12 Tips to Make The Most Out of Ubud Writers & Readers Festival

Having freshly returned from Ubud Writers & Readers Festival 2016 in Ubud, Bali I would love to share with you guys some tips should you consider joining this amazing event next year.

For you who never heard of Ubud Writers & Readers Festival before, here’s what the festival about from their website:

The Ubud Writers & Readers Festival is Southeast Asia’s leading festival of words and ideas. The Festival celebrates extraordinary stories, amplifies brave voices, and tackles global issues through the lens of literature and the arts.

The Festival brings together a diverse mix of Indonesian and international writers, speakers, thinkers, artists, advocates, commentators and activists, to create a space for cross-cultural dialogue and connection.

12 Tips to Make The Most Out of Ubud Writers & Readers Festival

12 Tips to Make The Most Out of Ubud Writers & Readers Festival

  • Stalked Monitor Their Website

Seriously, signed up for their newsletter for updates and changes in schedule. The UWRF website is your holy grail. By stalking monitoring their website you will get updates on their Program once it is released. Their newsletter also update you instantly on any schedule changes and so on like when one of their panels cancelled the event so you will have the option to pick another one.

  • Early Bird Gets The Worm Tickets

Grand Opening of UWRF16

Do try to get your tickets to UWRF as early as you can to make sure you won’t miss anything. They offered different types of tickets from 4 days passes to 1 day pass which is really awesome. If you are a student, hey you can get a discount!

  • Pick The Workshops Wisely

UWRF16 Writing Every Day Workshop

They have so many great workshops available to choose from it is can be quite overwhelming! I went and picked 4 workshops. Crazy? Hey, I came there to learn as much as I can but really, in all seriousness pick your workshops wisely as it means you will miss out on their great Main Programs. Also, pay attention to the location of the workshops as they will be varied. I failed to prepare this and had a little panic attack planning out how to get to the workshop places. In the end, they provided ojek (motorbike taxi) for those who needs a ride to and from specific workshop venues and for that, I thank the committee and their awesome volunteers!

  • Book Your Accommodation Early

Lanna's Lair

Since it will be in Ubud, obviously the best choice is to stay in the nearby hotels/motels/bed & breakfast. The UWRF website has a list of accommodation partners that they recommend. Book early in advance as chances are the rooms will be filled up quite quickly. I was staying at Lanna’s Lair – one of the partners of UWRF 2016. Thank you Lanna’s Lair! If you don’t drive – like me – I highly recommend finding a place within the area to minimize your commute.

  • Install UWRF App!

UWRF16 Map

Seriously, although they provide you free Program Book loaded with great valuable information, having their app on your phone saves the day! When you are running around trying to get to your workshop their app can really rescue you. I have added the workshops I attended on their app and it gives me reminder every day. Really neat! Well done UWRF for this innovation.

  • Bring Your Notebook or Laptop

Tim Baker at Surf & Travel Writing Workshop

Hey, it is a Writers Festival after all right? So, whip your notebook or laptop and write. Be it in one of their main program events or your chosen workshops having a notebook or laptop will allows you to jot down those eureka moments or pointers you wish to take home with you. I have notebook full of harried handwriting from all of the amazing workshops I attended.

  • Bring Your Own Water Bottle

Bali is hot, yo! Seriously and going from one places to another will involve a lot of walking so stay hydrated by bringing your own water bottle. You could refill your bottle by buying water or other drinks from the stalls they provided but it is always best to reduce the use of plastic.

  • Bring Your Own Snacks

Trying to save money? Then bring your own snacks to munch in between the programs. They do offer stalls of delicious goodies from healthy meals to the local flavor of mie ayam (chicken noodle) but if you are tight on the budget then I’d suggest to bring your own snacks to keep you going.

  • Wear Comfortable Clothing

Like I said Bali is hot and although Ubud’s temperature is a little cooler at night it is best to wear comfortable clothes. Bring a light shawl if you plan to stay in the venues until late like I did (they have really cool events after dark!) especially if it rain, then it can get a little cooler. Oh, and bring a brolly (umbrella) as you never know when it might rain!

