When Donald Trump called Hillary Clinton a ‘nasty woman’, he didn’t know the term would become a battle cry of his opponents. In a centrepiece event of the Festival, some of the world’s most acclaimed women take to the stage to find a way forward in our changing world. Festival favourites Brit Bennett, Durga Chew-Bose, Viola Di Grado, Anita Heiss, Chris Kraus and Nadja Spiegelman share cautionary tales, life lessons, wisdom and good advice. Hosted by Sophie Black.

Supported by the City of Sydney. 

This event will be Auslan interpreted. The National Relay Service is available to assist with phone bookings. Call SWF Box Office on (02) 9256 4200 or email ticketing@swf.org.au to book access tickets. 

Nadja Spiegelman (International)

Nadja Spiegelman is the author of I'm Supposed to Protect You from All This, a memoir about the nuances of love and family, exploring the lives her mother, grandmother and great-grandmother and the fallibility of memory. She is also the Eisner Award-nominated author of the Zig and Wikki graphic novel series for young children and Lost in NYC: A Subway Adventure. She has received fellowships from Lemon Tree House and The MacDowell Colony.

Brit Bennett (International)

Brit Bennett is an essayist and the author of the critically acclaimed debut novel The Mothers, which became a New York Times bestseller. In 2016 Bennett was a finalist for the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction and won the NBCC John Leonard First Novel Prize. Named as one of the 5 Under 35 Promising New Novelists by the National Book Foundation in 2016, the New York Times Book Review called her work Ôferociously movingÕ. Her writing is featured in The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, The Paris Review, and Jezebel. Brit's Jezebel essay, I DonÕt Know What to Do With Good White People, generated more than a million hits in three days. She is currently working on her second novel.

Durga Chew-Bose (International)

Durga Chew-Bose is a Montreal-born writer. Her work has appeared in publications includingÊThe Globe and MailThe Hairpin, Lenny LetterÊandÊThe Guardian.ÊHer debut collection of essays,ÊToo Much and Not the Mood,Êwas inspired by a 1931 Virginia Woolf diary entry. ItÊexplores culture, writing, and identity and the result is a lyrical and piercingly insightful collection of essays written in her own brand of essay-meets-prose poetry. Durga is currently teaching a non-fiction writing workshop at Sarah Lawrence College in New York.

Sophie Black (Australian)

Sophie Black

Sophie Black is a content strategist and producer at the Wheeler Centre where she has worked on the long form podcast series The Messenger, which won a Grand Trophy and two Gold Medals at the New York Festivals Radio Awards 2017, a Walkley Award for Radio/Audio Feature, a UNAA Media Award for Best Radio Documentary and a Australian Human Rights Commission Media Award. She also works across the ABC podcast and RNl program Talkfest and appears on ABC TV’s Screen Time. Previously she was Editor in Chief at Private Media, where she headed up the titles like Crikey, Women’s Agenda and SmartCompany. In 2013 she delivered the Adelaide Festival of Ideas as Director. She sits on the advisory board for Melbourne University’s Centre for Advancing Journalism and the human rights media outlet Right Now and is the former editor of Crikey.