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About Us

The international Ubud Writers & Readers Festival is the major project of the Ubud-based Mudra Swari Saraswati Foundation. It was first conceived of by Janet De Neefe, co-founder of the Foundation, as a response to counteract the damaging effect of the first Bali bombing. The first Festival took place in 2004. Since its founding, however, the UWRF has grown and developed into an internationally recognized forum that fosters a global conversation and provides a platform for writers from Indonesia and around the world to share their ideas and perspectives on current issues.

The Festival aims to bring together writers, readers, artists and performers to:

  • Exchange information and ideas between the diverse cultures in Asia, the South Pacific and the West, thereby increasing cross-cultural understanding between East and West
  • Foster greater public awareness and understanding of writing, cultures and issues in this region
  • Create opportunities for emerging and established writers from our region to present their work in an International context and to participate in cross-cultural exchanges
  • Foster on-going creative partnerships between writers in the Asia-Pacific region
  • Support and provide educational programs for young Indonesians to reach their full potential

Our mission isn’t simply to foster a rosy picture of Bali; we’re trying to make the world aware of some of the intellectual currents going on throughout the fourth largest country in the world. At the same time, bringing Indonesian and Asian writers and thinkers, particularly young intellectuals, into direct contact with their Western counterparts, has helped to dispel a lot of cultural stereotypes at both ends.

Now into its sixth year, what began as a healing and economic development project after the 2002 Bali bombings, is now one of the largest and most prestigious literary gathering in South East Asia and indeed the world.

Approximately 80 Indonesian and international writers and journalists join the event. Activities are spread over four days, and include:

  • panel discussions
  • literary lunches and dinners
  • writing and cultural workshops
  • free evening events
  • book launches
  • bi-lingual readings

A youth program runs simultaneously to the main program, and will include writing and creative skills development workshops led by local and international guest writers. The program targets children and young adults from age 3- 18.

Festival events will take place in venues around Ubud. The location has long been regarded as one of Indonesia’s cultural and artistic centers. In Ubud, artists congregate to showcase their masterpieces, be it visual arts, performances, or crafts.

You can learn more by visiting the Festival’s Official Website at

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