Books, Beer, Bars: LitCrawl hits Wellington!

LitCrawl Wellington 2014
LitCrawl Wellington is a literary treasure hunt that will stamp the spoken word on Wellington across the evening of Saturday 15 November.


LitCrawl Wellington is a literary treasure hunt that will stamp the spoken word on Wellington across the evening of Saturday 15 November.

This new festival is a one-night-only affair, boasting over seventy writers, musicians and performers at 15 different venues for just a few special hours: ‘There are 5 sessions each hour, over three hours, so you can’t do everything … the idea is to design your own LitCrawl path - and take a few risks’, says festival organiser Claire Mabey.

The LitCrawl format started in San Francisco ten years ago and quickly spread to cities such as Seattle, LA, London and New York. LitCrawl Wellington is the first of its kind in Australasia and has been crafted to suit Wellington’s unique geography, vibrant writing and reading community, as well as for our taste for destinations with identity. Venues include Little Beer Quarter, Six Barrel Soda, Wellington Chocolate Factory, The Young, City Gallery, Embassy Theatre, Paramount, Hashigo Zake and Meow. Each venue will host a fast-paced, diverse little feast of literary talent: sessions are only 45 minutes and will involve 2 - 8 writers, musicians and performers; entry by gold coin(s) koha on a first in, first served basis.

The 2014 programme includes the launch of Rejectamenta, a journal dedicated to publishing work previously rejected by other publishers; The Bat Show, an improvised poetry session held in the dark at Arty Bees; Pen & Drink, readings on the relationship between writing, writers and substances; and Writing Tunes & Playing Poetry hosted by Nick Bollinger and featuring Ebony Lamb, Sean O’Brien and Doc Drumheller at Alastair’s Music on Cuba Street. Other sessions feature Elizabeth Knox, Damien Wilkins, Pip Adam, Helen Rickerby, Ben Brown, Brannavan Gnanalingham, and Mary-Jane Duffy.

LitCrawl Wellington organisers have developed ‘Writers’ Beer’ for the event: ‘We asked 9 New Zealand writers to submit poetry for Writers’ Beer (specially brewed by the Mussel Inn) which we’ve printed on our labels for release into the Wellington wild at selected bars’

says co-organiser Andrew Laking. Among those whose words adorn the limited edition craft beers are James Brown, Chris Price and Damien Wilkins.

Sunday will continue a weekend of firsts’ when the hugely successful literary saloon – Women of Letters – comes to New Zealand for the very first time. Marieke Hardy and Michaela McGuire regularly curate and host Women of Letters events in Melbourne and New York and are excited to host a panel of inspiring kiwi women in Wellington on 16 November. Six New Zealand women have been asked to write a letter on the theme of ‘Letter to my unanswered question’, and will read their letters live at San Fran, Cuba Street. It’s a one-off encounter that revives the lost art of letter writing, and Jo Randerson, Pam Corkery and Miranda Manasiadis have so far agreed to be among the line-up. Tickets are $30 on sale at, or $35 on the door.

The full LitCrawl programme is now available online at or the real thing, in hard copy, can be picked up at LitCrawl venues, partners and friends in the CBD.

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6 Oct 2014