The overflow viewing room at the Sydney Writers Festival at wharfs 2 and 3 at the rockssmh newsphotos Ben RushtonThursday May 17 2012

ALL great Australian literary traditions have an overflow. First, there was Banjo Paterson's Clancy of the Overflow. Now there's the overflow or viewing room at .

2012 SWF cover image

Sydney Writers' Festival - beautiful intelligent programming by Chip Rolley

Ahead of the pack ... Rohan Wilson imagines the massacre of Tasmanian Aboriginals.

Ahead of the pack . Rohan Wilson imagines the massacre of Tasmanian Aboriginals.

The Honourable Michael Kirby

Former High Court Judge Michael Kirby has told the Sydney Writers' Festival that growing up gay in Sydney was a lonely affair.

Ahead of the pack ... Rohan Wilson imagines the massacre of Tasmanian Aboriginals.

Ahead of the pack . Rohan Wilson imagines the massacre of Tasmanian Aboriginals.

SWF

How many ideas does it take to change a culture?

Tony Abbott's 'with me or agin me' rhetoric cheapens citizenship debate Prime minister’s assertion that Labor is weak on terrorism unless it supports stripping dual-national jihadists of citizenship makes a mockery of real national security interests

How many ideas does it take to change a culture?

How many ideas does it take to change a culture?

Tony Abbott's 'with me or agin me' rhetoric cheapens citizenship debate Prime minister’s assertion that Labor is weak on terrorism unless it supports stripping dual-national jihadists of citizenship makes a mockery of real national security interests

Waleed Aly's band at the 2012 SWF. Waleed Aly is a broadcaster, author, academic, rock musician and former AFL mascot.

Waleed Aly's band at the 2012 SWF. Waleed Aly is a broadcaster, author, academic, rock musician and former AFL mascot: One of the new bright intelligent Australians.

Edmund de Waal (Photo: Hannah Jones)

The Hare with Amber Eyes: A Hidden Inheritance by Edmund de Waal, Winner of the 2010 Costa Biography Award.

"Boleyn's death is still debated as if it was yesterday" ... Hilary Mantel, author.

Author Hilary Mantel has resisted shallow interpretations of her macabre work as domestic novels. Now her latest pitch-dark novel is the favourite to win the Booker prize

Pic shows Patricia Cornelius, who will be announced the winner of the Patrick White Playwrights' Awards at the Sydney Writers' Festival.

Melbourne playwright Patricia Cornelius and Sydney literary critic James Bradley have taken out two major writing awards.

Salvage the Bones and What Would Edith Do?: Saturday 4-5 pm

Salvage the Bones and What Would Edith Do?

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