UWRF18 Recap


A couple of weeks ago I posted about my trip to Bali to take part in the 15th Ubud Writers & Readers Festival. (Read that post HERE).

Now I’m home and after two incredible weeks, I want to recap on the festival and what I gained from it.

The festival ran over four days, the 24th-28th of October. It was held in Ubud, a beautiful area in Bali surrounded by nature. The festival blended Indonesian and Western culture and writing into a diverse and exciting festival program. There were so many events to choose from. The range was wonderful because it allowed you to remain engaged. I enjoyed the mix of writing and social based panels.

I was so excited to hear Isobelle Carmody and Clementine Ford speak. Over the four days, I was introduced to many other incredible authors and was so happy to be surrounded by especially talented female creatives.

Here’s a quick recap of some of my favourite panels from the Ubud Writers & Readers Festival 2018.

Fantastical Realms:

FT: Kadek Sonia Piscayanti, Norman Erikson Pasaribu, Kris Da Somerpes, Avianti Armand & Aan Mansyur.

This panel was about poetry and the ‘creation stories of the realms inside’ the poet’s mind.
I really loved hearing these writers speak about confronting opinions and questions and unravelling them through their work. I especially liked what Norman Erikson Pasaribu said about writing being a way of ‘resisting the assumption held by people’. They also spoke on writing as a way of finding home which really resonated with me.


FT: Hera Diani, Tishani Doshi, Clementine Ford, Saras Dewi & Eliza Vitri Handayani.

This talk was one of many incredible and empowering all-female panels. It was fascinating to hear women from all different walks of life discuss the impact of the #METOO movement on them and their culture. They discussed how important it is to change the language surrounding violence against women and making space for women’s genius.

In Praise of Slow:

Kirsti Melville, Christine Bader, Jill Stark, Kamin Mohammadi & Tishani Doshi.

One of my favourite talks. This one resonated with me so much because of where I am in my life right now. Hearing these successful women discuss the dangerous side of success was really interesting for someone who is ambitious and aiming for success like I am. This panel was all about self-care, taking time to live life, be in the moment, instead of pushing for the future. A wonderful reminder to find beauty in the everyday and remember that you can’t live in a ‘constant crescendo’.

Serial Storytellers:

Norman Ince, Tiffany Tsao, Isobelle Carmody & Dee Lestari.

Don’t give in to the idea of ‘writer’s block’. I needed this reminder. I so easily hit a wall with my writing and I found it surprisingly handy to be told by the successful authors to ignore that feeling and push through. Also allowing yourself time to step away from your work to find a new perspective. I got so much out of this panel and it was very exciting to get to see Isobelle Carmody speak. I even plucked up the courage to go and speak with her afterwards and get her autograph!


UWRF18 was all I had wanted and a little more. I really gained a lot from the experience and it was just so inspiring to be around other creative people. There is a lot I can take away from this trip and I know it will benefit my writing.

If you are thinking of planning a holiday for next year, I would definitely recommend you research the 2019 festival!

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