December 03, 2021
Louise Adler announced as new Director of Adelaide Writers’ Week
The Adelaide Festival Board is delighted to announce the appointment of Louise Adler AM as Director of Adelaide Writers’ Week for the 2023 – 2025 Festivals.
Louise Adler, who is currently Publisher-at-Large for Hachette Australia and Vice Chancellor’s Professorial Fellow at Monash University, will take up the position early in 2022, taking over the reins from outgoing Director Jo Dyer who will deliver her fourth and final Adelaide Writers’ Week Festival in March 2022.
Widely recognised as one of the most significant figures in Australian publishing, Louise has led a variety of organisations at management and board levels over the past 30 years. These include chairing the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards (Fiction and Poetry), the Victorian Government’s Creative Industries Strategy Taskforce and Reference Group as well as six years as President of the Australian Publishers Association. Louise was also Australia’s representative on both the Executive Committee of the International Publishers Association and the Freedom To Publish Committee that awards the internationally significant annual Prix Voltaire.
She spent 17 years as CEO and Publisher-in-Chief of Melbourne University Publishing. A regular commentator in the media, Louise presented ABC Radio National’s Arts Today and held Editor roles for both The Age (Arts and Entertainment) and Australian Book Review.
Adelaide Festival Chair Judy Potter celebrated Louise’s appointment as heralding a thrilling new chapter for Adelaide Writers’ Week and the Adelaide Festival.
“Louise is a titan of the Australian publishing industry. Her experience, networks, and energy across a decades-long career in publishing and literature is unsurpassed. She is impeccably qualified and a true leader in her field who has changed community attitudes, influenced public debate, challenged minds and given voice to critical contemporary issues. We are confident Louise’s tremendous breadth of knowledge of fiction and non-fiction writers and readers will build upon the outstanding success of Jo Dyer’s custodianship of Adelaide Writers’ Week in recent years,” said Judy Potter.
Incoming Adelaide Writers’ Week Director Louise Adler said: “Adelaide’s Writers’ Week is Australia’s pre-eminent literary festival for writers and readers so I'm honoured to be taking on this role. I first came to Writers’ Week in 1972 as a schoolgirl and heard Allen Ginsberg read Howl; at the same festival I shared a hotel lift with Mikis Theodorakis and learnt the meaning of the verb “to swoon”. In Australia's bicentennial year, 1988, Adelaide's Pioneer Women's Memorial Garden was the setting for the launch of my first issue of Australian Book Review. At an unusually wet Writers’ Week in 1992, I queued for coffee in the mud behind Alice Walker who liked my shoes. The pleasure of listening to writers talk about their craft is like reading: it is at once an intimate and a deeply social experience. Cultural matchmaking of writers and ideas that matter, has been the hallmark of my career. The opportunity to share that pleasure with a community of readers was irresistible".
Louise Adler will commence in the role at the conclusion of Adelaide Writers’ Week in 2022.