, and Northern Territory voices.


Here is what people have to say about the NT Writer’s Festival:

There are few writers’ festivals in Australia that I would argue are unique – that mould into the landscape and cannot exist anywhere else – but this is the exact nature of the Eye of the Storm Festival.

By far one of the greatest festivals I have ever attended as both a writer and punter…such a range of voices, stories and contributors – a true reflection of the literary and creative community in Australia.

I have been to quite a few writers’ festivals, but this one made the deepest impression by far.