The satisfaction of schadenfreude. The subversive pleasures of erotic fan fiction. The joy of watching a writer sit in a giant armchair and orate true stories from a giant, novelty-sized book. There are plenty of laughs to be had at the Festival no matter what it is that tickles you, and we've pulled together our favourites below.
The Full Catastrophe, 2 May, 7pm
ABC Radio’s Sarah Macdonald and Rebecca Huntley host a very special Sydney Writers’ Festival edition of Giant Dwarf’s The Full Catastrophe: a live show about when life was so bad, it was funny. Sarah and Rebecca welcome guests Clare Wright, James Jeffrey and Sally Rugg as they come together in front of a live audience to share a painful and hilarious incident in their lives.
Erotic Fan Fiction, 2 May, 9pm
A Sydney Writers’ Festival crowd favourite, Erotic Fan Fiction returns for one seedy night only with brand-new filth written by some of Australia’s most exciting writers. This event promises to conjure up a different kind of adults-only magic. Eddie Sharp hosts guests including Charlie Garber, Nayuka Gorrie, Andrew O’Keefe and Jordan Raskopoulos.
Gay For Page, 3 May, 7pm
Sally Rugg greets some of the Festival’s favourites for a celebration of queer literature. Join Alexander Chee, Andrew Sean Greer, Casey Legler, Jordy Rosenberg, Holly Throsby, Niviaq Korneliussen and Bryan Washington as they pick from the canon of queer texts, choosing both out and proud and more ambiguous, between-the-lines stories. In a discussion about texts from The Price of Salt to Harry Potter, the guests reveal their literary crushes, their heroes and the authors who illuminated their paths towards writing.
Story Club, 3 May, 9pm
Now in its 11th year, Story Club is a themed, live storytelling night where exceptional people sit in a giant armchair and read true stories out of a novelty-sized book. In this special Festival edition, hear guests share their funniest stories, darkest moments and their shameful secrets on the theme of ‘Fool Me Once’. Featuring Ben Jenkins, Zoe Norton Lodge, Jacqueline Maley and Alex Lee.
Toni Jordan: On Why Molière Was a Rom Com Writer, 5 May, 10am
Internationally bestselling author Toni Jordan (The Fragments) has long been in love with 17th-century French playwright and comic genius MolieÌre. But she was surprised to learn that many critics relegate his work’s romantic aspects to the non-essential pile. In making her case for MolieÌre being one of history’s finest rom-com playwrights, Toni explores why men are misclassified as non-genre writers. She also previews her own play, which portrays her trying to convince the Frenchman of his rom-com credentials.
Andrew Sean Greer: Less, 5 May, 3pm
Literary sensation Andrew Sean Greer takes to the stage to discuss his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel Less. Less is the story of an abruptly single minor novelist on the cusp of 50, who embarks on an odyssey through New York, Paris, Berlin, Morocco, India and Kyoto, but finds he cannot outrun his problems (or his ex-boyfriend’s wedding). In conversation with David Marr, Andrew sheds light on his brilliantly witty and wistful satire of the literary world and the midlife crisis.