Ubud Writers and Readers Festival UWRF: Celebrating Literature and Ideas

Ubud Writers and Readers Festival UWRF: Celebrating Literature and Ideas

https://www.ubudwritersfestival.com/Ubud Writers and Readers Festival

The Ubud Writers and Readers Festival is an important literary event that celebrates literature, culture, and ideas from around the world. It provides a platform for writers and readers to engage with. it is an annual 4-day literary festival held every October in Ubud.

The highly expected Ubud Writers & Readers Festival (UWRF) returns for its 18th year, from October 8 to 17, 2021. The theme of the festival will be Mulat Sarira, which translates as self- reflection. Around conferences, readings, films, exchanges, the festival will explore self-reflection, cultural introspection and human rights: examining who we are, what unites and divides us, and what motivates our actions.

The festival features a range of events such as book launches, panel discussions, poetry readings, writing workshops, and cultural performances. The event is held in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia, and has become one of the biggest literary events in Southeast Asia.

Ubud Writers & Readers Festival 2022 4
Ubud Writers & Readers Festival 2022. Yayasan Mudra Swari Saraswati, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Future dates Ubud Writers and Readers Festival (UWRF)

Here are the future dates for the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival:

  • 27-30 October 2022
  • 18-22 October 2023
  • 16-20 October 2024


The Ubud Writers & Readers Festival is held at various venues in and around Ubud, Bali, Indonesia. The festival does not have a specific address as it takes place at different locations throughout the town. However, you can find more information about the festival, including the schedule and the venues, on their official website.



Mobile: +62 812 4683 8459
Land line: +62 361 977408



  • For Ticketing enquiries: ticketing@ubudwritersfestival.com
  • For Media enquires: press@yayasansaraswati.org
  • For Partnership Requests: partnership@yayasansaraswati.org
  • For general Inquiries: info@ubudwritersfestival.com

Ubud Writers & Readers Festival
Taman Baca, Jl. Raya Sanggingan
Ubud, Bali, Indonesia 80571

History of the UWRF

The idea for the UWRF was conceived by Janet DeNeefe, an Australian writer and restaurateur who had been living in Ubud for several years.

DeNeefe recognized the potential for a literary festival in Ubud, which was already a popular destination for artists, writers, and other creative types. With the help of a small team of volunteers, DeNeefe launched the first Ubud Writers & Readers Festival in 2004.

The festival has since become one of the most highly anticipated cultural events in Bali, attracting thousands of visitors each year.

Highlights of the UWRF

The Ubud Writers & Readers Festival features a wide range of events, including author talks, panel discussions, writing workshops, book launches, film screenings, and more. Some of the highlights of the festival include:

Main Program

The main program features a lineup of established and emerging writers from Indonesia and around the world. They participate in panel discussions, readings, and interviews, providing insights into their work and the issues they explore.

Emerging Writers Program

The Emerging Writers Program is designed to support and showcase the work of up-and-coming writers from Southeast Asia and beyond. It includes writing workshops, mentoring sessions, and opportunities to present their work to a wider audience.

Food and Literary Events

As a renowned restaurateur, Janet DeNeefe has also incorporated food into the festival. The festival includes culinary events such as cooking demonstrations, food tastings, and literary-themed dinners.

Read also: Balinese food and specialties | Emblematic dishes not to be missed under any circumstances during your stay (Best Local Cuisine)

Fringe Events

The Fringe Events are an important part of the festival, featuring a wide range of cultural and creative events throughout Ubud. These events include art exhibitions, film screenings, music performances, and more.

Author talks

Visitors can hear from some of the most acclaimed writers and thinkers of our time, including Margaret Atwood, Hanif Kureishi, Salman Rushdie, and more.


The festival offers a variety of writing workshops for aspiring writers and poets, as well as workshops on other topics such as journalism, publishing, and translation.

Cultural events

The UWRF is a celebration of Balinese culture as well as international literature, and visitors can enjoy traditional dance performances, music concerts, and other cultural events throughout the festival.

Book launches

The UWRF is a great opportunity to discover new books and authors, and visitors can attend book launches and signings by both local and international authors.

Importance of the UWRF

The Ubud Writers & Readers Festival is an important event for several reasons. First, it provides a platform for writers and thinkers to share their ideas, experiences, and stories with a diverse audience. The festival also fosters cross-cultural dialogue and understanding, as writers and readers from different countries and backgrounds come together to explore common themes and issues.

The UWRF also has an important role to play in promoting literacy and education. Through its workshops and other events, the festival inspires and empowers aspiring writers and readers, and encourages a love of learning and creativity.

Finally, the UWRF is a significant contributor to the local economy in Ubud and Bali more broadly. The festival attracts visitors from around the world, who in turn support local businesses such as hotels, restaurants, and shops.

Examples of the UWRF’s Impact

The Ubud Writers & Readers Festival has had a profound impact on the cultural and literary landscape of Bali and beyond. The festival has been instrumental in promoting cultural exchange, creativity, and literacy in Bali and beyond. Here are some examples of the UWRF’s impact:

Some of the festival’s notable achievements include:

Inspiring local writers

The UWRF has helped to inspire a new generation of Balinese writers, who are now sharing their stories and perspectives with the world.

Promoting Indonesian literature

The festival provides a platform for Indonesian writers to showcase their work and connect with an international audience. It has helped to promote Indonesian literature globally and has given a voice to many talented writers from across the country.

Showcasing Balinese culture

The festival has helped to promote Balinese culture and art to a global audience, and has become a showcase for traditional dance, music, and other cultural forms.

Promoting literacy and education

Through its workshops and other events, the festival has encouraged a love of learning and creativity among local residents as well as visitors.

Empowering women

The festival has a strong focus on gender equality and women’s empowerment. It provides a platform for women writers to share their stories and has helped to raise awareness about the issues facing women in Indonesia.

Fostering cross-cultural dialogue

The UWRF has brought together writers and readers from around the world, encouraging cultural exchange and understanding. The festival encourages cross-cultural understanding and promotes a spirit of tolerance and respect.

Supporting the local economy

The UWRF attracts thousands of visitors to Ubud each year, which has helped to boost the local economy. Many local businesses, including hotels, restaurants, and shops, benefit from the influx of tourists during the festival.


The UWRF program is filled with rich, immersive and engaging events that range from panel discussions, literary lunches, writing workshops, musical and artistic performances and film screenings. From day to night, a tapestry of literary, artistic and cultural happenings are on display, with an engaged audience adding to the overall experience.

Photo credit (main picture): Yayasan Mudra Swari Saraswati (CC BY-SA 4.0) via Wikimedia Commons

Photo description: opening ceremony of Ubud Writers & Readers Festival 2022.

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