The Festival

Since launching in 2015, Annasi & Kadalagotu has been an authentic Sri Lankan literary festival that is highly anticipated by literary enthusiasts all over the country. It offers a collaborative platform for those who are passionate about literature to explore writing, reading, and the diverse expressions, cultures, and perspectives of the Sri Lankan people.
The festival hopes to spark interest in contemporary local literature of well known and lesser known writers, as well as encourage the work of budding writers all over Sri Lanka.
This festival is the brainchild of Captain Elmo Jayawardena, and was initiated with the help of a small group of like minded individuals with one goal: to pay tribute to those local authors and publishers whose work sustains Sri Lanka’s literary identity.

Group 370

Why Annasi & Kadalagotu

The name “Annasi & Kadalagotu” in English means “Pineapple & Chickpeas”, two food items that are a favourite local snack. Hence, “Annasi & Kadalagotu” affirms the festival’s deep roots in the literary expression of the common man, be it in English, Sinhalese, or Tamil. It is a place where you can interact one-on-one with the great authors of our local literature and engage in important discussions about modern literary expression.

Who Comes to the Festival

The festival welcomes local writers, poets, lyricists, and anyone who is interested in local literature.

Group 371

Meet the 2019 Speakers

Keith Wijesuriya
Prof.Neluka Silva
Dileepa Abeysekera
Andrew Fidel Fernando
Yasas Ratnayake
Nalaka Gunawardena
Malinda Seneviratne
Sybil Wettasinghe
Keith Wijesuriya
Prof.Neluka Silva
Dileepa Abeysekera
Andrew Fidel Fernando
Yasas Ratnayake
Nalaka Gunawardena
Malinda Seneviratne
Sybil Wettasinghe
Smriti Daniel
Saumya Liyanage
Victor Ivan
Prof.Arjuna Parakrama
Jian Yang
Ayathurai Santhan
Nadishka Aloysius
Tinaz Amit
Udan Fernando
Sandya Salgado
Prashani Rambukwella
Dhananath Feranando
Dr. Bodhini Samaratunga
Shakthika Sathkumara
Asha Ralpanawa
Vetrichelvi (Velu) Chandrakala
Shirani Rajapakse
Rohan Wijesinghe
Shastha Samarasinghe
Chamal Ratnayake
Ranga Jayakodi
Shenu Perera
Chamari Malkanthi
Sudath Liyanage
Kapila Wickremeratne
Tharusha Kumarasinghe
Migara Bamunusinghe
Chathuski Jayasinghe
Ahilinie Nanthakumar
Dr. Sarath Wimalasuriya
Mahinda Namal
Rukshan Perera
Virjani Tennakoon
Gamini Karunarathne
Susila Nandani
Wasantha Pathmini
Upul Senadheerage
Rohan Wijesinha
Ganeesha David
Kingsley Rathnayake
Dr.Harshana Rambukwella
David Scott

10 Key Topics For 2019

Literature for all in all forms
Blood, sweat and ink – The mingling of Sports & Literature
The child who never grows up
‘Anduru Lowakin Eliyata’ Writing with disabilities
Little minds strong values – A workshop for kids
Literature as a tool of ethnic and religious reconciliation
Doing it write the first time
Discussion with Award winning authors
‘A woman’s gaze’- A discussion with a female panel of writers – who are active in both traditional paper-based writing and/or digital media
‘Hitiwana Kavi’ – Poetry Corner

Past Festivals

In our fourth consecutive year and the second residency at the Mount Lavinia hotel, we hosted our first ever panel discussion between local politicians who are also authors. We also held discussions about script writing for teledramas, and how to write good Sri Lankan humour.

Photo Gallery >

10 Topics discussed in 2018

Book Launch – ‘The School Detective Gang’
The Art of Creative Writing: A Workshop for Adults
All About Creative Writing: A Workshop for Kids
Literature in Governance – The politics of writing
Preserving our Sanity – The inherent Sri Lankan ability to see humor in everything
Short Film Series
Same-Same but Different: Writing with disabilities
The Story behind the Story
The Virgin Authors: What it’s like the first time

In the AK Lit Fest’s third consecutive year, we held our festival at the iconic Mount Lavinia Hotel. With panels that discussed the comic book’s influence, the evolution of online writing, and lyrics of love, there was certainly something for everyone! And to add even more flavour to the mix, we even included an exclusive film screening, and ended the day with an inspiring open mic session!

10 Topics discussed in 2017

A Whale of A Tale Workshop For Kids:
Creating fun for young ones Romancing The Pen:
Love, lyrics, and literature Dispensing Laughter:
Comedy in storytelling Drawing Stories:
The comic book influence ‘Sen Kottan’,
the story behind the story ‘Komali Kings’,
the story behind the story ‘The Moon in the Water’
the story behind the story Paperless Creativity:
The evolution of online writing Reliving the Past:
Historical literature

In our second year, we aimed for bigger and better, with a two-day event that was jammed-packed with incredible writers and speakers. From performance poetry to the launch of multiple books (and a magazine launch!), our goal stayed the same: uplifting local talent. There were also a number of insightful sessions for everyone to enjoy, covering topics such as writing online, how NOT to get your book rejected, and scriptwriting for cinema and theatre!

Our inaugural year was when we first said it loud and clear: Sri Lankans loves literature – and they write it well too! Our sessions aimed to educate and inspire, from discussions on writing in retirement, undoing the stigma of “broken English”, and the power of expression. We also held a publisher’s clinic, partnering up with a number of local publishers, to answer everyone’s burning questions about becoming a published writer in Sri Lanka.