Story Week 2021

Rebecca Varidel
4th Nov 2021

This year Australia’s annual festival of performed writing Story Week has taken some of its inspiration from the last two years, and especially the last couple of months.

Since 2013, Story Week brings the world’s best performing writers to Australian audiences. In 2021, Story Week pioneers digital literary arts with a mix of in-person and augmented reality experiences.

From 22 to 28 of November meet dozens of writers presenting spoken word, stories, lyrics, comedy and ideas in venues, on screen, in your palm and in your hood.

“We’ve been trained for almost two years to be afraid of other humans” says Creative Director Miles Merrill.

“Stories are how we continue to understand each other in isolation. It’s like we’ve gone into cocoons and now, by literally transforming our bodies through vaccination, we emerge, spread wings and gather. The collective noun for butterflies is: kaleidoscope. This is so celebratory. It’s the driving metaphor for Story Week.”

The Story Week 2021 Program has three elements:

Caterpillar - Incubate: Conversations & Learning
Chrysalis - Create: Digital & In-person Experiences
Kaleidoscope - Celebrate: Poetry Slams & Hybrid Performances

We've knocked out our favourite five here to get you started.

Home Delivery
You got your pizza. The toilet paper arrived yesterday. Now, get your live performing writer home delivered. All vaccinated and 2 metres from your front door - stories comes to you.

12 Cocoons
Dedicated to communities who faced some of the toughest COVID restrictions in Sydney. Story Week is calling on writers, from 12 suburbs labelled “LGAs of Concern”, to send in video poems and stories. The videos will be embedded on landmarks in the various suburbs. Audiences see the videos by pointing their cameras at the landmarks.

Point your phone camera at a STOP sign and poetry appears; hidden on your street corner.
Get a $10 note. Point your camera at it. The two white poets disappear, replaced by First Nations’ poets sharing their verses on currency. Access links available now.

First Person Voice
Join First Nations’ poets and storytellers from so called ‘Australia and Canada’ as they sing up Country and weave stories incorporating their respective languages. Catch performances, conversations and learning. Sat Nov 27 - 11am to 4.30pm Customs House – Circular Quay

Australian Poetry Slam
The closing night climax is Australian Poetry Slam National Final. After 60 heats across the country with almost 1,000 writers, the top 16 of the nation’s best outspoken wordsmiths battle it out in a spectacular showdown. Headlined by the current Australian Poetry Slam Champion Ren Alessandra, the final features 16 sharp-tongued poets word-wrestling for the championship title. Sunday 28 Nov 28 7pm to 9.30pm (venue to be announced).