Littérateur: A Festival for Word Nerds at the Old Fitz – Saturday, 15 October 2016

Do you like your novels long, your debates impassioned and your favourite writers accessible? Then do we have the festival for you.

Join us on Saturday, 15 October 2016 at the Old Fitz Theatre in Woolloomooloo for the inaugural Littérateur Festival, a festival that brings together clever, thoughtful readers with clever, thoughtful writers.

Tickets are $39 and available here

(*Please note, food and drinks are available throughout the day from the Old Fitz Hotel but are not included.)

Date: Saturday, 15 October 2016
Time: First session starts at 10am, last session finishes at 3.30pm
Address: Old Fitz Theatre, 129 Dowling Street Woolloomooloo

On the stage and in the aisles, we’ll be ruminating on ‘The good life’ and what it means to us today: socially, politically, aesthetically.

berkelouw-logoWe are delighted that the fine booksellers from Berkelouw Books Paddington will have a stall at the festival so you can browse all the titles by our fair

gs Logo.pngWe’re stoked to be donating all proceeds from the festival to Giant Steps Sydney, the coolest school for kids with

Thanks to the good folk at Red Line Productions at the Old Fitz Theatre for welcoming our festival into their space.



10am-11am: The Politics of Today: Andrew P Street in Conversation with Gareth Hutchens

Andrew P StreetAfter his perfectly named first book, The Short and Excruciatingly Embarrassing Reign of Captain Abbott, Andrew P Street is back with the sequel: The Curious Story of Malcolm Turnbull: The Incredible Shrinking Man in the Top Hat. Street and Hutchens will be taking to Australian politics like Bronwyn Bishop to a helicopter: boldly and freely.

Andrew P Street is an Adelaide-built, Sydney-based journalist, editor, columnist and failed indie rock star. He’s a regular columnist for the Sydney Morning Herald and over the last two decades he’s been published internationally in Time Out, Rolling Stone, NME, The Guardian, GQ and Elle. His new book, The Curious Story of Malcolm Turnbull: the Incredible Shrinking Man in the Top Hat is the follow up to his bestselling The Short and Excruciatingly Embarrassing Reign of Captain Abbott.

gareth-hutchens-high-res-1Gareth Hutchens is the political and economics correspondent for Guardian Australia, working in the Canberra press gallery. He is the intellectual love child of Christopher Hitchens and Ross Gittins. He once encouraged John Safran to change a verb in the second edition of his book, and Safran listened.

11am-11.20am: Book signing, tea, coffee and chat
(Food and drinks available from Montagu Cafe, 240m down the street)

11.20am-12.20pm: The Stories of Today: Meredith Jaffé and Holly Throsby

Two brand new novels–The Fence by Meredith Jaffé and Goodwood by Holly Throsby–prise open the door of the suburban home and let us peek at the secret lives within. Who are all these people in our neighbourhoods, and who are we?

Meredith Jaffé is a writer and occasional book critic. For four years she wrote the weekly meredith-jaffeliterary column The Bookshelf for the online women’s magazine The Hoopla; sharing literary news, reviewing books and interviewing writers. Meredith regularly chairs panels, presents workshops and interviews fellow authors for various literary events and writers’ festivals.

As a keen believer in the power of literacy, Meredith volunteers at The Footpath Library where she manages their annual EPIC! writing competition for school children. She is also a committee member of the Friends of Milton Library and the Program Coordinator for the Batemans Bay Writers Festival.

holly-throsby-2Holly Throsby is a Sydney-based songwriter and musician. She has released five solo albums and a children’s album called See! Holly has been nominated for four ARIA Awards–two for Best Female Artist, one for Best Children’s Album, and one as part of Seeker Lover Keeper, her band with Sally Seltmann and Sarah Blasko. Holly has a distinctive lyric and a distinctive voice and has brought both to Goodwood, her first novel, to create something truly special.

