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10 reasons why you need to go to LitCrawl

By Frances 29 Oct 2018

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LitCrawl at Crumpet
Photo credit: Vanessa Rushton

LitCrawl. It’s the literary equivalent of a bar crawl. Except with writers instead of booze. Okay, and maybe a little bit of booze. LitCrawl is the event for anyone who still likes books. In Wellington, we actually still have bookstores and we actually read books, plus they look great on our coffee tables. 

This year, LitCrawl is celebrating its fifth birthday with all of the fun and mayhem you’d expect from an actual five-year-old’s birthday party: sugar, spice, glitter and there’s a reasonably high chance that someone might get a little too overexcited and throw up. 

Read on for the ten reasons why you need to check out this year’s LitCrawl.

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LitCrawl at Left Bank
Photo credit: Matt Bialostocki


LitCrawl isn’t your parents’ literary festival – it’s fast and it’s fun. LitCrawl is kind of like a music festival, with gigs happening all at once and people wandering around trying to jam as much in as possible and not miss their favourite band, but along the way discover their new favourite band (and lose a shoe).


LitCrawl Wellington is the only literary festival of this format in Australasia and has quadrupled in size from when they first launched in 2014 - Saturday night’s LitCrawl feature 26 events over 3 hours across 22 venues in the heart of the city.  


Saturday night’s LitCrawl is like a table laden with all of your favourite party food: fairy bread, chippies, lollies and fizzy drink. There’s Bad Diaries Salon, where writers read their most ‘Oh my god, I can’t believe I wrote that’ extracts from their personal diaries, or For a Five Year Old, where line-up of awesome woman give life advice to five year olds, and Lit-Sync for your Life, where literary and drag worlds collide in a face-off of literary realness.

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Full house: you've got to be quick at LitCrawl
Photo credit: Matt Bialostocki


It’s open to everyone. but you’ve got to be fast – last year’s LitCrawl on the Saturday night was so popular that some pretty well-known writers and publishers weren’t let in. LitCrawl pro advice: make first and second picks so if that if you can’t get into your first choice, you can quickly move on option two.  


LitCrawl is held around the city in venues ranging from bookshops to bars. Because Wellington city is so compact it makes it the perfect venue for LitCrawl. It’s easy to get from one event to another – if you can’t get in somewhere, you can quickly move on to the next one.

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Hunters & Collectors, LitCrawl 2017
Photo credit: Vanessa Rushton


LitCrawl is a bargain. Saturday night's LitCrawl events are entry by koha donation. LitCrawl Extended has six free events and 22 ticketed events which are all under $50 and most are around the $20 mark. If you're planning on going to a few Extended events, there's ticket bundles that'll help make things even easier on the wallet.


If you can’t make it along to Saturday night or if you really like booking a ticket and being guaranteed a seat (totally get it – no judgement here) then LitCrawl Extended is for you. Book a seat for The F Word: Growing up Feminist in Aotearoa author Lizzie Marvelly. Be able to say “I was there” for the inaugural Wellington edition of the Dead Ladies Show – a salon-style event that celebrates women from history in style. And join Megan Dunn for her illustrated talk on contemporary mermaids. And don’t miss Melbourne based writer, speaker and feminist thinker, Clementine Ford – author of best-seller Fight Like A Girl.

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LitCrawl at night
Photo credit: Matt Bialostocki


Meet your new favourite writers: Kaveh Akbar is an Iranian-American poet whose work has appeared in publications such as The New Yorker, or Irish author Rob Doyle whose first novel was named as Hot Press magazine’s ’20 Greatest Irish Novels since 1916′ and was shortlisted for the Irish Book Awards Newcomer of the Year. And award-winning Irish poet Doireann Ní Ghríofa who writes in both Irish and English fusing poetry with film, dance, music, and visual art (listening to her read her poetry in her native tongue is totally mesmerising)


For the first time in the event’s five-year history, this year there’s a KidsCrawl event. LitCrawl has teamed up with Annual 2 and Wellington Central Library for a special story hunt featuring Wellington writers such as Bill Manhire, Giselle Clarkson, Kate Camp and more.


If hands-on is more your thing, LitCrawl has the workshop for you. There’s a one on sexy writing, a workshop that teach you how to write cinematically and one on flash fiction – the fleeting-yet-compelling creative approach of getting straight to the point. Hone your skills before you writer your memoirs and take part in an autobiography-writing workshop with Irish writer, Rob Doyle.

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LitCrawl 2018

Wellington’s fast, fun, four-day literary festival held in bars, book shops and galleries across Wellington.

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