Ubud Bali

Why you have every reason to fall head over heels in love with the Ubud Writers & Readers Festival 2018. Source: Shutterstock.

THE Ubud Writers & Readers Festival (UWRF) held annually on the Indonesian island of Bali has become Southeast Asia’s largest and most renowned cultural and literary event.

Now in its 15th installment, the yearly pilgrimage will see a gathering of more than 150 writers, artists, thinkers, and activists from across the world.

Located at the westernmost end of the Lesser Sunda Islands, with Java to the west and Lombok to the east, Bali is known for its forested volcanic mountains, iconic rice paddy fields, beaches, and coral reefs.

A paradise destination for many, the island has something for everyone and for every type of traveler.

On one end of the spectrum, the beachside city of Kuta has a vibrant party scene. While on the other end in the uplands of Bali is the town of Ubud, the heart of the island’s cultural and religious sites surrounded by lush greens and sprawling nature.

This is why the breathtaking Ubud is the perfect location to host the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival.

Ubud Bali Indonesia

Source: Shutterstock.

Bringing together some of the world’s most powerful voices in a melting pot of artists, authors, thinkers and performers, the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival is a platform for meaningful exchange and cross-cultural dialogue.

Here, artists and audiences alike can discuss shared inspirations, ideas and concerns, the festival transcends cultural and geographical borders to create a truly global community.

Here are some things to look forward to at the Ubud Writers & Readers Festival:


This year’s festival theme is drawn from a Balinese Hindu philosophy, Jagadhita.

It is the individual pursuit of universal harmony and prosperity as one of life’s primary goals, interpreted in English as ‘The World We Create’.

The program, from Oct 24 to Oct 28, 2018, will explore countless ways to create a world that we want to live in.

In particular, how we strive as individuals and as communities to manifest positive change and how to nurture this goal through respect and action that sustains compassion for each other and ourselves.

70 sessions over four days

One thing is certain: The Ubud Writers & Readers Festival will deliver an eclectic program of events.

From fiery conversations to intimate literary lunches, gripping live performances to hands-on workshops.

Kickstart your experience at this year’s festival with traditional Balinese treats and coffee then indulge your inner wanderer with stories of searching and serendipity over a lavish lunch or discover local produce at a traditional market before trying your hand at a spot of batik painting.

At the Ubud Writers & Readers Festival 2018, you will have opportunities to fast-track your way to learning about the Balinese culture through worldly experiences.

Start them young

The festival is not just for established voices – it is also a place to encourage budding ones to grow.

Designed for aspiring Affandis and Eka Kurniawans, its Children & Youth program is a series of hands-on workshops spanning writing, drawing, poetry, and performance.

From creative writing to publishing a comic book, letter writing to charcoal drawing, there is plenty to keep you and your family stimulated and inspired at the Festival.

Nourish your soul

Listen, read, dance, and sing. Let your very being be swept away by all the wonderment the festival has to offer.

Sure, you will probably return home with a couple of books in tow and pictures that will stir up nostalgia time and time again, but more importantly, you will be packing with you a wealth of words and ideas.

The Ubud Writers & Readers Festival is the major annual project of the not-for-profit foundation, the Yayasan Mudra Swari Saraswati.

It was first conceived of by Janet DeNeefe, Co-founder of the Foundation, as a healing project in response to the first Bali bombing.

Stay tuned to their website, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for updates.

Lainey Loh

Lainey Loh | @laineyx

A certified daydreamer, when she's not physically travelling, she's often going places in her head. Her first love is coffee & her second, wine – & she accepts bribes in either forms. She's also entirely capable of deep conversations about life & random musings just for laughs, but do excuse her if she appears AWOL mid-chat – she's just going places in her head.

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