Thursday, January 28, 2016

NZ Festival announces distinguished Writers Week line-up to mark 30th anniversary

Some of the world’s most esteemed writers and thinkers will gather in Wellington across 8-13 March 2016 for the 30th anniversary of New Zealand Festival’s Writers Week. Launching the 2016 Writers Week at Wellington’s Unity Books on 28 January, 

Writers Week Programme Manager Kathryn Carmody added remarkable Israeli writer Etgar Keret to a diverse line-up of scientists, poets, novelists, historians, journalists, which includes arguably the world’s most famous atheist, scientist Richard Dawkins, the brilliant neurosurgeon Henry Marsh, new guard feminist Mallory Ortberg, award-winning journalists Simon Winchester and Andrew O’Hagan, and the wonderfully unique writer and performer Miranda July.

Kathryn said the Festival is pleased to be hosting some of the smartest and most entertaining authors and scholars from Aotearoa and around the world at New Zealand’s premier literary event.  “This year’s Writers Week programme theme is “rapprochement”, which speaks to the idea of reconciliation in its broadest sense. There’s someone for everyone; from intrepid marathon runner Christopher McDougall to US National Poetry Slam Champion Anis Mojgani; from popular scientist Adam Rutherford to science fiction writer Nnedi Okorafor; from the inimitable fantasy author Jasper Fforde to the prolific fiction writer Patrick Gale.  
Robert Dessaix will talk about Enid Blyton’s lasting influence, and young adult writers Cornelia Funke and Sally Gardner will explore the YA genre in conversation with Ted Dawe and Mandy Hager. Sessions including the multi genre artist Mariko Tamaki will also be a highlight of the festival.

Closer to home, the distinguished New Zealand line-up includes Man Booker longlisted author of The Chimes, Anna Smaill, theologian and bicycle enthusiast Lloyd Geering, poet Courtney Sina Meredith and Joy Cowley who, at 80, will reflect on a lifetime of writing. A Circle of Laureates will bring current NZ Poet Laureate CK Stead and previous laureates together for an evening of poetry, while Dr Philip Temple will present the Janet Frame Memorial Lecture on the theme of Where We Were; Where We Are Now.

With the Bookmark Pass, Take Five Pass and the new Friday off Work Pass available, Kathryn urges literary enthusiasts to get hold of the Writers Week programme immediately and start planning an itinerary for what is sure to be an extraordinary week.

“Writers festivals are wonderful occasions for book lovers and authors alike. They enrich the often solitary experiences of reading and writing by bringing readers and writers together in community spaces where broader discussion can be explored. This event only comes around every two years, so check out the programme and take advantage of a rare opportunity to indulge. I can promise hours of truly stimulating conversations,” Kathryn said.

For more information please visit 
Tickets on sale to multi-pass and Culture Club supporters from 9am 29 January. Tickets on sale to public from 9am, 5 February.

Follow us on Twitter: @nzwritersweek            
Writers Week is supported by the Lion Foundation, Victoria University of Wellington, QT Museum Wellington and Creative New Zealand

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