Some musical accompaniment during the silent auction fundraiser.
Some musical accompaniment during the silent auction fundraiser.
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Read it and weep: More than 80 Pacific Northwest authors, artists and performers across 35-plus venues in Capitol Hill and First Hill — and for just one night. Lit Crawl Seattle is back Thursday, Oct. 19.

Lit Crawl has been drawing lovers of literature and cleverly named drinks to Capitol Hill for the past five years. Organizers started off the sixth iteration with a silent auction fundraiser at Capitol Cider on Thursday, Oct. 5.

“With Lit Crawl, we always have one kickoff/party/fundraiser,” said managing director Jekeva Phillips. “There’s a lot of good stuff, fun tunes, and then we also inform them about out the lineup.”

The entire Lit Crawl Seattle event is broken up into one-hour blocks for storytellers, poets, theater companies, lecturers and more to entertain audiences, leaving 15 minutes between for attendees to hit up the next performance.

“It’s all in one night,” Phillips said. “It’s insane.”

The all-volunteer Lit Crawl team is constantly keeping an eye and ear out for new writers and groups to bring into the lineup, Phillips said, but real event planning started about five months ago.

“We have a lot of places that we go and say, ‘We’re doing this again,’ and they say, ‘Cool, sign us up,’” Phillips said.

Those longtime participating venues include Pine Box, Vermillion, Hugo House, Ada’s Technical Books and Elliott Bay Book Company.

This year there will be a Q&A with Seattle’s civic poet Anastacia-Reneé that Phillips said she’s excited about.

“That’s something new we’re doing this year, is allowing a kind of conversation during Lit Crawl,” she said.

This year’s event includes participation by Margin Shift: Friends in Poetry, a collective based mostly in Belltown. 

Lit Crawl has always been held in Capitol Hill, but the event is a way of consolidating talent from around the region into one area.

“It’s artsy, it’s a little wild, it’s boozy, and I think that’s really in the vein of Capitol Hill,” Phillips said of Lit Crawl Seattle. “Also, it’s really walkable.”

There are family friendly readings and performances programmed earlier in the evening, including some at the Capitol Hill Library.

A good portion of the funds raised during last week’s kickoff event go toward travel expenses for the authors, who come from around the area, said Wendy Fairbanks, who handles events and fundraising for Lit Crawl Seattle.

“I’m not shy about asking people for stuff. It never hurts to ask,” said Fairbanks, who sourced a number of items for bid from area businesses, performance groups, authors and artists. “I try to keep things people are donating at a price range people can afford.”

Erika Tedin met Fairbanks when she was operating Full Throttle Bottle in Georgetown. She’s since sold the business, but came out last week to support Lit Crawl by bidding on several items. She said she likes being introduced to new places through her bids.

“We never get to go to the events,” she said. “We just go to the fundraisers.”

Lit Crawl Seattle is being produced by an all-female cast this year, Phillips said.

“We’re working on top of having our day jobs, and I know for myself I’m sometimes up until 2 a.m. like, ‘I have to get those tote bags ordered, I have to design the tote bags,’” she said, and then someone else is able to jump in to help. “We love each other, and I think the reason why is we love Lit Crawl.”

Lit Crawl will end with an after-party 10 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 19, at Zoë Events, 1318 E. Union St. There will be books for sale, merch and a DJ.

Keep an eye out for the full 2017 lineup at litcrawl.org/seattle.