12.20pm-1.15pm: Book signing, lunch, coffee and chat
(Food and drinks available from the Old Fitz Hotel)

1.15pm-2.15pm: Writing From Behind the Fence: Seeking Asylum in Australia Today

The treatment of asylum seekers is one of the most urgent issues facing us in Australia today. Adele Dumont taught English for two years in an immigration detention centre, Cathy Preston-Thomas works as an advocate with refugee communities, and Ravi Prasad and his wife Delia turned their loungeroom into a cafe–Parliament on King–and welcome refugees and asylum seekers into their art and training programs. All three have stories from behind the fence to share.

adele-dumontAfter studying Australian Literature at the University of Sydney, Adele Dumont spent two years teaching English at the Curtin immigration detention centre. No Man is an Island is based on her own experiences, as recorded in her personal journals. Adele lives in Sydney’s inner west.


Cathy Preston-Thomas has been working with people from a refugee background since 1998, when she completed a Masters of International Social Development (UNSW). She has worked with refugee communities in Australia and overseas in various capacities: in community development, policy, project management, research, and training. She has a Masters of International Law from the University of Sydney majoring in Refugee Law. In between wrangling three boisterous children and the occasional campaign, she has written on refugee issues for books and magazines.

Ravi Prasad is a Strategist and Social Entrepreneur. ravi-prasad

Ravi and his wife Della have a cafe in  their living room – Parliament on King. It’s also home to a catering business that they run – they specialise in food that comes from the homelands of the asylum seekers and refugees with which they work.

The business is run as a social enterprise, with proceeds used to fund the refugee and asylum seekers projects and training they have been doing at Parliament on King. The project recently won the Food for Good Award at the Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guides Award. Last year the project received a Refugee Council STAARTS Humanitarian Award. For his personal work, Ravi is also the recipient of a UTS Human Rights Awards.

Professionally, Ravi works in advertising and is a former Senior Strategy Planner for Sapient Nitro in Australia and a Senior Strategy Planner for Clemenger BBDO. Over the years he’s been a finalist in or won awards for his work, from W3 in New York to the IIB Awards in London.

2.15pm-2.30pm: Book signing, coffee (and maybe a sneaky sherry)
(Food and drinks available from the Old Fitz Hotel)

2.30pm-3.30pm: What’s So Funny? Comedy Today: Ryan Crawford, Frida Deguise and Peter Green

ryanRyan Crawford is a stand up comic and all ’round good guy. He has had sold-out shows at the Sydney Fringe and Sydney Comedy Festival, and loves nothing better than a beer, a schnitzel and a stadium full of adoring fans. Ryan has written for several online satirical newspapers and is constantly scribbling down jokes at dinner parties. He’s currently writing a pilot for a comedy series.


peter-greenPeter Green has been performing stand up comedy around Australia since making his debut at the legendary Harold Park Hotel in 1998. He used to write for the TV show Australia’s Home Videos. He has no children of his own but used to get great pleasure from watching endless videos of other people’s children riding pushbikes into blackberry bushes and being headbutted by goats. He has a doctorate in molecular biology and if he bails you up at a party can talk to you in great detail about the immune system of sea squirts. In 2003, Peter, Domenick O’Kieran and two other mates cycled around Australia putting on 198 comedy shows and raising $40,000 for the Cancer Council. This tour has been documented in the classic book, Are Youse The Comoydians. His second book, Bad Hobbits, is about two comedians, two bicycles and 60,000,000 sheep.

fdIt’s not easy being a mother of four, Lebanese and Muslim. For Frida Deguise, this is just her normal life. She is funny and outspoken about all the things that make her comedy unique. Being a Muslim woman, wearing a Metallica shirt and making fun of hiding explosives in her hijab, sure got a reaction!

Honoring the title of Australia’s only female Islamic comic wearing a hijab, Frida pushes the boundaries of perception, shows her world with HER rules. Her over-the-top bravado is balanced with brevity. Her controversy will make you explode with laughter.

Having toured on the annual comedy hit show  ‘A Very Woggy Xmas Gala’ with Joe Avati, Turkish Australian comedy sensation Tahir, better known to most as ‘Habib’ of Fat Pizza, and Gabriel Rossi Frida Deguise really is the soul of wit.

Tickets? Here!

Questions? We’d love to hear from you. Write to us at or pop your details in the form below.

See you on 15 October.

Amanda and the Littérateur Festival team


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