Writers and musicians bow at the end of the concert at 2019 Williamstown Literary Festival..

Smokie Dawson, far left with cast of thousands. Williamstown 2019. Photo by Melissa Longo.

With Darren ‘Smokie’ Dawson returning to our stage for the opening night of the 2022 Williamstown Literary Festival on Friday 17 June, we re-visit a piece he wrote in 2016….

... As the next performance of Stereo Stories draws closer I begin preparing for my brief role in the show: re-visiting my piece, reading it aloud, and even briefly casting my mind back to the events which inspired the story. And I recall the times I have read the story in front of an audience – a real, live audience. For when I suggested to the Stereo Stories  editor that I might have a yarn suitable for publication on the website, never in my wildest dreams did I envisage how my short tale(s) would give me such a great rush every time I took to the lectern to share them.

Stereo Stories run the gamut of human emotions: alternating from bleak, to angst-ridden, to humorous, to whimsical. But always deeply personal, as suggested by the catchphrase “A Song. A Place. A Time.” The concept is simple: writers sharing a story about a place and song in their life. Writers well-known (Toni Jordan, Andy Griffiths, Brian Nankervis,) and maybe not so well-known (Rijn Collins, Lucia Nardo, Martina Medica, yours truly). The live shows are a wonder to behold, as the writers’ words are given greater depth and clarity by the excellent Stereo Stories band. I am eternally grateful for the support and encouragement that the other writers and the band have offered.

I remember the first time I presented a story and the thrill it gave me that the crowd laughed in all the right places and that the applause was warm and generous. I recall the build-up to my first reading of the story at the Williamstown Literary Festival in 2015: the rehearsals with the band, and the nerves as the crowd in the Williamstown Town Hall kept building…


Join Smokie and a host of guest writers on Friday 17 June.  There will be tears (of joy and of sorrow), there will be laughter. And there will be the sensational seven-piece Stereo Stories band.

Tickets available via the Williamstown Literary Festival website.
Friday 17 June. Doors open 7.30pm. Show 8pm.
Theatre seating, general admission.

Which story will Smokie be reading at Williamstown?

Smokie’s kind, and much appreciated, story was first published in 2016 on our partner site The Footy Almanac, as The Glory of Stereo Stories

Editor: Vin Maskell Assistant editor: Louise Maskell Web legend: James Demetrie, of DISKMANdotNET