  • Mosquito Repellent is Your BFF

If you have sensitive skin like me, then mosquito repellent will be your new best friend at UWRF! Being outdoor, you will be exposed to mosquitoes and they are quite feisty.

  • Bring a Big Suitcase With You

Seriously, you will be meeting lots and lots of great writers and you can easily find their books for sale during the events. Grab a book or two and you can get their signatures! How cool is that? So factoring that in plus the Ubudhood shopping spree, be prepare to come home with a suitcase full of goodies.

  • Bring Your Name Card and Great Attitude!

Last but not least, UWRF is a great platform to connect with many great inspiring people. Everyone was just amazingly friendly and fun to be around with. I got to meet new friends from all over the world. Quick way to connect? Using the traditional old name card of course, I know I am old school. I got to talked with Ibu Shandra Woworuntu and when I mentioned I am the founder of Single Moms Indonesia she quickly asked for my card to connect in the future. Imagine if I didn’t bring them?! Passed opportunity, right?

Ibu Shandra Woworuntu and I

Have fun in Ubud, people. I would highly recommend this event for those of you who are writers or literature lover. I will definitely return next year!

Have you been to Ubud Writers & Readers Festival? How do you like it? Do share with me, I would love to hear your stories or better yet if we crossed path there, give me a shout out! Would love to reconnect with you.



  1. Angelic Sinova
    November 8, 2016 / 1:01 pm

    The Ubud Writers & Readers Festival sounds awesome. I’m definitely a love of writing and literature so I’ll have to look into attending next years event!

    • December 16, 2016 / 9:13 am

      Hello Angelic!

      If you have a love of writing and literature then please come to Ubud Writers & Readers Festival in 2017 – we are sure you will love it!

      In 2017 the Festival dates are 25-29 October. The theme will be announced on 15 February. For more information please go to the website – http://www.ubudwritersfestival.com – and follow us on Facebook, IG and Twitter: @ubudwritersfest

      Kind regards,

      UWRF International Media Consultant

  2. November 8, 2016 / 6:32 pm

    I have to admit I’ve not heard of this festival before, but WOW it sounds like something I would really enjoy! Perhaps I’ll get to go one day.

  3. November 8, 2016 / 8:31 pm

    I’ve never heard of this festival before, but now that it’s on my radar, I can’t wait to get there. Thanks for sharing this.

  4. November 8, 2016 / 8:47 pm

    I have never heard of The Ubud Writers & Readers Festival! Obviously as a blogger I love to write it would be very interesting to go to this.

  5. November 8, 2016 / 9:05 pm

    Wow this looks awesome. I have never heard of this festival before today.

  6. November 8, 2016 / 9:09 pm

    This looks like a fun event! I haven’t heard of it before. Is it for worldwide writers and readers?

  7. November 8, 2016 / 10:20 pm

    I’ve never heard of the Ubud Writers & Readers Festival, but it sounds interesting! I guess i should check it out!

  8. November 9, 2016 / 1:23 am

    What an amazing festival! I’ve never heard of it before but it sounds like a great thing to experience!

  9. November 9, 2016 / 2:34 am

    Great tips for any convention or festival! I would like to start going to more of this to work on networking with people in my area.

  10. Pam Wattenbarger
    November 9, 2016 / 4:34 am

    Booking accommodation early is so important for any kind of event like this. You don’t want to be stuck in the hotel/airbnb/whatever that no one wanted!

  11. November 9, 2016 / 7:22 am

    I have never been to this gathering but it seems very interesting! I feel more than ready for it with your tips!

  12. November 10, 2016 / 12:54 am

    What an amazing festival to be able to attend!! I love to go to festivals, so much fun to meet new people and learn.

  13. November 10, 2016 / 6:59 am

    Sounds like you had a great experience. I like that they provided motorbike taxi free of charge.

  14. November 10, 2016 / 11:21 am

    My husband and I went to Bali about 6 years ago.. We visited UBUD, had a great time

  15. November 11, 2016 / 6:42 pm

    This is the first time I heard about this festival. It sounds like a great event to participate to for writers!

  16. November 19, 2016 / 4:39 pm

    Kapan ada acara seperti ini lagi ya?
    terima kasih

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