Largest LitCrawl yet showcases Wellington over a weekend

Wellington’s most innovative little literary festival – LitCrawl – has launched its largest ever programme. The renowned crawl will be held on Saturday 11 November and will have more events than ever before. With the addition of LitCrawl Extended, a series that runs throughout the weekend at City Gallery Wellington, LitCrawlers can now make a whole weekend of it.

Internationally acclaimed salon event, Women of Letters, returns to LitCrawl to kick off the weekend on Friday evening 10 November. The line-up for this event is impressive, including writer Ashleigh Young, filmmaker Gaylene Preston, pioneering human rights activist Georgina Beyer and columnist Rachel Stewart with more to be announced. All profits from the event go to the Wellington Homeless Women’s Trust.

The Saturday 11 November crawl features 25 sessions that will fill some of the capital’s best-loved spaces with literary life. 'It’s a big leap from 18 sessions in 2016 to 25 this year', says Co-Director Claire Mabey, 'But every LitCrawl we’ve created so far has been simply bursting, overflowing with crawlers. So we’ve created a whopper in response!'.

lit crawl, photo matt bialostocki
LitCrawl 2016, photo copyright Matt Bialostocki

Sessions include a celebration of nature writing at new venue, Bicycle Junction, with Australian novelist Harriet McKnight joining Laura Williamson, Richard Hall, John Summers and Bill Nelson in readings on the outdoors. In another exciting session the city of Hamilton will be celebrated as Jesse Mulligan, Faith Wilson, Thomasin Sleigh and Essa Morris read from work inspired by their home town. RNZ’s Toby & Toby also return for their live show, while Northern Irish writer Jan Carson, poet Jeffrey Paparoa Holman and musician Finn Johansson join together to celebrate the Nobel Prize-Winner, Bob Dylan. Other sessions that should not be missed include A Cocktail with LaQuisha, where playwright Victor Rodger will be in discussion with LaQuisha St Redfern, and Where Angels Fear to Tread, a session in which some of New Zealand’s best loved writers (Joy Cowley, Glenn Colquhoun, John Dennison) will read at St Peter’s church. Entry to crawl sessions is by donation, with a recommended amount of $5. 

To complement the crawl on Saturday night directors have created the LitCrawl Extended programme which runs throughout the weekend. 'The Extended series is all about the chance to make a whole weekend of it and is a way to complement the crawl at a slower pace — you can spend all day at City Gallery sinking into excellent discussion and inspiring work, 'says Mabey. LitCrawl Extended sessions start at 11am on Saturday and Sunday and run until early evening each day. They are 60-minute, ticketed events so you can reserve a space. Highlights include: an hour celebrating the life and work of Dame Margaret Sparrow; a discussion about the female other in New Zealand writing; an exploration of remarkable new book, Sleeps Standing with Witi Ihimaera and Hēmi Kelly; and an hour with Holly Walker and Emily Writes about the pitfalls and prejudices that make life that much harder for mums in Aotearoa today (babies welcome). LitCrawl Extended also includes a special, one-off performed reading of Hāpai Productions’ show celebrating writer, Rowley Habib, on Sunday 12 November at the Māoriland Hub in Ōtaki. 

The full programme is available online at www.litcrawl.co.nz and print copies are at each of the 25 venues including City Gallery, Wellington Central Library, Ferret Bookshop, Arty Bees, Six Barrel Soda and Meow. From Monday 6th to Sunday 12th November, the LitCrawl Pop-up will be in the CBD and will feature a range of free activities such as bibliotherapy sessions, readings and performances. The full programme of Pop-up activities will be online at the end of September. The LitCrawl Pop-up is made possible thanks to Te Auaha. 

Funders and sponsors 
Primary Funder: Creative New Zealand
Major Funders: Wellington City Council; Wellington Community Trust
Sponsors: Vic Books, Lion Foundation, Australian High Commission, Te Auaha, CQ Hotels Wellington, Bowen Galleries, Victoria University Press, Honda, Garage Project, Opawa, Minson Design
LitCrawl Extended partner: City Gallery Wellington
LitCrawl patrons: NZ Society of Authors Wellington branch
LitCrawl is a non-profit Wellington Treasure Trust event produced by Pirate & Queen