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Portrait of Caro Llewellyn


Caro Llewellyn is CEO of the Wheeler Centre and the author of four works of non-fiction including the 2020 Stella Prize shortlisted memoir, Diving into Glass. She’s also the former director of several large scale literary festivals, including Sydney Writers’ Festival and the PEN World Voices Festival chaired by Salman Rushdie in New York.

Caro began her life in literature as a publicist, before being appointed as the artistic director and CEO of Sydney Writers’ Festival (2002–2006). She was also responsible for the first-ever writer’s talk at the Sydney Opera House, later programming the series The Opera House Talks.

In 2006, Llewellyn was recruited by Booker Prize-winning author Salman Rushdie to run the fledgling PEN World Voices Festival he’d established for the human rights organisation, PEN America, in New York City.

Llewellyn was also the artistic director of both the New Literature from Europe Festival in New York (2013–2015) and the Paris-based Festival des Écrivains du Monde for Columbia University (2012–2015). 

In 2019, her memoir Diving into Glass was published by Hamish Hamilton and was shortlisted for the Stella Prize in 2020. Most recently, she has established, a ticketed online programme of live curated events designed to support writers, readers, booksellers and publishers impacted by COVID-19 closures.

Llewellyn was initially appointed as the inaugural Director of the Centre following its establishment in 2008, but resigned before beginning the role due to personal reasons. She now succeeds Michael Williams who worked at the Wheeler Centre since inception in 2009, when he was hired as the Head of Programming before being appointed as Director in September 2011.

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The Wheeler Centre acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the land on which we live and work. We pay our respects to the people of the Kulin Nation and all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders past and present.